The Illinois Republican party claims early and absentee voting has precipitously fallen since the 2008 presidential election.

According to the numbers, at this point in 2008, there were 260,376 early voters and 304,290 absentee voters. Now, the party maintains, there are 195,064 early voters and 46,232 absentee voters. That’s a loss of 57 percent of voters, since the last election.

This, the Illinois Republican party says, is a terrible sign for Democrats.

“Chicago is the heart and soul of the Democratic Party,” says Illinois Republican party chair Pat Brady. “You can’t get much more solid blue than Chicago and of course it’s the President’s home base – literally. If voter participation in the President’s home base is down 57% from four years ago, the President is in serous trouble nationally.”

President Barack Obama’s reelection headquarters are located in his hometown of Chicago.

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