Organizations increase efforts to get people registered to vote

MADISON, Wis. — The city of Madison and the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin are increasing their efforts to get people registered to vote in the middle of the pandemic.

The city set up 231 voter registration drives throughout Madison this week to help increase the number of voices heard come November.

Volunteers and booth workers said they were very busy registering first-time voters on National Voter Registration Day.

“It is extremely fulfilling to be able to know that you’re helping the greater good for America to help keep our democracy going,” said volunteer voter registrationer Calli Anibas.

First-time voter and 20-year-old UW Madison student Sam Waldman said, “Everyone should vote no matter who it’s for. Everyone should have the opportunity to voice their opinion because it’s their right.”

The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin’s Voter Education Manager Eileen Newcomer agreed. It’s why her organization is putting in extra effort this year to make sure they get as many people registered to vote as possible.

“We’re text banking voters about registration information, we’re doing some phone banking and league members are being really creative in their virtual voter registration events,” Newcomer said. “Our goal is to make sure everyone who is eligible to vote is registered to vote and is able to make their voices heard on Election Day.”

Newcomer said the League is also working with Dane County Voter ID Coalition to expand their volunteer network statewide so voters can call the helpline (608-285-2141) and get photo ID assistance as well as absentee voting assistance (including a witness). The League is also providing candidate information for voters on VOTE411.org/ballot, helping clerks recruit poll workers, recruiting volunteers to monitor polls on Election Day, monitoring social media to prevent misinformation from spreading, working with election officials to review training materials, sharing information about barriers voters faced in April, advocating for improvements around the early voting and absentee voting process and hosting a variety of socially distant voter registration drives.

Voters can visit https://MyVote.wi.gov to check registration status. If you would like to register to vote in person, the city posted the following information as to where you can do so:

Wednesday, Sept. 23:

  • 1-2 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at Mendota Elementary, 4002 School Road
  • 2:15-3:15 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at Kennedy Heights, 199 Kennedy Heights
  • 3:30-4 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at Oak Park Terrace, 571 Branding Lane

Thursday, Sept. 24:

  • 10 a.m. – noon, Good Shepherd Food Pantry, 5701 Raymond Road
  • 10:30 a.m. – noon, Catholic Multicultural Center, 1862 Beld Street
  • 11:30 a.m. – noon, alongside the Library Dream Bus at Sandburg Elementary, 4114 Donald Drive
  • Noon – 6 p.m., Orpheum Theater, 216 State Street
  • 2-2:30 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at East Madison Community Center, 8 Straubel Court
  • 5:30-7 p.m., Urban League Parking Lot, 2222 S. Park Street
  • 5:30-7 p.m., Good Shepherd Food Pantry, 5701 Raymond Road

Friday, Sept. 25:

  • 1-1:45 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at Allied Drive Learning Center, 2237 Allied Drive
  • 2:15-3 p.m., alongside the Library Dream Bus at Owl Creek, 23 Horned Owl Drive
  • 5-7 p.m., Breese Stevens Field, 917 E. Mifflin Street (hosted by the Latino Professionals Association and Forward Madison FC)

Saturday will be the first of two consecutive Democracy in the Park Saturdays. Poll workers will be in every city of Madison community park, neighborhood park and mini park to register voters, answer questions about voting and accept the delivery of absentee ballots. This is the biggest event the City Clerk’s Office has ever planned outside of an election day.