By WWN Intern, Julia Mroczkowski –
On November 4, 2014, all Wisconsin voters will be able to exercise their freedom to vote, a civil right, and fulfill a civic duty. Under current state law, qualifying Wisconsin residents can register to vote on Election Day at their designated polling locations. Visit myvote.wi.gov to find your polling place. Same-day registration has been active in Wisconsin since the fall election of 1976; in turn, less provisional ballots are issued because of the Election Day Registration. Provisional ballots are only counted once the proper voter registration is complete. Recently, voting rights have been threatened in Wisconsin, a right for women passed ninety-four years ago. Wisconsin’s voter identification law that was proposed to the Supreme Court would be a definite threat on women’s right to vote. The Wisconsin Women’s Network and several other organizations continue to fight for voting rights, as well as advocate the importance of voting.
A collaborated effort of organizations encourages you to pledge your vote, promote voting, and advocate for other issues that effect women. First, Ask.Learn.Vote.org is a resource that provides information about candidates in each district of Wisconsin. The coalition website shares information on voting rights and laws that protect and ensure that your vote is counted. The Wisconsin Women’s Network has partnered with AskLearnVote to promote women’s voting rights and ensure that women’s voices are heard. Another organization that advocates for voting and voting rights is the League of Women Voters. This nonpartisan group does not support specific candidates; however, they do have certain issues they advocate for. The League of Women Voters focuses on citizens’ rights and equal rights, and more specifically defending voter’s rights and educating and engaging voters. Active participation in elections helps increase the representation of women, and fighting threats to voting rights, while simultaneously advocating that voting is a way to participate and promote constitutional rights. The 19th amendment allows women to vote, granting us access to make positive changes for our health, safety and economic security. Lastly, the efforts made by Get Out The Vote have succeeded in motivating citizens to cast their ballots. This organization specifically focuses on increasing voter turnout during elections. Get Out the Vote conducted a study imitating elections held in the 19th century and made them more festive to attract more voters, which they found to be effective at increasing voter turnout. An important program, First-Time Voter Education is used to mobilize voters and inform young voters about being part of elections and how their vote matters. Statistically there is an increase in young voter turnout when Rock the Vote ads are shown on television. Research done by Get Out the Vote, based on their mobilization experiments, has increased the number of voters, which is important because everyone’s voice matters.
Wisconsin’s general election is on November 4, 2014 and it is important to ensure that your vote is cast. Women have been fighting to protect their individual rights, and in order to make economic, health, and equality changes women must vote. The Wisconsin Women’s Network promotes equality for women and voting rights give women the opportunity to gain equality.