MILWAUKEE AND KENOSHA COUNTIES — Election Day is nearly one week away and on Saturday across Southeastern Wisconsin, communities were taking every opportunity to get more voters on board and to the polls early.
In Kenosha, the family of Jacob Blake led the charge with their organization, Justice for Jacob, marching from Civic Center Park to City Hall, where early voting is underway.
Since Jacob was shot by police two months ago, they’ve registered hundreds, and even walked 38 miles from Kenosha to Milwaukee to get people to the polls.
Justin Blake is Jacob’s uncle.
“There is something in the air and it’s called change,” Justin said.
He said he talked about their efforts a couple of days ago with his nephew, who continues to recover at a rehabilitation center.
“[Jacob] wanted us to make sure that we thank everybody that’s been helping him thus far,” Justin said.
Justin and organizer, Tanya McLean hope what happened to Jacob can encourage others to exercise their right.
“We need people in office that are going to do the right thing by us and our communities, McLean said. “Make sure that black and brown people are not continued to be assaulted and harmed and murdered.”
McLean said the only way to do this is by voting.
Members of historically black fraternities and sororities spread that same message in Milwaukee, coming together for a march hosted by the Urban League.
President of the organization, Eve Hall said voting is about more than our rights, it’s how we can improve inequities in society.
“We know that votes mean action and it let’s people know that individuals are concerned,” Hall said.
Nikki Purvis was one of hundreds who walked from Cathedral Square to Red Arrow Park as a part of the march called, ‘Stroll to the Polls.’
“There’s power in numbers and the more that we can encourage folks to get out and vote, I’m all for it,” Purvis said.
Members of historical black fraternities & sororities marched w/ @urbanleaguemke this afternoon to urge others to #vote & #voteearly. They want those on the fence to realize voting isn’t just about exercising their rights but is also how we can improve inequities in society @TMJ4 pic.twitter.com/3heb4aIQ5K— Lauren Linder (@lauren_linder) October 24, 2020
She planned to cast her ballot right after the event, across the street at the Zeidler Municipal Building, because she feels there’s just too much on the line to sit it out and wait any longer.
“It’s important that everyone takes that opportunity, the freedom that they have to ensure that their vote is counted,” Purvis said.
Saturday also marked National Vote Early Day.
For everything you need to know about voting, registration, absentee ballots and polling locations, click here.