'Jammin’ at the Polls' aims for high voter turnout in Metcalfe Park neighborhood

Posted at 5:19 PM, Apr 05, 2022

MILWAUKEE — Tuesday is Election Day and election officials are hopeful for a strong turnout.

"Jammin’ at the Polls" was underway near 27th and Center on Tuesday. They set up shop outside a polling place in hopes to increase voter turnout with music, food, and community resources.

The goal was getting voters out of their homes on a gloomy day to vote.

“It would be a change for us,” said voter Michelle Dugge.

After 40 years of voting, it is easy to imagine how much Election Day means for Dugger and Henrietta Jefferson.

“I voted ever since I was 18. I’m 66 now,” Dugger said.

“We all have a right to get up, be heard and voice our opinion. If you don’t like something, we up and make a change,” Jefferson added.

Taxes, community welfare, and safety are top of mind for George Bankhead. Bankhead took time off of work to find his polling place.

“It’s very important. It’s a lot going on in the City of Milwaukee that needs to be corrected,” he said.

The City of Milwaukee Election Commission says it sent out more than 35,000 absentee ballots, and about 28,000 of them have come back. Officials are expecting a 25 to 30 percent voter turnout based on current voting trends.

Another municipality with a mayoral race, Brookfield, sent out about 3,700 and 3,100 of those were returned.

It’s clerk’s office expects a 30 to 40 percent turnout in its election.

Jarrett English, the organizer of the Jammin’ at the Polls event said voter turnout is a two way street.

“I like to put it back on the politicians,” he said. “Folks often say the community is not engaged. The truth of the matter is people are not engaged, because people are not engaging them. When you have politicians who do not listen, do not show up, who drive through the community instead of talking to people, that is when you get people disengaged.”

Polls close at 8 p.m. Milwaukee voters will soon have elected new officials, including the first new City of Milwaukee mayor in nearly 20 years.

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