MILWAUKEE - Wisconsin voters cast the most votes ever this presidential election, and several community groups worked hard to make sure people got out and voted on Tuesday.
Voter turnout across the state was close to 73%. The City of Milwaukee was about 5% higher than that. Get-out-the-vote groups think their efforts paid off.
It has been a long, exhausting election season but one that Jennifer O'Hear and her team at Common Ground are very proud of.
"I'm feeling so proud of my team of staff and volunteers," said O'Hear. "Everyone did everything they could to help the voters that we engaged with."
Voters cast ballots in Milwaukee on Election Day, Nov. 3, 2020.
The non-profit set out with a goal to get 15,000 people in the City of Milwaukee to vote after there was low turnout in 2016.
Zipporah Turnbull was part of the Common Ground team that canvassed neighborhoods -- going door-to-door, making calls, driving people to the polls and, most importantly, explained the gravity of voting. In the weeks leading up to Election Day, even Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill joined the effort.
Milwaukee Bucks guard George Hill takes part in an early voting canvassing effort on Milwaukee's north side, in partnership with Common Ground
"A lot of people did not want to vote because they thought their vote didn’t count," Turnbull said. "A main issue was wanting to see a change. People wanting to be heard, people wanting to be understood."
It might have made a difference. The city saw 78% turnout according to the Milwaukee Election Commission. Milwaukee County saw 83% turnout. It's momentum that the organization wants to build upon, looking forward to the next four years.
"I hope they see the results and how close it was and see their vote really did count and it did matter," O'Hear said.
O'Hear said that throughout all of this, they made strong connections with people in the community. She is hoping to see even higher turnout in 2024.