"To make sure that folks have a voice:" Volunteers to drive church members to the polls on Election Day

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Those who need a ride to the polls on Tuesday, November 4th may want to consider their church. Some church leaders will offer free rides to the polls -- and the effort is less about telling members of the congregation who to vote for, and more about how a community can get a candidate to listen.

At St. Gabriel's Church of God in Milwaukee, being a man of God means preaching the word of God. This Tuesday, God's work will lead church leaders to pave a way to the polls for members of the church's congregation.

"Any person concerned with ministry, you want to make sure that folks have a voice," Minister Gregory Lewis with St. Gabriel's Church said.

On Election Day, members of the church, located on Milwaukee's northwest side, will offer free rides to polling places.

"It's a lot of work, but I think it's worth it. We shouldn't let something hard keep us from doing something great," Lewis said.

Volunteers will take van-loads of folks looking to vote to polling places. It's something they've been doing for the past few weeks as early voting has been going on ahead of Election Day.

"We don't try to tell people who to vote for. We do try to inform them on the issues that affect their lives and also, the issues that affect our church in particular and this community," Senior Pastor Lee Shaw said.

These church leaders say they know some need help getting around, or they just need encouragement to get out and vote.

"They need a pastor or someone to get after them. 'Hey, I'll take you to the polls. C'mon. Let's go,'" Shaw said.

Both Shaw and Lewis say increasing their neighborhood's voter turnout will, in return, make their community more relevant to campaigns -- and perhaps, future candidates will appeal to their specific interests.

"I don't think we should sit around and wait for things to happen to us. We need to make things happen. It's not about who's going to win. It's about really being active and having a say in your life," Lewis said.

Volunteers at St. Gabriel's will begin escorting parishioners to the polls as soon as they open, starting at 7:00 a.m.

The polls close at 8:00 p.m.