Mayor Tom Barrett
MILWAUKEE -- In an attempt to get more people registered to vote, Milwaukee leaders announced on Monday, May 21, a new way for people to do just that -- register to vote.
Mayor Tom Barrett and other officials launched voter registration kiosks at all Milwaukee Public Library branches. The voter registration kiosks will provide residents easy access to the MyVote website and trained library staff will be able to assist with the registration process.
"If you aren't registered, you can register there, and if you've moved or if you've had a name change, you can make those changes on the kiosks as well," said Paula Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library.
"Residents and voters benefit when registration and voting occurs at a neighborhood level," said Neil Albrecht, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission.
Every four years, Wisconsin goes through a registered voter purge. That means if people do not have an active voting history, their registration gets erased -- meaning you have to re-register.
"The very realistic goal, at a minimum, is to get an additional 25,000 people registered to vote between now and the elections in the fall," Mayor Barrett said.
In 2017, 330,000 people were registered to vote, but after this most recent purge, only 250,500 people still remained. Some think libraries will help make up lost ground.
"We easily get two million plus people walking through our doors annually. Plus we get millions more visiting through our website," Kiely said.
From checking voter information, updating addresses or getting registered to vote -- this kind of accessibility aims to give people no excuse for not being ready to cast a ballot come fall elections.
The city’s neighborhood-based library branches will serve as points of access to increase the number of residents registered to vote for the November 2018 general election. The city will also partner with local community organizers and voting advocates to promote accurate information on registration and voting.