As many of you probably already know, we have an election on November 8th.

There’s a lot on the line this election, and I hope it goes without saying that you absolutely need to vote.

No ifs, ands, or buts. It’s your duty as a good citizen to cast your ballot. Every election is important.

Every time you vote you make your voice heard. Voting is your say in your community. It’s your say in your children’s future. It’s the best way for you as a citizen to affect change. Your vote is your voice.

I get excited about the right to vote because it’s a right that we’ve spent generations fighting for. It’s a right people have shed blood for, and it’s a right people have died for. It’s why I get so frustrated when I hear news like the story that came out of Green Bay this week.

In records made public recently, we found out that a Green Bay city clerk intentionally asked that early voting not be allowed on UW-GB’s campus because she thought it would give Democrats an “advantage.”

Let’s be clear about one thing – you can’t take away the people’s right to vote because you’re afraid that they’re not going to vote for you.

That’s cowardice. Plain and simple. It’s dirty politics, and frankly, it’s pathetic. And we won’t stand for it.

Ezekiel Gillespie
Ezekiel Gillespie

Every time I hear about efforts to suppress the vote, I’m reminded of the story of Ezekiel Gillespie who in 1865 went to vote, and he was denied a ballot.

There was no Obama, 40 acres and a mule nor legislation. He wanted his right to vote! Mr. Gillespie was my kind of “Negro” he sued all the way to the Supreme Court and won a unanimous decision in 1866.

This decision gave men the right to vote but did not include women. In the spirit of Ezekiel Gillespie, men and women let your voice be heard!

That is why with the attempts to suppress the vote, I encourage you understand what is needed to vote and become informed about the process.

You’ll need to show a photo ID. This can be a driver’s license, a Wisconsin DOT-issued ID card, a Military/Veterans ID card, or a US passport.

If you don’t currently have an ID, you can get one for free at the DMV even if you don’t have a birth certificate or social security card. Just bring what you have, and you’ll get an ID in time.

Go vote early!