by Ariele Vaccaro
This past Wednesday, Congresswoman Gwen Moore joined the U.S. Representative of Florida’s 23rd district and Democratic National Committee (DNC) chief, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, at the Milwaukee Athletic Club to make a call to action.
With the gubernatorial election only two months away, both women expressed concerns regarding a lack of women getting to the polls and casting their ballots.
They found that because some women do not exercise their vote, Democratic candidates could suffer.
However, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has created an initiative program that aims to make voting easier for women, as well as other minorities. It’s called the Voter Expansion Project, and it will help eligible voters to cast their ballots with ease this November 4.
On the program’s website, www.iwillvote.com, voters of all kinds can find out where to vote, what they will need to bring, and any other pertinent information.
Lillian Cheesman is the State Director of the Voter Expansion Project in Wisconsin. She cited several points at which Republican leaders have made it more difficult for women to cast their votes.
“Voter ID makes it tougher for women to vote,” said Cheesman, noting that often a woman’s maiden name is on one form of ID, while other records show that the woman’s last name is her married name, impeding her ability to verify their identities.
Cheesman also noted that Republicans have cut early voting hours and made residency requirements more stringent.
According to Moore, however, women have more of a reason to take the steps needed to vote, and to vote for Democratic candidate, Mary Burke.
“They have the most at stake in this election,” she said, noting that Walker turned away a sum of federal Medicaid funds, with which women in the healthcare field may have been able to secure jobs.
She also cited the Walker’s controversial interpretation of the Supreme Court’s birth control coverage ruling.
“These are issues that women care about,” said Moore.
Wasserman Schultz also seemed eager too see that iwillvote.com could fulfill it’s goal of encouraging women to vote, hopefully for Burke, in light of a term she finds has been lead by a governor “who has no regard for [women’s] quality of life.”
“Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand,” said Wasserman Schultz.
She cited a harrowing statistic that outlined what she finds to be a historically unsolved problem for women.
“They say that the biggest obstacle is equal pay,” she said, noting that women make only 78 cents to every dollar a man makes.
Over the course of a woman’s professional life, said Wasserman Schultz, the average woman, who makes 77 cents to a man’s dollar, loses 430 thousand dollars.
“That’s a mortgage,” Wasserman Schultz said.
She emphasized the importance of women as voters, members of the workforce, and family members.
“What matters for the women in America, for the women in our lives, is so personal.”
Among others attending the roundtable discussion was Democratic Party Chairman Michael Tate, Wisconsin State Representative Christine Sinicki, and Milwaukee community organizer and DNC delegate Martha Love.