Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

A woman wears a jacket that reads 'November Is Coming' as protestors rally against in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill, September 24, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

With #MarchToThePolls in Chicago, Women's March Aims to Channel 'Outrage and Energy' to Defeat Trump Agenda on Election Day

"It's a culmination of the last two marches with one primary goal: making sure every single voice is heard at the ballot box."

Julia Conley

Energized by the outrage that resulted from U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and confirmation in recent weeks, the Women's March Chicago will hold a rally and literal "march to the polls" on Saturday, with marchers walking to early voting sites to cast their ballots in the midterm elections.

The 2018 March to the Polls will follow Chicago's 300,000-strong Women's March on January 20, 2018, offering resources and information to first-time voters as well as musical guests and speakers including Heather Booth, founder of the pre-Roe v. Wade underground abortion collective Jane. 

Offering a model to other communities nationwide, organizers say the event aims to mobilize voters in Chicago and all over the country to go to the polls in record numbers on November 6—and before if early voting is available to them—to fight the Republican Party's anti-woman, anti-immigration, and anti-healthcare agenda.

"The stakes are sky-high this November," Women's March Chicago board president Jessica Scheller said in a statement announcing the event last month. "We need every single woman—from first time voters to great-grandmothers—along with every single ally to take to the streets and converge on the polls. We have been practicing for months. Now it's time to channel our outrage and energy and truly make our voices heard through our votes in greater numbers than ever before."

Before rallying in Chicago's Grant Park, newly registered voters will be invited to "mingle with elected officials, community leaders and others" at a "First Time Voter Experience" area hosted by the grassroots group Chicago Votes.

"The purpose is to start the midterm elections in Illinois the best way we possibly can, by celebrating first-time voters and making sure they're all eligible to get registered and cast a ballot in the upcoming election cycle," Rudy Garrett, a Women’s March Chicago board member and the co-deputy director of Chicago Votes, told WTTW on Thursday.

"The stakes are sky-high this November. We need every single woman—from first time voters to great-grandmothers—along with every single ally to take to the streets and converge on the polls." —Jessica Scheller, Women's March Chicago

Attendees will later proceed to early voting sites in downtown Chicago.

The March to the Polls comes amid reports that, with many galvanized by the Women's March in 2017, women are running for office in record numbers this year. A record-setting 256 women won primary races this year, qualifying for general elections next month. The vast majority are Democrats, and the number of women of color who are running this year is up 75 percent from just six years ago.  

The event also comes at the end of a year in which issues affecting women were at the forefront of political news—from states' efforts to roll back reproductive rights to the #MeToo movement and the Republican Party's support for multiple powerful men who were credibly accused of sexual assault and abuse, including Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, Kavanaugh, and President Donald Trump.

"This last year we saw an undeniable shift in how we tolerate sexual harassment and how we talk about it," Anna Eskamani, a Democrat running for a seat in Florida's State House, told Rewire News this summer. "These lived experiences fueled my decision to run for office and serve as my own moral compass. The 2016 election inspired me to run for office, but it was the Women's March in 2017 that further solidified my aspirations to do this work, and it was the #MeToo movement that reminded me that it's so important that we not only run but that we win."

With Chicago's March to the Polls, the Women's March aims to drive more voters to the polls across the country.

"You see this movement growing nationwide, and it's only getting bigger," Garrett told WTTW. "It's a culmination of the last two marches with one primary goal: making sure every single voice is heard at the ballot box."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Bloodbath': At Least 6 Dead, Dozens Wounded in Mass Shooting at Illinois July 4th Parade

"What freedom do we have if we fear being gunned down at a parade?" asked one progressive politician horrified by the reported carnage.

Brett Wilkins ·


On This July 4th, Abortion Rights Movement Says 'We're Not in the Mood for Fireworks'

"If we don’t have the ability to make decisions about if, when, and how to grow our families—we don't have freedom."

Brett Wilkins ·


Deadly Glacier Collapse in Italy 'Linked Directly to Climate Change'

At least seven people were killed when a glacier slid down a mountainside near a popular climbing route in the Alps on Sunday.

Julia Conley ·


'Organized Whitewash': US Claims Israeli Military's Murder of Journalist Not Intentional

"The odds that those responsible for the killing of Shireen Abu Akleh will be held to account are all but nonexistent," said the human rights group B'Tselem in response to findings of U.S. State Department.

Brett Wilkins ·


Hundreds March in Akron Enraged by Police Killing of Jayland Walker

"The police can do whatever they want," said one local resident through tears. "They can take our children's lives and think it's okay."

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo