Chicago Women's March to the Polls 2018
Marchers cross a bridge near Grant Park in Chicago on Saturday, January 20, 2018. People rallied together all over the world in support of rights concerning reproduction, immigration and the LGBTQ+ community.

Women’s March Chicago (WMC) will hold a March to the Polls on Oct. 13 as a follow-up to January’s demonstration and a celebration of first-time voters.

And when they say “March to the Polls,” they mean it: The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. with activities and a rally in Grant Park, followed by a march to Federal Plaza, and on to a Chicago Board of Elections early voting site. Early voting in Chicago runs from Sept. 27 to Nov. 5.

If You Go
General entrance: Columbus and Congress
Family Zone and Access for Persons with Disabilities: Monroe and Columbus
9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Voter Village
9 a.m.: First Time Voter Experience opens at Michigan and Jackson
10 a.m.: Rally on the Main Stage
12:30 p.m.: March kicks off
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Early Voting sites are open

March Route

  • March West to Michigan
  • North on Michigan to Jackson
  • West on Jackson to Clark
  • North on Clark Street to Federal Plaza

The march will finish at Federal Plaza. After that, marchers who are ready to vote can follow marshals to  Chicago and Cook County Early Voter sites. For more march details, visit the 2018 March to the Polls FAQs.

This time around, organizers are placing a special focus on new voters, who they expect to play a pivotal role in the midterm elections. In addition to the usual guest speakers and live performances, the October march and rally will feature a new First Time Voter Experience, where new voters will be treated as VIPs. In addition to having access to elected officials and community leaders, they’ll be asked to lead the march.

The new Voter Village is also planned to run along Columbus Drive with booths for businesses, political candidates and activist organizations, including League of Women Voters of Illinois, Moms Demand Action and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

“The stakes are sky-high this November,” said WMC Board President Jessica Scheller at a press conference outside Grant Park. “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.”

“Women are organizing themselves and others to get to the polls, and October 13 is an activation point for that in Chicago,” said Jaquie Algee, WMC Board member and March On Board President, in a statement. “WMC plans for this event to be particularly special for those who are voting for the very first time, at a time when every vote is critical.”
WMC also hosted a free event, Community Matters – a celebration of YOU!, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, 360 N. State St.
The Chicago Women’s March drew more than 250,000 participants in January 2017 and an estimated 300,000 in January 2018.

Rebellious Election Resources
Check your voter registration status.
View a list of Chicago-area women running for office.
Research how you can help women candidates.

Photo from the January 2018 Women’s March by Katelyn Metzger.

Karen Hawkins is the Founder and Rebelle in Chief of Rebellious Magazine. She is a recovering mainstream media reporter and editor who wants to thank her former boss for naming the online magazine she's...