A movement to encourage women to have their voices heard at the polls drew close to 150 supporters to the Town Green Saturday, and then on to cast a ballot.

Rebecca Moye, one of the organizers of the Women’s March to the Polls, said speakers were chosen for the pre-march rally on the Town Green to address topics that influence how women vote.

“We all have things that really matter to us when we go to the voting booth,” Moye said.

“This election is so important,” said Rome High student Mallory Rogers. “It will have far lasting impacts on all of us.”

Rogers spoke of the dangers of climate change and said that women need to elect candidates who care about safeguarding the planet. She encouraged women to vote to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

Sulima-Millan Salinas of Romanos Unidos told the crowd spread across the Town Green that their neighbors who have immigrated to this country are not safe. She called for women to vote for leaders who are willing to be held accountable for their actions.

“This nation was founded by immigrants,” Salinas said. “Vote for those who will give a voice to the voiceless.”

Lynn Rousseau, director of Hospitality House for abused and battered women, said that a march was long overdue in Rome.

“I could not be more proud of this community than I am right now,” Rousseau said. “We have moved mountains but we are nowhere near finished.”

Candice Spivey, who has organized gatherings at City Hall to encourage voting and to protest police violence, also encouraged women to make a difference at the polls.

“Mother Earth is groaning,” Spivey said. “As mothers and women, we must take a stand and nurture our nation, our world, back to health through unity.”

Following the speeches, the crowd marched to the Floyd County Administration Building, laying aside banners for specific candidates when they got within 150 feet of the polling area.

Floyd County Elections Supervisor Robert Brady said Monday that 5,773 residents had showed up at the polls during the first week of early voting, through the end of the day Sunday.

“It’s a zoo around here,” Brady said, indicating that the activity surrounding the election has been brisk.

Brady said more than 15,000 mail ballots had been sent out but that he was not aware at the moment how many had actually been returned.

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