When We All Vote Calls on Senate to Pass For the People Act
When We All Vote to host its First Call to Action in Support of “For People Act” TONIGHT with Common, Lynn Whitfield and the Brennan Center for Justice to discuss how Americans can take action in support of this critical legislation.
(Washington, D.C.): Today, When We All Vote called on the Senate to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act. The For the People Act would ensure America’s democracy works for everyone, especially those who have been historically left out. Black people and people of color, people with disabilities and young people have been on the receiving end of targeted and organized voter suppression, and the For the People Act is the first step in bringing transformative change into the electoral process.
On Thursday, March 4 at 8 p.m. EST, When We All Vote will host the For the People Act Action Call, a briefing with volunteers, supporters and partners to discuss H.R. 1 and how people can take action today. Grammy and Academy Award-winning rapper, activist and actor Common, Emmy Award-winning actress Lynn Whitfield, representatives from the Brennan Center for Justice and My School Votes Ambassador Michelle Mairena will join. The call comes as Republican lawmakers in at least 33 states push election bills designed to restrict voting. People can also get involved by using When We All Vote’s new tool to call their Senators and urge them to support this important legislation.
“From the very beginning, When We All Vote has been focused on making it easier for everyone — especially young people and people of color — to vote in every election at every level,” said Michelle Obama, Co-Chair of When We All Vote. “I’m so proud that we saw a record turnout in the 2020 election. I’m proud of all those who voted and volunteered to make sure that, even in the middle of a pandemic, Americans everywhere could exercise their unalienable right to vote.
“But while we celebrate these historic gains, unfortunately too many leaders are working to reverse that progress and make it harder for people with every right to vote to cast a ballot. Our democracy remains under attack by the partisan and unpatriotic actions of those at the state level who are doing everything they can to curtail access to the ballot box.
“Make no mistake — the idea that we cannot both hold secure elections and ensure that every eligible voter can make their voices heard is a false choice. It’s based on lies and it flies in the face of our history. It is sad. It is infuriating. And it is a genuine threat to our future that must be taken seriously.
“That’s why I am thrilled to see the House of Representatives pass the For the People Act. This bill will make it easier for ordinary Americans to register and cast a ballot. It will ramp up election security and end partisan gerrymandering. And it will do much, much more to make sure that our system of government remains in the hands of the many, and not the few.
“I urge the Senate to follow suit and pass this bill as soon as possible—because there is nothing more important to the health and future of our democracy than safeguarding the right to vote.”
If enacted into law, the For the People Act would:
- Modernize, protect and expand access to the ballot, by breaking down barriers to exercising the right to vote through reforms including automatic voter registration and ending racially discriminatory voter purges, coupled with a commitment to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act;
- Make representation in government more fair by ending partisan gerrymandering; and
- Empower the voices of ordinary Americans in politics, now overwhelmingly dominated by a wealthy few, by establishing a small donor matching system for federal elections and other critical campaign finance reforms.
The 2020 presidential election was historic for turnout among young, Black and Brown voters who played a critical role in the outcome in elections across the country. These voters showed up despite unprecedented odds, from the Covid-19 pandemic to voter suppression tactics, including the widespread disinformation campaign championed by former President Trump. Following this historic turnout, legislation designed to restrict voting has already been introduced in 33 states.
Over the last four years, trust in the electoral process and systems has further eroded. When We All Vote fought to expand and protect voter access through its three voting principles in 2020, which included increased access to mail-in and early voting, as well as online voter registration. The For the People Act would provide immediate action to protect every American’s right to make their voices heard. When We All Vote will also work to increase civic engagement and education this year as more young people seek to make their voices heard in the political process.
ABOUT When We All Vote:
When We All Vote is a leading national, nonpartisan nonprofit on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to advance civic education and awareness by empowering all eligible voters to take action not just through voting, but by advocating for their rights.
In 2020, When We All Vote ran a robust digital organizing campaign through content, messaging, and events reaching more than 100 million people in an effort to educate them about the voting process, and get them registered and ready to vote. The organization led in voter education, registration, and volunteer engagement and as a result, 512,000 people started or completed the voter registration process, and nearly 500 media, corporate, and nonprofit partners joined its efforts.
Michelle Obama launched When We All Vote in 2018 and is joined in this effort by fellow Co-Chairs Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Megan Rapinoe, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Rita Wilson.