One of the strategies to promote voter turnout has been to encourage early voting. In August, during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, former president Barack Obama asked Americans to exercise their civic duty of voting and added with urgency, “Do it as early as you can!”
To achieve that goal, two initiatives, When We All Vote, led by former First Lady Michelle Obama; and More Than A Vote, headed by NBA championship MVP LeBron James, are actively campaigning for U.S. citizens to cast their ballots before election day, November 3.
Recently, they announced a new collaborative effort called When We All Vote Together Early Vote Weeks of Action. BET is one of several partners in the new initiative.
Starting on Oct. 18 and ending on Oct. 24, the organizations plan to equip voters with the information they need to vote intelligently about the issues they care about as they encourage people to take advantage of early voting in their states. Noting that it is never just that easy to get people out to the polls, they have arranged for Lyft to provide discounted transportation, will provide food to feed those that come out, and have personal protective equipment (PPE) on deck to help alleviate the fears and excuses attached to voting in this election.
The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law and the Election Protection Coalition are both involved to ensure voter protection support at early voting sites in various cities. The preventative measure has been set in place to push back against voter suppression.
The cities that these activations will take place in are as follows: Atlanta, GA (October 24), Charlotte, NC (TBD), Detroit, MI (October 24), Los Angeles, CA (October 24), Milwaukee, WI (October 31), Orlando, FL (October 24), Philadelphia, PA (TBD) and one virtual #CouchParty event (October 23).
Michelle Obama, who serves as one of the co-chairs for When We All Vote, has created the hashtag #VotingSquad Challenge in support of this initiative.
Obama notes, “Millions of Americans have already cast their ballots and with only 21 days until Election Day, making your plan to vote early is critical.”
“It’s now up to us to do everything in our power to get our friends and family ready to vote early and safely together.”
James, who is still celebrating the L.A. Lakers championship win on Sunday (Oct. 11), is making good with his promise to campaign for the Biden-Harris ticket and work to get as many people within his influence to the polls.
When We All Vote Together Early Vote Weeks of Action will also host events close to the early voting sites. The free food will be provided by World Central Kitchen and DoorDash, who have come on board as partners, while music pumps loudly as local DJs alternate sets. Adding to the celebration will be various influencers such as entertainers and athletes who will come through to stress the importance of voter turn-out.
Also partnering with the groups for the Weeks of Action are Comedy Central, Johnson & Johnson, MTV, National Urban League, Project Isaiah, Radio One, United Way Worldwide, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge and more.
Michelle Obama photo by NHAC NGUYEN/AFP via Getty Images; LeBron James photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images
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