When We All Vote — a new, nonpartisan, not-for-profit — was created recognizing three critical facts about electoral participation in our country:
- Our registration rates are low: In 2014, more than 1/5th (21.4 percent) of all American citizens who were eligible to register to vote were not registered. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017)
- Our participation rates, especially in midterm elections, are also low: In 2014, just a little over a third (36.4 percent) of eligible citizens voted, the lowest participation rate in midterms since World War II. (PBS, November 2014)
- Eligible unregistered voters are not asked to register or lack information about the registration process: According to a Pew 2017 study, more than 60 percent of adult citizens have never been asked to register to vote and a majority of adults say they never had an opportunity to register. (The Pew Charitable Trusts, June 2017)
These numbers and the reasons behind them should alarm every American. No one organization can dramatically change those numbers alone. But every citizen can be part of the solution — and that’s why When We All Vote is calling on Americans to take responsibility and start a conversation by asking friends, family, and those in their own communities to register, and to show them how easy and important it is to vote in every race — from the school board, to the statehouse, to Congress, and the Presidency.
When We All Vote is a national organization that will — online and in-person — reach into all 50 states to help people register and to vote. It aims to recruit American citizens, institutions, companies, and organizations to work in their communities to increase voter registration and participation. When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw.
Launched today, When We All Vote will start a conversation on the responsibilities that we all have in shaping our country’s future through the ballot box. When We All Vote will also:
- Recruit, Train, & Mobilize Volunteers
Recruit volunteers to self-organize across the country to encourage people to register in their own communities.
Provide training to volunteers on how they can best help their families and friends register themselves to vote.
Share tools for volunteers to serve as ambassadors to encourage election participation.
Promote offline organizing opportunities in their communities.
- Make it Easy to Register Yourself to Vote
Ask all eligible Americans to register and participate in the initiative.
Through extensive social media and digital outreach, in partnership with Rock the Vote, provide people an easy-to-use website for people to register or request a registration form online.
Provide potential new registrants information that removes barriers to the registration and voting process.
- Spark Conversation & Promote Activity Around Increased Participation
Ask citizens, national and community organizations, and the business community to assist in helping people in their communities register and vote.
Ask volunteers to host voter registration events.
Organize weekly online and offline efforts that speak to various communities across America.
Organize a national week of action in September to promote registration and participation in communities and cities across America.
When We All Vote is also partnering with and calling on corporate, educational, and civic institutions to be a part of the solution in fundamentally increasing voter participation in the United States.
When We All Vote aims to create a culture where Americans want to and are expected to vote. And to turn research that shows that the main reason people don’t vote is because they think their vote doesn’t matter on its head. To learn more and sign up, go to WhenWeAllVote.org.
Statements from When We All Vote Co-Chairs:
Michelle Obama, Former First Lady of the United States
“Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power. And it’s not enough to just vote for president every four years. We all have to vote in every single election: for mayor, governor, school board, state legislature and Congress. The leaders we elect to these offices help determine just about every aspect of our lives and our democracy. So the future of our families, our communities and our country belongs to those of us who show up, cast our votes, and make our voices heard.”
Tom Hanks, Actor and Filmmaker
“Voting is a small act that proves that we are a democracy— a government of the people and by the people. It’s up to each and every one of us to make sure our government doesn’t just represent a small some—not just the most powerful—but all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union.”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Composer, Lyricist, Playwright, and Actor
“When each and every one of us votes, we make sure our government represents all of us. When we all vote, we are making strides toward a more perfect union. When we all vote, those who we elect pay attention.”
Janelle Monáe, Singer-songwriter, and Actress
“It’s gonna be our generation that corrects the mistakes of our past and creates a more inclusive future that works for us all. As voters, we are the ones that hold the power to make this dream a reality.”
Chris Paul, NBA player for the Houston Rockets
“Everyone’s vote matters and each vote represents a voice that needs to be heard. Voting gives us the power to create real change and change doesn’t happen if we remain silent. We need your voice to be heard by voting.”
Faith Hill, Singer and producer
“When we all vote we make a difference. A difference that can be felt all the way from Tennessee to the nation’s capital, and everywhere in between. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make your voice heard.”
Tim McGraw, Singer and actor
“We make a difference in every single step along the path of our democracy. That first step begins when you register to vote. Then when you cast your ballot, you are standing up for what’s important to you. It’s up to all of us.”
When We All Vote — a new national, nonpartisan not-for-profit — promises to bring together all willing citizens, organizations and institutions across America to spark a new conversation around the responsibilities we all share in shaping the promise of our democracy. Namely, the responsibility of registering and voting. When We All Vote’s Co-Chairs are some of America’s most trusted voices, including Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill, and Tim McGraw. Because When We All Vote, we change the world. For up-to-date information, visit WhenWeAllVote.org.