As civic engagement groups gear up for National Voter Registration Day, one group launches a week of action. With voter suppression efforts ramping up and as many as 500 proposed voter suppression bills introduced, the freedom to vote is under attack.
When We All Vote’s “Back to the Ballot Box” Week of Action will kick off Thursday with a star-studded line-up featuring remarks from former first lady Michelle Obama, Chris Paul, Regina Hall, and local organizers from several partner organizations.
Speaking with NewsOne, When We All Vote’s National Organizing Director Amanda Hollowell said the week of action creates greater opportunities for people to engage since National Voter Registration Day falls on a weekday.
“We just want to make sure that everyone across the country has an opportunity to participate this moment,” Hollowell explained. “The whole point is to make it a week-long action, to keep it at the front of the minds of folks, and then be able to really engage folks and drive and encourage them to host their own events.”
Having high voter registration numbers is great but cultivating those registration numbers into engaged citizens is the goal.
“The idea is to mobilize thousands of volunteers and partners to get into their communities and register and get folks ready to vote, so it doesn’t feel like a scramble when we get past primaries and closer to election days,” continued Hollowell. “We also want to engage folks in our advocacy [work] which is preparing them to understand and advocate to pass laws, like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, because all of this is connected.“
The #BacktotheBallotBox Week of Action will take place from September 25th to October 3rd. Events include:
- Thursday, September 23rd: #BacktotheBallotBox Kickoff Rally featuring Michelle Obama, Chris Paul, Regina Hall and other special guests
- Monday, September 27th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: The State of Women’s Rights conversation featuring Executive Director Stephanie L. Young and Brittany Packnett, hosted by PopSugar
- Wednesday, September 29th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: Voter Suppression Efforts in Texas, Georgia and Beyond featuring When We All Vote Executive Director Stephanie L. Young, and local activists in Texas and Georgia
- Thursday, September 30th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated featuring Angela Yee, hosted by When We All Vote, 70 Million Jobs, Commissary Club, and Restore Your Vote
When We All Vote is partnering with organizations like Move Texas, the New Georgia Project, and Restore Your Vote to engage impacted communities, including formerly incarcerated voters, through curriculum training and support for getting voter ID where required. When We All Vote will also launch a storytelling campaign focusing on stories about voter suppression and the fight for voting rights.
“We look at our work as like changing the culture around voting, increasing voter participation, closing the race and age voting gap, and, you know, now, fighting against rapid voter suppression across the country,” Hollowell said. “It’s like who knew we would be here in 2021 having these types of conversations.”