VOTE 20

Michelle Obama Demands Safer Voting Options, Pushes for Vote-By-Mail

“No American should have to choose between making their voice heard and staying safe.”

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Michelle Obama announced her support Monday for expanded voter access via voting by mail, early in-person voting, and online voter registration as the spread of coronavirus forces delays in primaries and threatens public health.

“No American should have to choose between making their voice heard and staying safe,” the former First Lady said in an Instagram post. “Expanding access to #VoteByMail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment—they’re also long overdue. There’s nothing partisan about striving to live up to the promise of our country; making the democracy we all cherish more accessible -- and protecting our neighbors, friends, and loved ones as they participate in this cornerstone of American life.”

Obama encouraged Americans to learn more about expanding voting options through When We All Vote, a group she started in 2018 with the help of other acclaimed activists like Tom Hanks, Janelle Monáe and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The group announced its aim to push lawmakers to give more options to voters through online voting registration, early in-person voting and expanded vote-by-mail options. These would allow voters safer, easier ways to cast their vote amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has made in-person voting dangerous and nearly impossible.

As part of their strategy, the group recently announced its support for the Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, which suggests several reforms to ensure elections can continue amid natural disasters and pandemics. The federal legislation, which would go into effect “for the 2020 general election and thereafter,” would offer expanded funding and resources for citizens to vote absentee or by mail.

State party leaders across the country are encouraging voters to cast their ballots by mail amid the pandemic. Meanwhile, President Trump (who voted absentee in Florida’s primary last month) has recently called voting by mail “corrupt” and “RIPE for FRAUD.