Washington, DC: Yesterday, at the start of the NBA season and with less than 100 days until the General Election, Michelle Obama’s nonpartisan voting initiative, When We All Vote, NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal and Boston Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum launched the #MyStartingFive Challenge on social media to encourage more Americans to get registered and ready to vote leading up to November. Shaquille O’Neal and Jayson Tatum discussed the new challenge and the importance of getting registered and ready to vote last night on TNT during coverage of the Lakers vs. Clippers game.
Through the challenge, participants nominate five people to register and pledge to vote using #MyStartingFive across social media platforms. Starting with Shaquille O’Neal and Jayson Tatum, and expanding to millions of people engaged on social media, this challenge will help meet When We All Vote’s goal of increasing participation in every election.
“One in five eligible voters are not registered to vote. It’s become clear to me how paper thin margins of victory in any election can leave lasting impacts on everything around us. I want everyone to know that regardless of who you are, regardless of where you are in the country, regardless of your political ideology, your voice, your opinions, and your vote, matter. So, to ensure everyone’s voice can be heard, we have launched the #MyStartingFive challenge. We are asking everyone to join us by sharing your #MyStartingFive posts, getting registered, and pledging to vote in November,” said Shaquille O’Neal.
Shaquille O’Neal and Jayson Tatum launched the challenge online today amidst the NBA season restart. Jayson Tatum nominated A’ja Wilson, Michael B. Jordan, Mike Krzyzewski, Gatorade and the Boston Celtics. Shaquille O’Neal nominated Whoopi Goldberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Tracee Ellis Ross, Snoop Dogg and Kerry Washington.
“When we all vote, we have a direct impact on what happens in our communities – from education for our kids to reforming the criminal justice system. We need everyone to make their voices heard in every election, both the national and local elections, and that means using our platforms to spread the word about getting registered to vote. I encourage everyone to join us in challenging their friends, family members, and teammates to register to vote but to also commit to casting their ballots starting in their local elections and in November,” said Jayson Tatum.
When We All Vote is on a mission to increase participation in every election. The #MyStartingFive challenge is a part of that effort and participants can get registered and ready to vote at whenweallvote.org/mystartingfive.
ABOUT When We All Vote:
When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan nonprofit that brings together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations to increase participation in every election. Launched by Michelle Obama, the organization is committed to closing the race and age voting gap and empowering all eligible voters to cast their ballot by harnessing grassroots energy, establishing strategic partnerships, and implementing digital organizing strategies, with the ultimate goal of changing the culture around voting.
Michelle Obama 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.
In the leadup to the 2018 Midterm Elections, When We All Vote organized over 2,500 local voter registration events across the country, engaged 200 million Americans online about the significance of voting, and texted nearly four million voters the resources to register and get out to vote.
In 2020, When We All Vote is helping to lead in voter education, registration and volunteer engagement. In response to COVID-19, When We All Vote is leading the fight for fair and safe elections by supporting the expansion of access to vote-by-mail, early in-person voting and online voter registration so every American can make their voices heard on Election Day.