Statement from When We All Vote Executive Director on Texas Governor Signing Voter Suppression Bill


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Contact: [email protected] 

SB1 would put up barriers to voting that disproportionately impact voters of color and voters with disabilities

(Washington, D.C.): Today, Stephanie L. Young, Executive Director of When We All Vote, a leading voting organization committed to increasing participation in every election, released a statement following Texas Governor Abbott signing SB1, a voter suppression bill that would disproportionately impact Black and Brown voters and voters with disabilities.

It’s no coincidence that after Texas saw its highest voter turnout in 30 years, lawmakers in the state passed and signed a dangerous voter suppression bill to silence the voices of voters and attack their freedom to vote. With some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country, Texas’ new law bans key reforms that make voting safer and more accessible, including drive-through voting, which 127,000 voters used to safely cast their ballot in Harris County in 2020, and 24 hour voting, both of which were popular options among voters of color. It also limits access to mail-in ballots, prohibits outdoor voting — even during national emergencies, threatens people with a felony conviction for providing needed assistance to voters with disabilities and limits the ability of election judges to remove partisan poll watchers who intimidate voters and disrupt our elections,” said Young.

We are still in the midst of a global pandemic, and yet elected officials in Texas want to limit voters’ options to safely cast their ballots. Make no mistake, we are facing a coordinated national attack on our voting rights and our democracy is at stake. State lawmakers have introduced more than 400 voter suppression bills to make it harder to get registered and cast our ballots. We are not going to let that happen, and we are so thankful to the grassroots organizers in Texas who fought every day to turn this moment into a movement. The fight continues, and When We All Vote will continue to mobilize our community to fight for every American’s right to vote. We must call on Congress to protect our fundamental right to vote and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the For the People Act now.


Last month, When We All Vote Co-Chair Michelle Obama teamed up with Stacey Abrams to call on Americans to join the fight for voting rights. When We All Vote has also partnered with Vote.org, the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition (DFAD) and more than 90 of the country’s leading corporations in calling on the Senate to pass the For the People Act. Tomorrow, When We All Vote’s My School Votes program will launch Civics 101, an effort to to engage high school students in civic education and voter registration. Individuals can learn more and get involved in When We All Vote’s advocacy efforts at whenweallvote.org/advocacy.

ABOUT When We All Vote: 

When We All Vote is a leading national, nonpartisan initiative is on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap. Created by Michelle Obama, When We All Vote brings together individuals, institutions, brands, and organizations to register new voters across the country and advance civic education for the entire family and voters of every age to build an informed and engaged electorate for today and generations to come. We empower our supporters and volunteers to take action through voting, advocating for their rights, and holding their elected officials accountable. 

In 2020, When We All Vote ran a robust, multifaceted campaign and reached more than 100 million people to educate them about the voting process and get them registered and ready to vote. The initiative also led in voter education, registration, and volunteer engagement and as a result, 512,000 people started or completed the voter registration process, and nearly 500 media, corporate, and nonprofit partners joined its efforts.

Michelle Obama launched When We All Vote in 2018 and is joined 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.

When We All Vote is a key initiative within Civic Nation, a 501(c)(3) organization, and works with Civic Nation Action, a 501(c)(4). These organizations are homes for changemakers who inspire, educate, and activate people around the issues that will define this generation. 

ABOUT Civic Nation:

Civic Nation is a nonpartisan, nonprofit home for changemakers who inspire, educate, and activate people around the issues that will define this generation. Civic Nation empowers and educates individuals, companies, institutions and organizations to drive culture, systems and policy change, working towards a more inclusive and equitable America. Six initiatives are a part of the Civic Nation family: When We All Vote, United State of Women, ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge, End Rape On Campus, It’s On Us and Made to Save.