Statement from When We All Vote Executive Director Stephanie L. Young on Senate Vote Blocking For The People Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Contact: Ashlynn Profit — [email protected]

(Washington, D.C.): Today, Stephanie L. Young, Executive Director of When We All Vote, released a statement following a vote in the Senate where S.1, the For The People Act, failed to advance. 

“Despite 83 percent of Americans supporting the For the People Act, today Senate Republicans turned a blind eye to the will of the American people, voting to maintain their political power instead of protecting voters. We are in a fight to save and protect our democracy and put the power in the hands of the people. Voting rights — especially for Black, Brown, young and working class voters, and voters with disabilities — are under unprecedented attack all across this country. Even though we are disappointed, we are not discouraged. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work,” said Stephanie L. Young, Executive Director of When We All Vote. 

“Since we launched in 2018, When We All Vote has been committed to expanding access to the ballot box. Just as we turned out in record numbers to vote in the midst of a pandemic, we will come together to fight and protect our right to vote. And if that means eliminating or instituting meaningful reform to the filibuster—a relic of Jim Crow —the Senate should and must act. We cannot continue to allow the will of the majority of Americans to be overshadowed by the minority or an oppositional few fixated on maintaining power.” 

On Monday, When We All Vote partnered with Vote.org, the Declaration for American Democracy Coalition (DFAD) and more than 80 of the country’s leading corporations in calling on the Senate to pass the For the People Act. The business leaders, representing Patagonia, ICM, ClassPass, Tumblr, Ben & Jerry’s and more, penned a letter to the Senate urging them to pass this landmark legislation, and called on more businesses to join the fight for fair and accessible elections. 

If passed, the For the People Act would: Expand automatic voter registration, adding as many as 50 million people to voter rolls; Expand same-day and online voter registration for federal elections, which are especially important for young people and first-time voters; Allow for pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds so that when they get their driver’s license, they are also registered and ready to vote when they turn 18; Require two weeks of early voting for federal elections, including on the weekends and after work, and increased access to vote-by-mail; Make Election Day a national holiday; Restore the right to vote for people with felony convictions, which disproportionately impacts Black and Brown communities; Strengthen federal criminal penalties for those who misinform and intimidate people at the polls; Overhaul the campaign finance system to give ordinary Americans a greater voice in the political process and afford a more diverse array of people the opportunity to run; and Ban partisan gerrymandering and discriminatory voter purges

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. 

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