The rapper known as 2 Chainz is teaming up with Michelle Obama and her When We All Vote initiative to educate former and current prison inmates about their voting rights.
In a new video, 2 Chainz encourages prison inmates to register to vote if they can. “Basically, it just depends on what state you live in. Each state has different laws,” he said. “If you live in Maine, Vermont, or D.C., you actually never lose your rights to vote, even while being incarcerated.”
He said that in about 20 states, former inmates can vote once they have paid fines and fulfilled the terms of their probation. “I really feel like this election matters more than any other election in our lifetime,” he said.
“Remember, your voice does matter. We need it. We need everybody’s voice at this particular moment. So I feel like, collectively, if we come together during this time, we can get what we need to get done. I’m not here to try to sway you to vote for anybody particularly.”
Voting rights for current and former inmates has emerged as a contentious issue ahead of November 3. Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has upset many in her party with her plan to restore voting rights to about 60,000 convicted felons in time for the election. Gov. Reynolds signed the executive order into law on August 3.
Michelle Obama’s When We all Vote has been aggressively moving to boost voter registration among young people in time for the election. The group has also been pushing vote by mail as an alternative during the coronavirus pandemic.