Michelle Obama’s Celebrity Activist Group Throws Weight Behind Democrats’ Vote-by-Mail Legislation

Former U.S. fist lady Michelle Obama speaks during an event for Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019. Obama and actress Julia Roberts attend inaugural Gathering of Rising Leaders in the Asia Pacific organized by the Obama Foundation. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Vincent Thian/AP Photo

Former first lady Michelle Obama and her celebrity-backed voting “rights” group are announcing on Monday support for a Democrat-sponsored bill to increase vote-by-mail options in U.S. elections.

“Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote is changing the culture around voting using a data-driven and multifaceted approach to increase participation in elections,” the organization’s website states.

“There is 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 said in a statement to Axios.

Axios reported on the development, saying that “it comes as Democrats await the Obamas’ return to the political stage to help Joe Biden”:

The legislation was introduced by Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Suzan DelBene (D-WA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD) in the House and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the Senate.

The Obamas were staying mostly on the sidelines of the 2020 election through the Democratic primary season, but they spoke out against the Wisconsin Supreme Court decision preventing the state’s voting deadline from being extended.

“We all saw those lines” of Wisconsin voters putting their health at risk to vote, said adviser and family friend Valerie Jarrett, who is board chair of When We All Vote, Axios reported. “It was just deeply, profoundly concerning.”

“Our goal is to just try to make sure we maximize the number of citizens who can participate in that most fundamental and important responsibility,” Jarrett said.

As part of the group’s effort to stay active during the coronavirus outbreak, Obama hosted an online voter registration “couch party” in March with DJ D-Nice, according to Axios, and Jarrett said another online event is planned for April 20.

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