In 2014, more than 21 percent of adults who were eligible to vote, didn’t, because they weren’t registered. It’s especially true of young adults 18-30, whose turnout is about 38 percent lower than voters over 60 in midterm election years. Wow. Yet one of the biggest reasons for citizens not voting might also be the simplest to fix: No one had ever asked them to.
Michelle Obama aims to change that with When We All Vote, a new nonpartisan non-profit that’s all about reaching out to unregistered voters and providing a few simple tools to get the registration job done.
The brand-new initiative is backed by some starry names, as you can tell by the brand new When We All Vote launch video featuring names like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tom Hanks, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw — not just as celebs, but because each of them are co-chairs of When We All Vote, and personally dedicated to the effort.
The campaign is focused on young people in particular. And hey, that makes of sense: with 7 million Americans turning 18 in time to vote in the November mid-term elections, that’s a lot of people newly able to get involved in our democratic process.
What I really like is their dedication to describing why all elections matter, right down to the local and county levels.
By encouraging US citizens to vote in every election we can and on every issue we can — even on issues that seem boring but are actually critical (like, say general obligation bonds) — When We All Vote hopes to demonstrate that our country isn’t truly a democracy unless and until every voice is heard.
And that means voting.
Want to get involved, or have kids who want to get involved? This is a great opportunity for those of us with active kids who aren’t yet old enough to cast a ballot themselves.
When We All Vote is recruiting volunteers across the country to spread the word and help unregistered voters make it official. To get involved, or if you have kids who want to get involved, check out WhenWeAllVote.org and the When We All Vote Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter to find out about upcoming events.
You’ll be seeing lots of our team helping out, too.