As civic engagement groups gear up for National Voter Registration Day, one group launches a week of action. With voter suppression efforts ramping up and as many as 500 proposed voter suppression bills introduced, the freedom to vote is under attack.
When We All Vote’s “Back to the Ballot Box” Week of Action will kick off Thursday with a star-studded line-up featuring remarks from former first lady Michelle Obama, Chris Paul, Regina Hall, and local organizers from several partner organizations.
Speaking with NewsOne, When We All Vote’s National Organizing Director Amanda Hollowell said the week of action creates greater opportunities for people to engage since National Voter Registration Day falls on a weekday.
“We just want to make sure that everyone across the country has an opportunity to participate this moment,” Hollowell explained. “The whole point is to make it a week-long action, to keep it at the front of the minds of folks, and then be able to really engage folks and drive and encourage them to host their own events.”
Having high voter registration numbers is great but cultivating those registration numbers into engaged citizens is the goal.
“The idea is to mobilize thousands of volunteers and partners to get into their communities and register and get folks ready to vote, so it doesn’t feel like a scramble when we get past primaries and closer to election days,” continued Hollowell. “We also want to engage folks in our advocacy [work] which is preparing them to understand and advocate to pass laws, like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act, because all of this is connected.“
The #BacktotheBallotBox Week of Action will take place from September 25th to October 3rd. Events include:
- Thursday, September 23rd: #BacktotheBallotBox Kickoff Rally featuring Michelle Obama, Chris Paul, Regina Hall and other special guests
- Monday, September 27th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: The State of Women’s Rights conversation featuring Executive Director Stephanie L. Young and Brittany Packnett, hosted by PopSugar
- Wednesday, September 29th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: Voter Suppression Efforts in Texas, Georgia and Beyond featuring When We All Vote Executive Director Stephanie L. Young, and local activists in Texas and Georgia
- Thursday, September 30th: #BacktotheBallotBox Instagram Live Series: Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated featuring Angela Yee, hosted by When We All Vote, 70 Million Jobs, Commissary Club, and Restore Your Vote
When We All Vote is partnering with organizations like Move Texas, the New Georgia Project, and Restore Your Vote to engage impacted communities, including formerly incarcerated voters, through curriculum training and support for getting voter ID where required. When We All Vote will also launch a storytelling campaign focusing on stories about voter suppression and the fight for voting rights.
“We look at our work as like changing the culture around voting, increasing voter participation, closing the race and age voting gap, and, you know, now, fighting against rapid voter suppression across the country,” Hollowell said. “It’s like who knew we would be here in 2021 having these types of conversations.”
'This Is A Crisis': Folks Share Georgia Voting Catastrophes Through Videos And Photos
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“This is ridiculous,” says Anita Heard, a 80-year-old who was first in line to vote at 6 this morning and is still waiting to cast her ballot. “Of course,” she says when I ask her if she plans to stay. “I worked for 40 years — where else am I going?” #gapol pic.twitter.com/4Cd8nwagG9— Greg Bluestein (@bluestein) June 9, 2020
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Once again my neighbors in #SWATL are experiencing #VoterSuppression. Polls were supposed to open an hour ago and we are not being admitted. Apparently we don’t have the paper needed for these new voting machines. #votingday #atlanta pic.twitter.com/R0gPxqMaSM— Alyssa Thys (@alyssa_thys) June 9, 2020
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Huge downpour just now. And at this Fulton Co. polling location - it seems nobody left the line.— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) June 9, 2020
Many have been waiting for 2+hours. When I asked how they’re feeling, one woman told me simply: “determined.” #GAPrimary pic.twitter.com/AOpvvuE97h
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People are waiting more than three hours to cast ballots in Atlanta. Look at this line 😳 pic.twitter.com/3IbVO6WiGO— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 9, 2020
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The is the line to vote at just ONE precinct in Atlanta right now.— Read Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire (@JoshuaPotash) June 9, 2020
We need to push back now against having yet another election stolen.pic.twitter.com/NCfXxC7S43
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Massive lines, voting machine problems at precincts across metro Atlanta on this primary day. Some voters here at Park Tavern precinct in Altanta have been waiting three hours. pic.twitter.com/ngXvUnKbA1— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) June 9, 2020
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All 12 machines in almost all white Milton are working perfectly. There we're even two voting machine techs there to make sure. No lines, and almost no voters at— audiomagnate🔊 (@audiomagnate) June 9, 2020
Milton Branch Library
855 Mayfield Road
Milton, GA 30009#VoterSuppression#GeorgiaVoterSuppression pic.twitter.com/k3de1lOVV8
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I’m sorry but I need #GAVoterSuppression to go viral. Once again, my location Cross Keys High School, is down. People have been waiting since 7am. Machines down and no provisional ballots on site. #BLMprotest #BLM #BlackLivesMatter #VoterSuppression pic.twitter.com/DB9fLd3YbQ— De Popuweh Pin🇧🇧 (@TheHonorRebel) June 9, 2020