Tom Hanks Teams with Michelle Obama To Push Democrats' Vote-by-Mail Plan


Tom Hanks joined former first lady Michelle Obama in a virtual event on Monday to push for mail-in voting in the upcoming November elections.

The virtual event was organized by When We All Vote, a self-identified bipartisan organization led by former Obama administration officials.

Ex-Obama administration officials on the group’s board include Valerie Jarrett, a former White House senior adviser, Tina Tchen, a former chief of staff to Michelle Obama, and Kyle Lierman, a former policy adviser in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Michelle Obama, the main speaker for the virtual “couch party,” said she wanted to make sure “every single American can cast their vote and make their voice heard in this upcoming election.”

She pointed to the Wisconsin primaries, which were held earlier this month despite the coronavirus pandemic. Pictures from one of the five polling places in Milwaukee showed mask-wearing residents waiting in long lines to vote, CNN reported.

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“I don’t think you need me to tell you that this work is more urgent than ever before,” Obama told viewers by phone.

“No one should have to choose between casting their ballot and keeping themselves and their families and their communities safe.”

Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, also appeared on camera to add their voice to the push for voting by mail.

Do you think a nationwide vote-by-mail system is a good idea?

“I want to vote no matter where I am,” Hanks said. “I have Diabetes, type 2, I still want to be able to vote.”

Wilson added that mail-in voting is “a great compromise” and “we as Americans and as voters should be able to request the options that work for us.”

Mail-in voting has been largely discussed as people look for safe ways to hold the 2020 presidential election.

Whereas absentee ballots can be requested by voters — in some states without an excuse — a ballot is automatically mailed to every eligible voter in a vote-by-mail system, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

That would make it easier for people who otherwise might not vote to take part in elections.

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Currently, there are five states that conduct all elections by mail: Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

President Donald Trump has been vocal about his opposition to statewide mail-in voting, saying that “Democrats are clamoring for it.”

“Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans,” he tweeted earlier this month.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith