A number of professional athletes, entertainers and musicians are calling on Congress to pass the For the People Act, which would expand voter registration and online voter registration, mandate two weeks of early voting for federal elections, make Election Day a national holiday and restore the voting rights of convicted felons.
The following athletes joined Michelle Obama and When We All Vote, a nonprofit organization aiming to increase voter participation, in penning a letter in support of the For the People Act:
Other celebrities who signed the letter include Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish, DJ Khaled, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio, LL Cool J and Whoopi Goldberg, among others, in writing:
"Already this year, in state houses across the country, more than 250 bills spread across 43 states have been introduced to further weaken our democracy and make it more difficult for Americans to vote. These bills seek to make it harder to register to vote and cast a ballot by limiting early and mail-in voting and setting up more barriers that particularly impact Black, Brown, and young people. Some of these undemocratic measures have already become law, with others surely to follow.
"What's happening is this: After more Americans than ever voted in the last presidential election, some state leaders believe that silencing them is the only way to maintain their grip on power. They're hoping to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. And if we as Americans stand idly by—if we wait for others to act or we refuse to do so with anything other than clear purpose and full-hearted patriotism—they will succeed."
The bill is currently in the Senate after being passed by the House of Representatives. With the letter, the When We All Vote website included a link for people to contact their Senators.
The bill passed by a 220-210 margin in the House, sticking to party lines. It faces a steep challenge in a Senate comprised of 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats and two Independents, who caucus with the Democratic party.