Established in 2018 by former First Lady Michelle Obama, When We All Vote (WWAV) is a self-described “national, nonpartisan initiative on a mission to change the culture around voting and to increase participation in each and every election by helping to close the race and age gap” — i.e., to increase voter turnout among nonwhite minorities and young people, demographics that tend to vote heavily Democrat. Though professing to be a “nonpartisan” 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity, WWAV is in fact a politically partisan ally of the Democratic Party. When the group was formed just in time to mobilize voters ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, its leadership was heavily stocked with former Obama Administration officials:
When Michelle Obama created WWAV in 2018, the organization was co-chaired by Michelle Obama and various liberal celebrities including: Tom Hanks, Megan Rapinoe, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Janelle Monae, Selena Gomez, Faith Hill, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, and Tracee Ellis Ross. To view a list of present-day WWAV co-chairs, click here.
WWAV is funded by a liberal nonprofit called the New Venture Fund, a subsidiary of the Arabella Advisors consulting firm. Between 2006 and early 2020, Arabella raised roughly $2.4 billion for various leftwing, pro-Democrat activist organizations. During the midterm election year of 2018 alone, it discreetly generated approximately one-fourth of that total, or $607 million (with $4.2 million going to WWAV).
WWAV advances the Democrat-crafted narrative claiming that “democracy” and the “voting rights” of nonwhite minorities are under attack in the United States as a result of Republican efforts to implement stricter standards for voter ID and election integrity: “After record-breaking voter turnout in 2020, Republican lawmakers in at least 47 states are pushing voting suppression bills that put up barriers to voting that will disproportionately impact Black, Brown, and young voters. For democracy to work for all Americans, it must include all of us.”
WWAV claims to be “guided” by such “voting principles” as the following, which are taken verbatim from WWAV’s website:
WWAV’s aforementioned prescriptions for election reform generally contradict the recommendations of the landmark 2005 report by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, known informally as the Carter-Baker Commission, which advised all U.S. states that, in order to guarantee free and fair elections, they should: (a) increase voter ID requirements; (b) minimize the use of mail-in ballots, which “remain the largest source of potential voter fraud”; (c) disallow ballot harvesting by third parties; and (d) purge voter rolls of all ineligible or fraudulent names.
WWAV is also a committed advocate for attempted Democrat power grabs like the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (named after the late Democratic Congressman John Lewis), and the granting of statehood to Washington, D.C. In early 2022, WWAV used its website to elaborate on each of these items as follows:
In October 2018 — just weeks before that year’s midterm elections — the liberal lifestyle magazine Elle featured a fake clickbait link on Twitter, intended to promote WWAV and its agendas. The official Elle Twitter account displayed a false headline that read, “Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting up” — a link that, when clicked upon, led users directly to a WWAV web page that read: “So far in the primaries, women have beat long-time incumbents and created historic races, all while redefining what it looks like to be a woman in politics…. And now you have the opportunity to vote for them, or whomever you choose, in the midterm elections. No matter your party or your state, it’s more essential than ever to make your voice heard. Take a few minutes to complete the form below, and be sure to cast your vote on Nov. 6.”
Amid the rising COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, WWAV endorsed the Democrat-led Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020, legislation designed to dramatically expanded online voter registration, mail-in voting, and early voting. Speaking in favor of the proposed bill, Michelle Obama said:
“Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe. We know that barriers to voting existed before this [COVID] crisis, especially for young people and communities of color. Expanding access to vote-by-mail, online voter registration and early voting are critical steps for this moment— and they’re long overdue. 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.”
In May 2020, with the COVID pandemic still in high gear, WWAV and MTV co-hosted a virtual 24-hour “Prom-athon” for graduating high-school seniors. The event featured Michelle Obama publicly recognizing 20 different high schools as “Prom Challenge” winners who had succeeded in “integrating voter registration into their schools in the most creative and impactful ways.” With the November 2020 presidential election just a few months away, the Prom-athon initiative served as a vehicle by which WWAV could potentially attract many of the nation’s 4 million new graduates who would be turning 18 before Election Day. “It’s a way,” said an MTV message promoting the Prom-athon, “to tie in proms to yet another important milestone — registering to vote for the first time.”
Over the years, WWAV has partnered on various projects with such left-leaning organizations as the NAACP, Voto Latino, the National Urban League, MoveOn, the National Education Association, the National Basketball Players Association, Jack and Jill of America, the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the XQ Institute, YMCA Youth and Government, Baller Alert, BET Networks, Blavity, Elle, Essence, Hollywood Life, ICM Partners, Lyft, MTV, and the historically black sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta.
Below is a list of 4 additional, ongoing initiatives of WWAV: