Non-profit

When We All Vote

Website:

www.whenweallvote.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

83-0996376

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

2018

Type:

Voter Mobilization Group

Executive Director:

Kosta Peric

When We All Vote is a self-described non-partisan but functionally Democratic-aligned voter outreach and registration organization Former First Lady Michelle Obama founded the group with liberal celebrities like Tom Hanks and a board composed of former Obama administration officials. [1] It is funded by the New Venture Fund, part of the left-wing “dark money” Arabella Advisors network. [2]

Michelle Obama said at the launch of When We All Vote that she had been frustrated by poor Democratic voter turnout in the 2010, 2014, and 2016 elections that aided Republican victories. She said that Democratic losses resulted from lack of voter enthusiasm[3] rather than the result of former President Barack Obama’s policies. The group’s goal is to reinvigorate left-progressive African-American and youth voter participation regardless of the Democrat candidates. [4]

Background

When We All Vote is co-founded by celebrities including Tim McGraw, Selena Gomez, and Faith Hill. Its strategies include hosting events in liberal cities like Detroit and Miami[5] and click-baiting younger voters to registration websites. In the weeks before the 2018 mid-term elections, liberal Elle magazine, a When We All Vote partner,[6] promoted a false headline stating that rapper Kanye West and entertainment personality Kim Kardashian were divorcing. When users clicked, they were led to a When We All Vote voter registration page. [7] These activities contributed to When We All Vote’s boast of reaching 200 million Americans online. [8]

Vote by Mail

When We All Vote is supporting the controversial vote by mail legislation, Natural Disaster and Emergency Ballot Act of 2020. When We All Vote supports the legislation that would allow all American voters to vote early, register on-line, and vote by mail. The group claims that minorities and young voters face voting barriers. [9]

When We All Vote is leveraging celebrity power to grow support for voting by mail legislation. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are co-chairs at When We All Vote and corresponded with the left-of-center MoveOn.org to gain support for voting by mail, early voting, and on-line voting registration. [10]

Clickbait Controversy

In advance of the 2018 elections, people and groups circulated When We All Vote registration links using false stories about celebrities. Elle magazine circulated a false claim that rapper Kanye West was divorcing entertainment personality Kim Kardashian, for which Elle later apologized. Celebrities also circulated a false tweet that alleged the link explained why singer Ariana Grande was breaking up with actor Pete Davidson. Clicking on the hotlink sent users to a When We All Vote voting registration link. This tactic fueled praise and criticism. Some users saw the practice as suggesting voters were not sufficiently intelligent to register without being deceived. [11]

Activities

Prom-A-Thon

When We All Vote teamed with MTV to host an “online prom” for the 2020 graduating class. Labeled the Prom-A-Thon, the event seeks to raise voting awareness among the 4 million graduating Americans turning 18 by the November 2020 presidential election. [12]

Events

Michelle Obama hosts dozens of events to drive registration primarily on college campuses in Democratic-leaning cities. When We All Vote held a voting rally with basketball players from the Philadelphia 76ers to drive participation. [13]

Partner Organizations

When We All Vote partners with the historically Black sororities Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta, Jack and Jill of America, NAACP, National Basketball Players Association, National Education Association, National Urban League, the Women’s Missionary Society of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, XQ Institute, YMCA Youth and Government, Voto Latino, ATTN, Baller Alert, BET Networks, Blavity, Elle, Essence, Hollywood Life, ICM Partners, Lyft, and MTV. [14]

WeWork Campaign

When We All Vote teamed with WeWork, Meetup, and Nonprofit VOTE to register voters for the 2018 election. It set up registration hubs at 200 WeWork sites around the country. When We All Vote will host a series of events to drive awareness in Democratic-leaning cities like Atlanta, Denver, New York, and Philadelphia. [15]

Civic Cities

Civic Cities was created by When We All Vote to help increase voter participation from the roughly 50% mark in the 2016 election and the 15% mark in local elections. It is a coalition of 31 mayors strategizing on how to improve voter turnout. The strategy is focused on urban centers and includes Democratic mayors from cities like Chicago and Los Angeles. [16] The goal of Civic Cities is to drive voting participation up and down the ballot from the presidency to the school board. Mayors are encouraged to ensure voters have safe access to voting, to energize local leaders, share best practices with other mayors and information with voters. [17]

My School Votes

When We All Vote created My School Votes, which seeks to energize teachers, parents, and students to participate in voting. It encourages teachers in all subjects and grades to discuss political participation. [18] Amongst the activities it created and shares, are links[19] to Democracy Class curriculum that is created by the left-of-center Rock the Vote and supported by liberal groups like the ACLU, League of Women Voters, and Voto Latino. [20]

Leaders

Valerie Jarrett, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff and a senior advisor in President Obama’s administration, is the president of the board. [21]

The CEO is Kyle Lierman, who worked for President Obama as a senior policy advisor. According to tax records, Kyle Lierman is also the CEO of Civic Advisors, [22] a vendor that received a payment of $175,628 from When We All Vote. [23]

References

  1. Schneider, Elena. “Michelle Obama Wades into the Midterms.” POLITICO, July 18, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/michelle-obama-democrats-midterms-registration-drive-731621. ^
  2. Ludwig, Hayden. “Arabella Advisors’ ‘Dark Money’ Helped Democrats in the 2018 Midterms-Expect More in 2020,” March 18, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/arabella-advisors-dark-money-helped-democrats-in-the-2018-midterms-expect-more-in-2020/. ^
  3. Rutz, David. “Liberal Magazine Tweets Fake News About Kanye West to Get People to Register to Vote.” Washington Free Beacon. Washington Free Beacon, October 18, 2018. https://freebeacon.com/politics/liberal-magazine-tweets-fake-news-kanye-west-people-register-vote/. ^
  4. “Michelle Obama Entered the 2020 Race Determined to Correct This Big Regret.” American Patriot Daily, May 26, 2020. https://www.americanpatriotdaily.com/latest/michelle-obama-entered-the-2020-race-determined-to-correct-this-big-regret/. ^
  5. Caputo, Marc, Matt Dixon, and Isabel Dobrin. “Poll: Slight Lead for Gillum, Senate Race Tied – Dems Launch Fact-Check Website – Feds Probe Keys Hurricane Debris Cleanup Mess – Trump Booster Accused of Poisoning Stripper with Abortion Pill.” POLITICO, September 24, 2018. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/florida-playbook/2018/09/24/poll-gillum-has-an-edge-senate-race-tied-dems-launch-fact-check-website-feds-probe-keys-hurricane-debris-cleanup-mess-trump-booster-accused-of-poisoning-stripped-with-abortion-pill-309767. ^
  6. “Michelle Obama Announces 7 New Co-Chairs Joining When We All Vote, The National Nonpartisan Organization She Launched to Increase Voter Participation in Every Election.” PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring, November 7, 2019. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/michelle-obama-announces-7-new-co-chairs-joining-when-we-all-vote-the-national-nonpartisan-organization-she-launched-to-increase-voter-participation-in-every-election-300953546.html. ^
  7. Rutz, David. “Liberal Magazine Tweets Fake News About Kanye West to Get People to Register to Vote.” Washington Free Beacon. Washington Free Beacon, October 18, 2018. https://freebeacon.com/politics/liberal-magazine-tweets-fake-news-kanye-west-people-register-vote/. ^
  8. “About Us.” When We All Vote. Accessed June 10, 2020. https://www.whenweallvote.org/about-us/. ^
  9. [1] “When We All Vote Announces Push for Safe, Secure and Accessible Elections by Expanding Vote-by-Mail, Early Voting and Online Voter Registration.” When We All Vote, April 13, 2020. https://www.whenweallvote.org/when-we-all-vote-announces-push-for-safe-secure-and-accessible-elections-by-expanding-vote-by-mail-early-voting-and-online-voter-registration/. ^
  10. [1] Jones, Susan. “Vote-by-Mail Pushed by Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson; Gallup Says Dems Overwhelmingly Favor It.” CNSNews.com, May 12, 2020. https://www.cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/vote-mail-pushed-tom-hanks-rita-wilson-gallup-says-dems-overwhelmingly. ^
  11. Firer, Alex. “Elle Apologizes For Stupid Kim/Kanye/Voting Tweet.” What’s Trending, October 18, 2018. https://whatstrending.com/pop/elle-apologizes-for-stupid-kim-kanye-voting-tweet/. ^
  12. France, Lisa Respers. Michelle Obama partners with MTV for national virtual prom, May 15, 2020. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/michelle-obama-partners-with-mtv-for-national-virtual-prom/ar-BB148vCJ. ^
  13. When We All Vote. When We All Vote. Washington, D.C.: When We All Vote, 2018. https://www.whenweallvote.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/0710_wwv_deck_partners-1-1.pdf. ^
  14. “Michelle Obama Announces 7 New Co-Chairs Joining When We All Vote, The National Nonpartisan Organization She Launched to Increase Voter Participation in Every Election.” PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring, November 7, 2019. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/michelle-obama-announces-7-new-co-chairs-joining-when-we-all-vote-the-national-nonpartisan-organization-she-launched-to-increase-voter-participation-in-every-election-300953546.html. ^
  15. Nahmias, Laura, Terry Golway, and Daniel Lippman. “Anti-IDCers Have Big Plans – UBER Wants to Ease Congestion – NYCHA Residents’ Rage in Federal Court.” POLITICO, September 27, 2018. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/new-york-playbook/2018/09/27/anti-idcers-have-big-plans-uber-wants-to-ease-congestion-nycha-residents-rage-in-federal-court-315156. ^
  16. Yuan, Jada. “Michelle Obama Is Stepping into the 2020 Election with a Program to Boost Voter Turnout.” The Washington Post. WP Company, May 21, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/michelle-obama-is-stepping-into-the-2020-election-with-a-program-to-boost-voter-turnout/2020/05/21/e2e115fc-9b6a-11ea-ad09-8da7ec214672_story.html. ^
  17. Vote, When We All. “Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote Announces Bipartisan Program with Mayors Across the Country to Increase Voter Participation.” PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring, May 22, 2020. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/michelle-obamas-when-we-all-vote-announces-bipartisan-program-with-mayors-across-the-country-to-increase-voter-participation-301064391.html. ^
  18. “My School Votes.” When We All Vote. Accessed June 10, 2020. https://www.whenweallvote.org/schools/. ^
  19. When We All Vote. My School Notes When We All Vote. When We All Vote. Accessed June 10, 2020. https://www.whenweallvote.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WWAV-MSV-HS-v5.pdf. ^
  20. “Democracy Class – Civic Education.” Rock the Vote, March 23, 2020. https://www.rockthevote.org/programs-and-partner-resources/democracy-class/. ^
  21. Neufeld, Jennie. “Michelle Obama May Not Want to Be Your President, but She Still Wants You to Vote.” Vox. Vox, July 19, 2018. https://www.vox.com/2018/7/19/17590322/michelle-obama-when-we-all-vote. ^
  22. [1] Schneider, Elena. “Michelle Obama Wades into the Midterms.” POLITICO, July 18, 2018. https://www.politico.com/story/2018/07/18/michelle-obama-democrats-midterms-registration-drive-731621. ^
  23. Internal Revenue Service. 2018 Form 990. IRS, 2019. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/cor/830996376_201812_990_2020021017132570.pdf. ^

Coalition Memberships

  1. Census Counts 2020

Supported Movements

  1. Vote Early Day
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 2019

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    When We All Vote

    700 13TH ST NW
    WASHINGTON, DC 20005-3960