Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, myriad attempts at voter suppression and increasing political tensions, many voters are at a loss for what voting will look like in November—which is why staying informed and up-to-date about voting is more important than ever.
Here to answer all of the most pressing voting questions are Andrea Hailey, CEO of Vote.org, and Kat Calvin, founder and executive director of Spread the Vote.
Launched on July 16 by Hailey and Calvin, “Vote! The Podcast” is set to release a new episode every Thursday through October 29—the last Thursday before Election Day. The podcast draws from the expertise and experience of both hosts, as well as a wealth of knowledge from prominent public figures and celebrities involved in politics and activism.
“At a time when we are seeing growing turnout, record interest in vote-by-mail, and millions of new people entering the process to ensure racial justice, this pod is here to make these rapid changes easier to navigate,” Hailey said.
“This election is too important to force people to choose between their health and voting. It’s critical that people know all of their options.”
The first episode (below) featured former Georgia minority leader Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight Action and national political star driving the movement against voter suppression, and Lauren Jauregui, singer-songwriter, formerly of Fifth Harmony and a voting rights supporter.
Now rounding out its fourth episode, “Vote!” has already unpacked numerous uncertainties about the coming election. With a friendly and warm tone, Hailey and Calvin strike a balance between offering useful and relevant information about voting, as well as relating to the younger generations of voters.
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The first episode dives into what elections will look like in November. Along with recommending that listeners plan ahead when registering and voting this year, Calvin and Hailey also warn about voter suppression, which—through obstacles such as voter ID laws and ballot purging—will be at a high this year.
Moreover, Abrams warns that Black and Latino voters are twice as likely to have their ballots invalidated, and young people of all races are five times as likely.
The second episode (below) delves deeper into the topic of vote-by-mail, and why it has become so controversial. Hailey and Calvin are quick to point out that there is no evidence of higher levels of voter fraud with mail-in ballots. They explain how claims of voter fraud seem to be more politically motivated than rooted in evidence.
Moreover, this voting method is crucial in keeping people safe during the pandemic, and preventing the extremely long (and disheartening) lines present during primaries.
Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actor Bradley Whitford also makes an appearance in the second episode. Whitford is an adamant voting rights activist, and he emphasizes the importance of voting, especially now, amidst the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
Whitford urges voters, especially young voters, not to feel discouraged in voting. He says:
“Forces of oppression want us to think that we have no power… that voting is an act of futility… that the system is corrupt.”
In response to the lack of enthusiasm that many young voters feel towards political parties, Whitford reminds listeners that we have strength in numbers, and this is why political parties are so important.
“Vote! The Podcast” provides an uplifting and hopeful take on the 2020 Election. Despite an extremely tense political climate and continued challenges caused by COVID-19, the votes and voices of people of color and young voters have the potential to greatly shape politics.
You can listen to ‘Vote!’ on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, IHeartRadio, Overcast or your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the podcast on instagram @votethepod, or send any voting-related questions to email@example.com or by calling 844-472-VOTE.