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.
“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.
“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.
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.