Former first lady Michelle Obama (Photo by Lauren Gerson)

A voter initiative led by former first lady Michelle Obama and When We All Vote, the non-partisan organization she co-chairs, announced support Monday for expanding the access to mail-in voting and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Americans should never have to choose between making their voices heard and keeping themselves and their families safe,” Obama said in the release. “We know that barriers to voting existed before this 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.”

When We All Vote is a nonpartisan voting initiative whose mission is to help Americans obtain greater access to voting by mail, early in-person voting and online voter registration.

The announcement follows last Tuesday’s primary election in Wisconsin, where thousands of people waited hours in line to vote without protective gear. In Milwaukee, specifically, only five of 180 polling sites remained open for this statewide election causing long lines and major headaches for Wisconsin voters.