Michelle Obama’s initiative, When We All Vote, is teaming up with More Than A Vote, which is led by NBA superstar LeBron James, to encourage early voting across the United States. The organizations will hold events in major U.S. cities starting next week to “build momentum and excitement around voting early,” When We All Vote announced Tuesday

The nonprofits will provide, information, food, music and personal protective equipment in early voting sites around the country from October 18-31. Obama, the co-chair of When We All Vote, said that making a plan to vote early is “critical.”  

“It’s now up to us to do everything in our power to get our friends and family ready to vote early and safely together,” Obama said in a statement. “We can’t leave anyone behind. I’m proud of the work When We All Vote will do with More Than a Vote and our partners to help provide on-the-ground support for Americans who will cast their ballots early.”

The events will take place within walking distance from the early voting sites and include celebrity and athlete appearances as well as legal help for voters. Lyft will also provide discounted rides to help people get to early voting sites. Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Orlando and Philadelphia are among the cities where events will be held. 

The announcement cited studies that found early voting activations and celebrations can increase turnout by nearly 4%. 

During the pandemic, When We All Vote has helped to expand access to vote-by-mail, early in-person voting and online voter registration. More than 400,000 people have registered to vote with the organization. 

Led by James and other Black athletes and entertainers, More Than a Vote has worked to fight systemic, racist voter suppression after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.

Both organizations have been committed to recruiting more poll workers in order to keep the polls open. The groups say they have recruited at least 30,000 people who have signed up to serve as poll workers. 

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