Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday announced a $25 million expansion of the Democratic National Committee’s “I Will Vote” campaign, a move intended to increase voter registration, turnout and protections.
“With this $25 million, the Democrats are investing in the tools and technology to register voters, to educate voters, to turn out voters, to protect voters,” Harris said at Howard University in Washington. “People say, ‘What’s the strategy?’ Well, I just outlined it.”
“Regardless of who you are, where you live, what party you belong to, your vote matters. Your vote is your power,” she added.
The announcement comes a week after the Supreme Court upheld restrictive voting laws in Arizona, and after 17 states have enacted dozens of new laws this year that restrict voting access, according to the most recent tally. Nearly 400 restrictive bills across 48 states have also been introduced.
The investment is a way to “fight back” against those restrictive laws, Harris said on Thursday.
“It is never too early to defend your rights,” she said.
The event opened with remarks from Jaime Harrison, chair of the DNC, who criticized last week’s Supreme Court ruling.
“My friends, we all know this is nothing new,” he said. “It is the ghost of Jim Crow.”
Harris was then introduced by the president of the Howard University Student Association, Kylie Burke, who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and received a congressional fellowship from the university that placed her in Harris’ Senate office during her sophomore year.
“She was then, and continues to be, a shining example of excellence in leadership,” Burke said.
“Howard teaches you a thing or two about grit,” she added. “It teaches you to remain focused. It teaches you to be persistent, regardless of the inevitable obstacles that will come in your way. As you can imagine, all of this comes in handy when you’re pioneering a path forward for women at the highest level of American politics.”
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