• Home

[WEBINAR] Voting Matters: Activating the Vote with Washington Post Live

With nationwide social unrest, a global pandemic and rampant misinformation, this has been a presidential election cycle like no other. As November approaches, concerns about voting—safety, resources, access and delays—are widespread. Is in-person voting safe or should vote-by-mail be the default? Will there be enough poll workers and open polling stations? When will we know the election outcome? If you plan to tweet about the event, follow us on Twitter at @penamerica and use the hashtag #WhatToExpect2020.

On Wednesday, September 30 at 2pm ET, Washington Post Live—in partnership with PEN America’s “What To Expect 2020” campaign—launches “Voting Matters: Activating the Vote,” the first event in a special series focused all things voting and election law. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold and Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman will talk about the finer points of mail-in voting and efforts in their states to support voting this fall. Fashion designer Tory Burch will also join to discuss her decision to close all stores and offices early on Election Day and encourage employees to volunteer as poll workers with a paid day off on November 3.



Tory Burch pointing at the camera, wearing a t-shirt that says “VOTE”Tory Burch is the executive chairman and chief creative officer of Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand.

Burch launched the company in 2004 with a small boutique on Elizabeth Street in New York City as well as an ecommerce site. The brand has since grown into a global business with more than 300 boutiques from New York to Paris and Shanghai.

In 2015, she launched Tory Sport, a collection of performance activewear that balances cutting-edge functionality with classic design.

Social responsibility was built into Burch’s business plan and has been a part of the company from its inception. In 2009, she launched the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the United States by providing access to capital, education, and digital resources, as well as a fellowship program. To date, over $57 million in loans have been distributed to over 3,500 women entrepreneurs through the Foundation’s Capital Program powered by Bank of America.

Burch also serves on several boards including the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Barnes Foundation, and the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In addition, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Jena Griswold headshotJena Griswold is Colorado’s 39th Secretary of State and the youngest Secretary of State in the country. She grew up working class in rural Colorado and knows how important it is for everyday Americans to have their voices heard in our democracy. In 2019, Griswold spearheaded and passed into law one of the largest democracy reform packages in the nation. This year, she is a leading voice in expanding mail ballots to every eligible American.

Before assuming office, Griswold had practiced international anti-corruption law, business law, election law, and ran a small business. She also served as the director of the Colorado Governor’s D.C. Office, where she helped bring back hundreds of millions of relief dollars to help the Colorado communities hit by the 2013 flood. In 2018, Jena was elected as the first democratic Secretary of State in Colorado since 1958, the first democratic woman Secretary of State in Colorado’s history, and only the 10th woman in Colorado’s history to hold current statewide constitutional office.

Kim Wyman headshotKim Wyman is Washington’s 15th Secretary of State. She was first elected in 2012 and is currently serving her second term. She is the second female Secretary of State in Washington’s history.

Prior to her election, she served as Thurston County elections director for nearly a decade and was elected Thurston county auditor—the role she had from 2001 to 2013.

As head of one of the most diverse offices in state government, Wyman is responsible for overseeing state and local elections, corporation and charity filings, the Washington State Library, the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, and the Washington State Archives.

Wyman is committed to promoting civility and civic engagement, and connecting people with their government. She serves on many state and national boards, enjoys mentoring students, participates in leadership-development organizations, and advocates for preserving and teaching our history and traditions, and the importance of civics education and volunteering in our communities.

This event is part of PEN America’s #WhatToExpect2020 initiative, which we launched this fall to empower voters to understand the uniqueness of the 2020 election, inoculate the public from the threats of disinformation, and build awareness of the electoral process.

Get the Free Speech News You Need

protesters in face masks carrying old Belarusian national flags

PEN America has a new weekly newsletter, PEN Points, bringing you a digest of the biggest free expression news of the week, plus the analysis and insights you trust from PEN America experts.