Lana Parrilla & More Women On Why Voting’s Essential — ‘I Can’t Go To Bed At Night’ If I Don’t

'Once Upon A Time' star Lana Parrilla helped lead an enthusiastic voting rally along with Michelle Obama in Las Vegas, Sept 23rd and here she tells HollywoodLife why she had to speak out on voting.

As one of the stars of Once Upon A Time, Lana Parrilla, aka, The Evil Queen, was mesmerizing as the mayor of Storybrook, and she didn’t exactly play fair when it came to getting elected to office. However, in real life Parrilla is a staunch advocate for each and every American exercising their democratic right to vote. She has jumped in to support new non-partisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama When We All Vote. And there she was in front of an enthusiastic Las Vegas crowd of 3,000 in the Chaparral High School encouraging them all to register to vote and to register their friends and family, and then to all get out to vote on Nov. 6th. So why has Lana thrown her hat into the ring as a voting advocate?

“It’s critical to vote because the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate and two-thirds of governorships, are all up for election,” on Nov. 6th, she told in an EXCLUSIVE interview. “These races represent a tremendous amount of the overall government so every vote becomes even more important. Now, interestingly, Parrilla admits that like many of us, she didn’t always realize how important midterm elections were until recently, “The first time I voted, it was for a presidential election and I was 18. Unfortunately, I have not always participated in midterm elections, because I didn’t always realize how vital they were,” she told “It’s just been during this cycle in which I recognized how critical it is to be engaged in this process, and begun really working to educate myself on the issues.”

You see, Lana is just like a lot of us. And just like, which has partnered with When We All Vote, to encourage voting registration because we believe this is a patriotic thing to do, Parrilla, got active with the former First Lady’s organization, because she is a “proud American.” “I’ve come to realize that (being a proud American) means being part of every election cycle and being included means doing due diligence, informing myself and encouraging other to do the same,” she explained. She admitted that the “fantastic” turnout and “enthusiasm” at the rally surprised her. “I’m inspired and motivated by the enthusiasm of those in attendance. It helped me to really understand that we’re all in this together!”

Lana was definitely right that the enthusiasm for voting was running sky high at the Las Vegas rally. HollywoodLife spoke to several woman who were thrilled to be there, and were deeply motivated to vote on Nov. 6th. “I can’t go to bed at night, not trying to make the world a better place for my daughters,” said Jill Farmer, who was there with her two daughters, five and eight. “It’s really important to exercise our “voice”and I want my two daughters to know that their voices matter they’re important… now that I’m a mother it’s changed my life, I realize that we need to take the future into our own hands.” Women’s rights are a top priority for Jill, “huge,” and she’s deeply concerned about Brett Kavanaugh possibly being confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court, with all the sexual misconduct allegations that have been made.

“We have to use every bit of our energy while we’re here , to make the world a better place for next generation,” she added.

Teacher Monisha McPheeters, was at the rally with her three sons and, feels very strongly that there needs to be more funding for public schools — “education is calling behind in Nevada,” she pointed out explaining that budget cuts in education in her state are forcing three teachers to be let go from her school. She is not a fan of Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, who she says isn’t investing in public schools. Monisha was at the rally to support voting and to show her sons how important it is. Plus, she fears that women will lose the right to chose — “I think women need to have choice.” Shannon Whitney, another young mom, was also at the rally with three of her four children and having good public education for her children, was also a huge concern. She was very informed about and deeply unhappy with Betsy DeVos’s lack of support for public schools. Ivana Hernandez, 18, will be a first time voter and she was at the rally to register potential voters on behalf of the organization, Mi Familia Vota. And for Scarlet Romans, 18, another first time voter, “It’s just so important for young people to vote.” “It’s important that for me as a woman and young individual that I get my voice out there and not just let everybody else have say!” Well, good for you Lana, Jill, Monisha, Shannon, Ivana and Scarlet, for making sure that you are registered to vote and for planning to be at the polls, Nov. 6th.

If you still need to register to vote, you can do it here, below, in our Rock The Vote module or go to the When We All Vote website and register there — plus find out about their upcoming rallies!

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