Former First Lady Michelle Obama shared a letter on her Twitter account urging supporters to join her platform, When We All Vote, aimed at getting more than a million new voters across the country signed up.
The letter states that the coalition would organize at least 100,000 Americans to contact their senators, urging them to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. It has been difficult for election reform legislation to pass the Senate, as moderate Democrats are reluctant to change Senate rules.
“One year ago, we witnessed an unprecedented assault on our Capitol and our democracy,” Obama wrote. “From Georgia and Florida to Iowa and Texas, states passed laws designed to make it harder for Americans to vote. And in other state legislatures across the nation, lawmakers have attempted to do the same.”
Voting rights under threat
The John Lewis Voting Rights Act would strengthen the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which has been chipped away at since the 2020 election. In all, 19 states have introduced legislation that limits voting and voting rights, as well as promotes gerrymandering, the process by which politicians create their own districts to maintain their own power.
“This type of voter suppression is not new,” Obama’s letter read. “Generations of Americans have persevered through poll taxes, literacy tests and laws designed to strip away their power — and they’ve done it by organizing, by protesting, and most importantly, by overcoming the barriers in front of them in order to vote. And now, we’ve got to do the same.”
The former First Lady’s efforts are reminiscent of what Stacey Abrams accomplished for the 2020 elections.
After her defeat in the 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial race, Abrams founded Fair Fight, a voter protection and education organization that helped register over 800,000 new Georgia voters.
“We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it”
Abrams announced her second campaign for Georgia Governor in December, setting up a possible rematch with current GOP Gov. Brian Kemp.
Obama’s vow was signed by high-profile national groups including Vote.org, the NAACP, and the National Urban League.
The letter outlined a plan for this year that includes recruiting and training at least 100,000 volunteers through 2022 to register and turn out more than a million new voters nationwide.
“We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it,” Obama maintained. “And we must give Congress no choice but to act decisively to protect the right to vote and make the ballot box more accessible for everyone.”