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Michelle Obama Unveils New Voting Project

Celebrity-backed nonprofit to encourage voter registration
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 19, 2018 7:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – Michelle Obama has come out of the woodwork ahead of the November midterms. The goal: rally people to vote. The former first lady has joined forces with celebs like Tom Hanks and Lin-Manuel Miranda to launch voter registration nonprofit When We All Vote, which aims to get more people registered to vote and to visit polls on Election Day. Per USA Today, this applies to people "of all parties and beliefs," though Politico floats the theory that Democrats will benefit from more voters overall. "Voting is the only way to ensure that our values and priorities are represented in the halls of power," Obama says in a statement. "And it's not enough to just vote for president every four years."

Indeed, a video shows Obama pressing big-name celebs—singers Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Janelle Monae, and the NBA's Chris Paul among them—to vote in elections for "school board, state house, all of them." The effort may be well-timed. Per People, the 2014 midterms saw the lowest participation rate since World War II, with just over a third of eligible voters casting a ballot. That same year, more than 20% of eligible citizens weren't registered to vote. "No one organization can dramatically change those numbers alone. But every citizen can be part of the solution," says When We All Vote, whose board president is Valerie Jarrett. Politico reports Obama has yet to decide whether she'll campaign with candidates this fall, prior to her memoir's release. Her husband will appear with several. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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