Former first lady Michelle Obama stepped into the midterm election battle with a warning to those who plan to sit on the sidelines in November.
Obama appeared Sunday at her first rally in Las Vegas for We All Vote, the voter registration nonprofit she launched in July, the Washington Post reported.
As several thousand rally-goers urged Obama to run for president, she acknowledged their apathy and frustration with “the chaos and the nastiness of our politics.” Obama admitted that she’s fed up with the political environment and understands the desire to avoid the midterm elections.
“But here’s the problem. While some folks are frustrated and tuned out and staying home on Election Day, trust me, other folks are showing up. Democracy continues with or without you,” the former first lady said.
Only 36 percent of eligible voters cast a ballot in the 2014 midterm elections—the lowest turnout since 1942, the Post reported. If that happens in 2018, the Republicans will likely continue to control Congress.
When We All Vote seeks not only to increase voter registration and turnout in 2018 but to also create a culture of voting among groups that are least likely to participate, including racial minorities, folks in low-income communities and young people.
Obama criticized politicians and organizations that have created barriers to voting, such as shutting down polling places or requiring voters to show government IDs.
“They’re finding all kinds of ways to keep you at home, hoping that when you hear about all those things, you’ll just give up. Don’t let anybody intimidate you from being a part of this process,” Obama said.