Former first lady Michelle Obama is kicking off the new year with more efforts to fight back against voter suppression in 2022. Obama sent out a lengthy letter titled “Fight For Our Vote,” urging Americans to stay focused on democracy ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
“We’ve got to vote like the future of our democracy depends on it,” the message read. “We stand united in our conviction to organize and turn out voters in the 2022 midterm elections and make our democracy work for all of us.”
Last year, state lawmakers proposed more than 500 anti-voter bills infringing upon the voting rights of Black, Brown, and working-class communities in addition to voters with disabilities. Through When We All Vote, Obama hopes to “recruit and train at least 100,000 volunteers throughout 2022 to register and turn out voters in their communities,” the letter noted.
Additionally, the campaign will encourage nearly 100,000 Americans to call on their Senators to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, two proposed pieces of legislation that would protect voting rights for all. As reported by CNN, both bills have previously been stalled by the Senate because of the filibuster, “which require 60 votes to overcome.”
Stephanie L. Young, who is the executive director of When We All Vote, shared in a statement:
“In 2020, we saw record voter turnout, especially among voters of color and young people, because of the work of these leading organizations,” Young said. “Now, a small group of elected officials fixated on maintaining their waning political power has purposely put up barriers to make it harder for some Americans to vote, jeopardizing our democracy. We will not back down. We are organizing and preparing to fight day in and day out in 2022. And that fight starts with our collective effort to press Congress to do the right thing and pass critical voting rights legislation to protect voters and their access to the ballot box.”
A few elected officials have already joined in solidarity with the former first lady ahead of the 2022 midterms, including Rep. Lauren Underwood, who commented on Twitter:
“It is critical for Congress to protect every American’s right to vote. Now’s the time for the Senate to pass the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Every voice deserves to be heard!”