Voting has long been a passionate subject for Michelle Obama. A new video sheds light on exactly why the former first lady is a strong crusader for voting rights—and why she is encouraging people to exercise their power at the polls.
Obama shared a powerful story about watching her father vote as a child in the clip, which is part of her “When We All Vote” campaign, an initiative that she co-chairs in an effort to spur voter registration ahead of the midterm elections. Before “When We All Vote” hits the road for a week of action from Sept. 22-29, the ex-FLOTUS had another Black excellence moment that she hopes will inspire people to head to the ballot box in November.
Her story underscored her father’s passion and dedication for voting despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
“I grew up in a household where voting was something you did all the time,” Obama said in the video. “And my father, who had multiple sclerosis, I remember going to the polling place with him and how much effort it took for him to park his car, to get his crutches, to walk into the church basement in our local neighborhood where he voted. And to stand there, holding himself up, making sure he cast his ballot. I remember my father doing this exercise every single election.”
Seeing her dad vote made Obama think about what a “special responsibility” it was — a right that African-American groups fought for during the civil rights era. The clip makes clear that voting was not only a right for Obama, but a rite of passage. She encourages voting in the presidential election and at the local level.