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Politicians are always telling us to vote without understanding why so many of us don’t. Michelle Obama gets it.

In a video about the importance of voting in the 2018 midterm elections, Michelle Obama first wants to make it clear she understands all too well why a majority of Americans don’t vote -- numbers that spike even higher during “off year” non-presidential elections.

“Why should I vote? Nothing ever changes,” she begins in a new PSA for the When We All Vote initiative. “The system is rigged. Why bother?”


“Whether you’re trying to get dinner on the table after a double shift, dropping baby off with grandma or studying for exams, voting can feel like the furthest thing from your mind.”

“You might even feel like it’s just not worth it. But that’s exactly what some people want you to think.”

Voting is a burden but it’s also a right and the only path toward making our country, and our lives, better for everyone.

Michelle Obama is a Democrat. That’s not exactly breaking news. But her message on the importance of voting should be heard by everyone because no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, the best way to get your ideas and values into the conversation and into action is by being an active citizen. Our leaders are meant to lead but they can only lead when we appoint them to do so through the power of the vote.

With more Americans working, and often working longer hours for less wages, making a trip to the polls doesn’t necessarily feel like a priority. The irony is that in all elections, but particularly in local and midterm elections, we have the power to directly affect change at the state and local level.

And even if it’s hard to measure the positive change of putting some people into office and kicking others out, the impact of not participating in our democracy is even more subtle yet profound in how it affects our lives.

“The truth is, when we stay home, things stay the same. Or, they get worse,” Obama says.

“But when we all vote, we get new ideas and new energy,” she adds. “Leaders who share our values and listen to our voices. That’s how we change America.”

Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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