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Michelle Obama looks to mobilize voters for midterms

The Hill logo The Hill 9/21/2021 Judy Kurtz
Michelle Obama smiling for the camera: Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks with 'Late Show' host Stephen Colbert © CBS/YouTube Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks with 'Late Show' host Stephen Colbert

It's more than a year away, but Michelle Obama is already looking ahead to the midterm elections next November, lining up a star-studded group of supporters with the aim of mobilizing voters ahead of 2022.

The former first lady's voter registration and engagement organization, When We All Vote, announced a series of celebrity-filled events on Tuesday.

Among the big names joining the effort - dubbed the #BacktotheBallotBox week of action - are NBA star Chris Paul, "Scary Movie" actor Regina Hall and radio host Angela Yee.

The events, which kick off on Thursday with a virtual rally featuring Obama, are part of a push by When We All Vote to "call on its volunteers, supporters and student ambassadors to host voter registration drives in their local communities, sign up to register voters in high-traffic areas and call on the Senate to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act."

The week of programs includes several Instagram Live series on topics ranging from women's rights, to voter suppression, to voting rights for felons.

Last year's presidential election, held amid the coronavirus pandemic, shattered voter turnout records with nearly 160 million Americans casting their ballots. But since then, a number of Republican-dominated states have weighed and passed elections bills that Obama's group says will hamper voters' access to the polls.

"These harmful voter suppression tactics will negatively impact Americans' freedom to vote, especially Black, Brown and young voters, and voters with disabilities," When We All Vote said in a statement.

Part of the mission of the latest series of events, the group said, is to "combat these efforts" and "deploy voters in the fight for the right to vote."

Obama launched When We All Vote in 2018.

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