BY JUDY KURTZ
Michelle Obama’s voter registration and engagement initiative is making a push to get Black voters to the polls for this November’s midterm elections.
The former first lady and Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul teamed up for a video released Friday, September 16 — timed to coincide with National Black Voter Day, which was launched in 2020 by BET and the National Urban League — encouraging Black voters to get registered and head to the ballot boxes.
“It’s great news that more Black Americans were eligible to vote in the last presidential election than ever before,” Obama said in the video produced by When We All Vote, the organization she formed in 2018.
“But, at the same time, eligibility doesn’t mean those ballots will actually be cast — especially when in some places, it’s getting harder and harder to vote,” Obama said.
“We’re seeing polling places closed down, early voting hours cut, folks being purged from the voting rolls,” Paul said.
“Who would have thought that in 2022, our right to vote would still be under threat?” the NBA star exclaimed.
More than 15 states either passed or enacted restrictive voting rights laws following President Biden’s 2020 White House win. Data analysis from TargetSmart found that from November 2020 until July 2021, more than 8.6 million voters were purged from official registration lists nationwide.
“Luckily, we still have the chance to show up and show that the power still lies in our hands,” Paul, a When We All Vote co-chairman, added.
When We All Vote also announced Friday it would partner with the Black dating app BLK to launch an “in-app election center.”
The election center, When We All Vote said, is a “digital hub designed to shift the culture of voting and politics in the Black community, amplify voices of Black voters and drive Black voter registration.”
This article originally appeared on The Hill.