A few days ago, I headed to Tallahassee with Jill Biden, my friend and partner on the campaign trail. She and I visited Florida A&M University, where we met a crowd of thousands of people—some of whom traveled for hours to be there. Parents brought young children. Neighbors greeted each other in the sunshine. And students from FAMU, Florida State, and Tallahassee Community College waved signs and cheered with all their might for change.
Jill and I went to Tallahassee to encourage people to get involved in this election. And this week, I’m off to Colorado, Missouri, and Michigan, where I’ll deliver the same message to everyone I meet. In particular, there is one simple thing that each of us can do to change the world: register to vote.
But we’ve got to act fast. Voter registration deadlines are coming up in very soon in many states. So if you don’t register now, you may not be able to speak your mind later.
A lot of people don’t know how easy it is to register. I wish I could sit down in every living room in the America, and walk every family through it! In most states, all you do is fill out a single form. That’s it. Registering to vote is a snap.
But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s unimportant. Just the opposite. Registering to vote is absolutely crucial. Because there is so much at stake in this election… and the choice we make on November 4th will decide so many issues that shape our lives and impact our families.
Like whether we’ll get our economy back on track and restore the middle class—so that anyone willing to put in an honest day’s work can make a good living for their children.
Whether we can afford check-ups for our kids and mammograms for ourselves.
Whether we can pay for quality child care—so we can work outside the home and know that our children are safe.
Whether our country finally embarks on a long-term energy plan that makes real investments in renewable energy, so we can create millions of new jobs, end our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet for our kids and grandkids.
Whether women will finally receive the pay we deserve for the work that we do. In this country, women only receive 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. My husband is determined to end this pay inequity as President. That’s why Lilly Ledbetter, the brave woman who took her fight for equal pay for women all the way to the Supreme Court, endorsed Barack for President. She said that she supports him because he’s the only candidate “who has stood up for women like me.”
And whether we will finally bring our troops home from Iraq responsibly, so we can rebuild our military and start investing the $10 billion we’re spending each month in Iraq right here at home instead.
It’s never been more important that we all make our voices heard in this election.
And that starts with registering to vote.
During the past 19 months, I’ve met with women in towns and cities all across the country. And I keep hearing about how they’re so busy trying to do it all—balancing work, taking care of kids, looking after parents, and managing all their family’s affairs—that it can feel impossible to fit anything else on their To Do lists.
But every day, when women drive to school or work or home, they almost certainly drive pass several places where you can register to vote. In many states, you can register at post offices, public libraries, and the DMV and other local and state government offices.
And of course, you can register at any Obama For American campaign office.
To make it even easier, we’ve set up a Website to help. It’s www.voteforchange.com. Go to that Website to find everything you need to know about how to register to vote… where to go on Election Day… and whether you can vote early in your state.
So to all the women out there, reading this blog post… all the mothers, grandmothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces, and friends who keep our country running every day… I urge you to take a few minutes—in between finishing that latest project at work, fixing dinner for your family, and paying the bills before bedtime—to visit www.voteforchange.com and register to vote.
In 2004, more than 8 million women who were registered to vote stayed home on Election Day… and many millions more never registered at all.
Let’s make this year different.
Because if there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that women and families need an advocate in the White House now more than ever.
So we can’t miss this opportunity to change the world and shape the future for our kids.
If you agree, register to vote. And then, join me in heading to the polls on November 4th, to cast our votes… and bring the change we need to the country we love.
Photo Credit: Stephanie Himel-Nelson, used with permission.