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2016 Democratic National Convention

Source: Bill Clark / Getty

Michelle Obama joined the battle to elected Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections and to stop the GOP from dismantling hard-earned voting rights.

See Also: The Voting Rights Act Was Signed On This Day In 1965 And Now Trump Is Trying To Destroy It

The former first lady announced on Monday that a mass voter registration effort called “When We All Vote Week of Action” was scheduled for Sept. 22-29.

“With so much at stake in our country, sitting on the sidelines isn’t an option,” Obama said in an email to supporters, according to the Associated Press.

Obama is a co-chairwoman of When We Vote, a nonpartisan organization focused on encouraging people to get registered and to cast ballots. Members of the group planned to travel across the country and stir up excitement about the upcoming elections. About a dozen cities, including New York, Detroit and Chicago, were expected to host events.

News of the mass voter registration drive came against the backdrop of the 53rd anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. African Americans gained their right to vote through tremendous sacrifices, including the loss of life at the hands of violent racists.

More than five decades later, President Donald Trump and his Republican partners are trying to dismantle the Voting Rights Act. At the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court appears to be making every effort to harm voting rights for people of colorthrough decisions handed down in June involving congressional district maps in North Carolina and Texas.

In her video announcing the registration effort, the former first lady paid tribute to the civil rights warriors who fought for voting rights.

“We want to honor their legacy and continue their work to ensure that every eligible American cast their vote, work that is far from finished,” she said.

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