Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will visit the Florida A&M University campus on Saturday.
The wives of the 2008 democratic presidential nominees will host a rally from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. between Lee Hall and Coleman Library in an event that will be open to the public. A representative from Obama for America said the event is an effort to ensure that young voters register to take part in the upcoming presidential election.
On Tuesday, Obama made another effort to register young people. FAMU journalism students were included in a conference call with other college media outlets to hear the prospective first lady speak about the importance of young voters in November’s election.
“It’s important to know that young people have a huge impact on how far this campaign has come,” Obama said. “We need all the young people we’ve met to stay involved because as you know the choice that America makes on November 4 will have an enormous consequence on our country and for the world for the matter.”
She spoke about the importance of this election.
“This election is going to determine the course of an entire generation,” Obama said. “Young people will be dealing with the effects of this election for the rest of their lives. If young Americans want to have a say in what the future looks like than they need to make their voices heard and do it now.”
She said only half of the young people who were eligible to vote actually showed up in the 2004 presidential election, while 20 percent of the people who registered were absent on Election Day four years ago. For this reason, Obama said young voters are overlooked.
However, she hopes to change those statistics in November’s election.
“This year we’ve got to turn that trend around and I think we’re doing that,” Obama said. “Young folks know as well as anyone why this election matters.”
She said young voters should be concerned about issues like college debt and the Iraq war.
“Today the actual college graduate is weighed down by $22,000 in student loans. That’s on average,” Obama said. “Barack and I have experienced that as well because we’ve just paid down our student loans.”
She went on to inform listeners that the average soldiers wounded and dying in Iraq are 21-years-old. Aside from that, Americans have long-term challenges they will be forced to deal with such as restoring the economy, building schools, and developing renewable sources of energy.
With such important issues affecting young Americans, Obama said the country needs strong leadership.
“American leadership could mean the difference between war and peace,” Obama said. “The next president can lead us in a different direction, or the next president could not. So this is a crucial moment in our nation’s history.”
Although these issues are plaguing young voters who have the power to eradicate the country’s problems, Obama said many of them still haven’t done their part. She said there are more than 10 million people between the ages of 18-24 who are eligible to vote and still haven’t registered.
For this reason, her husband’s campaign produced, Vote for Change, a one-stop shop for voting information. Obama said the website can show voters how to arrange absentee ballots, how to take part in early voting, and how to register.
Obama asked that people not only register, but get others to do the same.
“I urge you to join us in our efforts to get young people to vote no matter who they’re voting for,” Obama said.
For more information on vote for change, visit voteforchange.com. To find more information about Obama and Biden visiting FAMU on Saturday, log on to barackobama.com.