Guest Column: It’s time to vote

Michelle Obama

Election Day is fast approaching, but your chance to vote and make your voice heard is already here. Thanks to early voting, you can cast your vote today – well before Nov. 6. Your chance to have your say in the future of our country starts now, and it’s more important than ever that young people like you make yourselves heard.

Early voting has made it easier than ever to participate in this election. At you can find out how and where to vote early, and you don’t have to worry about missing out on Election Day because you’re caught up with a paper or cramming for a midterm. If you vote early, I promise you’ll thank yourself for it when you wake up on Nov. 6.

And if you wonder whether your vote will really matter, I want you to remember that in 2008, Barack won North Carolina by only 14,000 votes. That breaks down to just five votes per precinct. This year, any battleground state could be just as close, and we’ll need every single vote we can get.

In 2008, young Americans like you turned every piece of conventional political wisdom on its head. For years, we had heard that young people couldn’t be counted on, and that they wouldn’t turn out at the polls on Election Day. But you didn’t just turn out on Election Day – you volunteered and organized for nearly two years beforehand, and you built a national movement that made history.

You worked hard for this campaign because you knew that if you elected Barack, he was going to have your back. And over the last four years, Barack has never stopped fighting for young Americans.

Barack has helped make college more affordable so that no student has to turn down a college acceptance letter because they can’t afford the tuition. He’s done that by keeping loan interest rates low, doubling funding for Pell Grants and setting up a tax credit for middle class families. Because of health reform, you can stay on your parents’ insurance until age 26, women can no longer be arbitrarily charged higher premiums than men and insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage for a so-called “pre-existing condition.”

Barack has also repealed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” so that every American can serve this great country no matter whom they love, and he’s stood up to attacks on women’s health because he believes women should be able to make our own decisions about our health care.

Most importantly, Barack is rebuilding our economy based on the values that made our country great: fairness, hard work and responsibility. We’ve now had 31 straight months of private-sector job growth, and the unemployment rate is at the lowest level since my husband took office. And while we still have a long way to go, our businesses have created more than 5 million new jobs right here in the United States of America.

Your vote is your chance to make sure we don’t turn back on all of this progress. And now is the time we need you to help Barack keep moving our country forward. Go to to find out how and where to vote today.