Michelle Obama Honors Martin Luther King Jr. by Asking Americans to Register to Vote

"By sitting out, we're allowing others to make decisions for us," said the former first lady

Former first lady Michelle Obama tweeted on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to encourage Americans to help each other register to vote in honor of the revered civil rights activist.

Obama, who turned 56 on Friday, asked her followers on social media to register with the When We All Vote organization, which runs voter registration events around the country in an effort to make sure as many Americans are registered to vote as possible.

“To honor Dr. King’s legacy, we all can play a role in ensuring our friends and family make their voices heard in every election,” Obama — who launched the organization with co-chairs Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw in 2018 — wrote via Twitter on Monday. “By sitting out, we’re allowing others to make decisions for us.”

The 2020 general election happens on Tuesday, Nov. 3. While most Americans will be considering who they want to vote for in the presidential election, there will also be at least 35 congressional seats up for vote as well. The Democratic Party currently holds the majority in the House, while the Republican Party holds the majority in the Senate.

Democrats have yet to nominate their candidate to run against incumbent President Donald Trump in the November election, but the wide field of candidates is beginning to narrow down. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg are the current frontrunners for the party’s nomination.

About 56 percent of Americans who could vote did so in the 2016 election, according to the Pew Research Center. Citing figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Pew Research Center said that there were about 245.5 million Americans who were 18 and older at the time of the 2016 election, and just about 157.6 million of them reported that they were registered to vote.

You can register to vote online through a number of organizations, including WhenWeAllVote.org and Vote.org.

Obama celebrated her birthday last week after a record-breaking 2019, which saw her become a best-selling author with her memoir Becoming, notch both Grammy and Oscar nominations, and make major life changes by sending her youngest daughter Sasha off to college and buying a new home with her husband, President Barack Obama, on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, she was named the world’s most admired woman as well as one of PEOPLE’s “People of the Year.”

“With the girls off at college, this birthday brings with it a new perspective — a fresh breath — along my journey,” she said on Instagram last week. “I’m looking forward to devoting some quality time to my friends and to myself — and of course, to that husband of mine, too.”

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