Michelle Obama Gets Candid With Marie Claire About Why She's Voting in the 2020 Election

"When we all vote, we take our power back."

michelle obama is seen during the 2020 bet awards the 20th annual bet awards, which aired june 28, 2020, was held virtually due to restrictions to slow the spread of covid 19 photo by bet awards 2020getty images via getty images
(Image credit: BET Awards 2020 / Getty Images)

Former First Lady Michelle Obama opened up alongside 99 other influential women, including Meghan Markle, Madeleine Albright, and Ava DuVernay, to talk to Marie Claire about why it's so important to vote in the 2020 election. This is a cause that's particularly close to Obama's heart: She's co-chair of When We All Vote, a nonprofit that aims to close the race and age voting gap. In what could be the most influential election of our time, she has important words about showing up at the polls or through the mail.

"I'm voting for two reasons," she explains. "First—it's something I do every election. I grew up seeing my father, who had multiple sclerosis, vote in every election no matter what. He knew just how important it was to make his voice heard and to do his part to ensure we have competent leaders in office. I'm not just talking about president of the United States; I'm talking about about mayors, governors, senators, county supervisors, and everyone else."

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"We need them all to have our best interests at heart. These folks make decisions that affect our daily lives—from how our schools are run to how our neighborhoods are policed to how our tax dollars are used. And voting is how we make sure the leaders in office reflect our values."

"When we all vote, we take our power back. And that's the other big reason I'm voting: because this election could not be more important, especially at a time of such uncertainty and upheaval. The truth is, a lot of folks are hoping we start questioning the power of our votes. So we've got to get registered and turn out—in person or through our mail-in ballots. It's the surest path to achieve the changes that we seek."

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.