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Meghan Markle joins Michelle Obama's initiative to encourage people to vote 

The Duchess of Sussex spoke about the importance of casting a ballot

Aisha Nozari

The Duchess of Sussex discussed the importance of voting as she joined a virtual couch party on Thursday, ahead of the US presidential election on 3 November.

READ: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle talk importance of online kindness with young leaders

Meghan was among the special guests at the United State of Women and When We All Vote online event.

She spoke with Board Chair and former senior advisor to US President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Glamour's editor-in-chief Samantha Barry, actor and activist Yvette Nicole Brown and DJ Diamond Kuts.

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WATCH: Meghan Markle discusses the importance of voting in the upcoming election

During the discussion, the Duchess said: "I'm really thrilled that you asked me to be a part of this, this is such an exceptional time.

"As I was thinking about this a little bit I thought, when I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as: we vote to honour those who came before us and protect those who will come after us, because that’s what community is all about.

"That's specifically what this election is all about. 

"We’re only 75 days away from election day, that is so very close and yet there is so much work to be done in that amount of time, because we all know what's at stake this year

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Meghan joined the important discussion via video link

"This week we are recognising the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which of course gave women the right to vote, but not all women.

"And specifically not women of colour

"As we look at things today, though it had taken decades longer for women to get the right to vote, even today we are watching so many women in different communities who are marginalised

"Still struggling to see that right come to fruition. And that is simply not OK

"It's all the more reason for each of you to be out there supporting each other to understand this fight is worth fighting, and we all have to be out there mobilising to have our voices heard.

"Because at this juncture, if we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem. If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit. If you are complacent, you’re complicit."

When We All Vote is a non-profit nonpartisan organisation, which aims to increase participation in elections and to close the race and age voting gap by changing the culture around voting. It was launched in 2018 by co-chairs former First Lady Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. 

As well as encouraging voter registration, the couch party also commemorated the centennial of the US's 19th Amendment, which granted the right for some women to vote. The event programme read: "We will honour the 19th Amendment, celebrate the women of colour who have fought to make the promise of the 19th Amendment a reality for ALL women, and highlight the need to expand voting rights for marginalized communities."

Meghan was among 100 influential women picked by Marie Claire US last week to share their personal reason to cast a ballot ahead of the US election in November. She said: "I know what it's like to have a voice, and also what it's like to feel voiceless. I also know that so many men and women have put their lives on the line for us to be heard. And that opportunity, that fundamental right, is in our ability to exercise our right to vote and to make all of our voices heard."

MORE: Meghan Markle's gorgeous dress for new Santa Barbara appearance might be her best look yet

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Meghan during her appearance at The 19th Represents summit

The Duchess also told The 19th*'s co-founder and CEO Emily Ramshaw during the newsroom's virtual summit: "I think it’s often challenging for men and women alike certainly for people to remember just how hard it was for people to get the right to vote. And to be really aware of not taking that for granted.

"I look at that, my husband [Prince Harry] for example, he's never been able to vote. And I think it’s such an interesting thing to say the right to vote is not a privilege, it is a right in and of itself."

Members of the royal family traditionally do not vote, and the Queen is politically neutral. Although UK law does not ban royalty from voting, it is considered unconstitutional for them to do so.

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