URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on former President Barack Obama (all times local):

11:20 a.m.

Former President Barack Obama is calling on people to vote in the November election, saying "our democracy depends on it."

Obama is speaking Friday at the University of Illinois, where he's receiving an award for ethics in government. He says the country is at a pivotal moment in its history and "the consequences of any of us sitting on the sidelines are more dire" than in prior elections.

The speech is Obama's first big step into the campaign for the midterm elections. His advisers say it's a preview of the case he'll make throughout the fall campaign season.

After spending much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines, Obama has several events scheduled in coming days where he'll campaign for Democrats. He'll next travel to California for an event with seven House candidates in Orange County. Next week he'll be in Ohio to campaign for Richard Cordray and other Democrats.

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9:50 a.m.

Former President Barack Obama is stepping into the midterm battle. Obama is set to speak Friday as he accepts an ethics in government award in Illinois.

Obama has spent much of his post-presidency on the political sidelines, but an adviser says that in the speech he will be more "pointed" in his reflection on the current political environment, including President Donald Trump. The speech will be a preview of the argument Obama will make this fall campaign season.

After the speech, Obama will travel to California and campaign for more than a half-dozen House Democratic candidates at an event in Orange County. Next week, he'll return to the campaign trail in Ohio to campaign for Richard Cordray and other Democrats.