By Mark Schneider
"I am saddened by the low level to which U.S. politics has sunk." Tell us how you really feel, David Byrne, who took to his website earlier this month to rail against the "vindictiveness," "racism" and "pandering" besetting this year's election cycle, and to call for Americans to mobilize and make sure every eligible person can vote in November.
"We're better than this," writes the former Talking Heads frontman, without ever naming any current or former candidates. "We are a country that, to the surprise of many, elected a black president… In fact, folks turned out in droves to vote for Obama. Citizens in many areas -- especially places with young, low-income, and minority populations -- got out to the polls and made themselves heard. We need to do this again."
But, as Byrne points out, that mobilization of low-income voters hasn't been happening in recent years, "and we need that to change." He cites voter ID laws passed in several states that make it harder for some people to vote as a main reason to support efforts to reduce disenfranchisement of voters.
"A two-pronged approach is required in order for that to happen," he writes, before listing two nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations that are currently in the field. The first is the Community Voters Project, whose staffers hit the pavement to register voters one-by-one, and provide guidance into the "sometimes intentionally confusing" process of voting. The second prong is via Project Vote, the legal group that provides "advocacy, litigation, research, and technical assistance to promote voter registration laws," plus they "ensure that list maintenance procedures do not remove eligible voters, and advance solutions that remove the barriers to voting."
You can read Byrne's post here.