|Posted by Elwin Green on August 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM|
Councilman Ricky V. Burgess will begin door-knocking in Homewood next week in a campaign to make sure that residents are able to vote in November.
Councilman Burgess pledged the action in a meeting this afternoon at Nazarene Baptist Church, where he is the pastor. He called the meeting after his staff compiled information indicating that more than 4,000 voters in his district will not be able to vote under a new state law. The law, signed by Governor Tom Corbett in March, says that voters must show a state-approved photo ID in order to vote. It has been criticized by many who say that large numbers of people lack such IDs, and may not obtain them in time to vote in November's election.
"This (law) is an insidious plan to disenfranchise African-Americans" and to swing Pennsylvania into presidential contender Mitt Romney's camp, Burgess said.
The meeting focused on getting volunteers to knock on the doors of those 4,000-plus people, whom Burgess' office have listed by address, to make sure that they know about the Voter ID law.
Then will come the work of helping people who need a photo ID to get one, which may involve transporting them to photo centers.
Today's gathering was small - only about a dozen people - but included people with extensive neworks, like state representative Joseph Preston and Celeste Taylor, who works for voting rights through involvement with both the Pittsburgh NAACP and the Black Political Empowerment Project.
Taylor emphasized the need for volunteers to remain strictly nonpartisan in their conversations with voters - to focus on making sure that they have the ability to vote, without discussing who they might for.
To volunteer, call Councilman Burgess's office at 412-255-2137 or Ms. Taylor at 412-471-1024.