Transit union plans swing-state voter-mobilization drive

ADVERTISEMENT
Hanley said the ATU, which has endorsed Obama, was hoping to convince transit riders that making their voices heard in the upcoming election could improve their commutes.

"Our goal is to really light up Cleveland and Denver, convincing our riders that voting is really important for a group that has really gotten screwed over by Congress the last couple of years," he said in an interview with The Hill. "We intend to kick up a lot of dust in these towns and get people agitated and motivated."

Hanley said that ATU officers would train their members in the cities to register voters and help them get to the polls on Election Day.

Hanley added that the transit union would also focus on making sure voters had proper identification to vote, given the efforts in many states to increase ID requirements for casting ballots.

"Transit riders are the group most likely to not have government identification," he said. "We're going to be trying to convince riders who have IDs to get out there and vote, and those who don't have IDs to go get IDs."

Hanley touted a recent poll conducted by an environmental group that showed that a large majority of Americans supported increased public transportation investment. He said ATU members have 10 million riders across the country each day and the union "intended to reach out wherever we are."

The union's initial effort in Cleveland and Denver is scheduled to begin on Sept. 29 and last four days.