Michael Copps, the former FCC Commissioner who now heads Common Cause's Media and Democracy Reform Initiative, called on the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today to join in countering efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voter turnout.
In a letter to the NAB president, Gordon Smith, Copps noted an alarming rise in attempts to stifle voting, including organized disinformation campaigns by shadowy groups that appear bent on keeping certain voters away from the polls. Broadcasters should air Public Service Announcements during prime time to explain voters' rights and where citizens can turn if their eligibility is challenged, Copps said. He also called on broadcasters to enhance coverage of local elections, so that voters can make informed decisions.
"Now is the time to remind those who are granted stewardship of the public's airwaves that their highest duty, especially in the days and weeks just ahead, is to inform and nourish the civic dialogue upon which the vitality of the United States always depends." Copps wrote.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.
Office: Common Cause National
Issues: Media and Democracy