Austin musicians group registering hundreds of people to vote on the weekends

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Pat Buchta and Scott Strickland of the advocacy nonprofit Austin Texas Musicians set up a table at Radio Coffee & Beer to help register people to vote. (KXAN Photo/ Alyssa Goard).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The past two weekends at Radio Coffee & Beer in south Austin, representatives from the musician advocacy nonprofit Austin Texas Musicians have had a table there, offering to register patio-goers to vote for the Nov. 3 Election. The group says over the past few years they’ve found a growing number of intersections between Austin’s renowned music community and politics.

This past weekend, the group believes they registered around 300 people to vote just from their outreach at Radio. They plan to be out each weekend leading up to Oct. 5. In order to vote on Election Day in Texas, you must be registered by Oct. 5.

Staffing the booth Sunday were Scott Strickland and Pat Buchta, both decked in neon yellow shirts and armed with plenty of forms. Strickland works as a live musician in Austin, but with much of the live music scene on hold, he said it feels worthwhile to be volunteering his time to getting people registered.

Buchta is executive director of Austin Texas Musicians and explained during city votes last year to direct hotel occupancy tax funding towards Austin’s music community, he realized just how many musicians were interested in getting involved with local affairs. In his group alone, there are around 4,600 musicians who are members.

“It’s just a matter of educating our audience and letting our community know how impactful their voice can be when we come together and use that,” he said.

Initially the voter outreach from Buchta’s group started as a way to get the music community involved.

“We’re trying to register as many musicians as we can to vote and of course that spills over to the whole community, so really anyone in Travis County or even in the outlying counties,” he explained.

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