David Byrne has revealed that he decided to become a U.S. citizen after six decades so that he could vote. Byrne has become an advocate for voter registration and has been convincing people to register to vote a major part of new Broadway production, American Utopia. He told Rolling Stone, “I would have thought, ‘Oh, come on. They’re all registered.' But they’re not.”
Byrne said that he would like to see the people who are eligible to vote actually take advantage of that privilege. He explained, “Look at the people showing up at the polls, and it’s like 25 percent. It’s pathetic. I had British citizenship with a green card and I became an American citizen so that I could vote.”
Byrne became a U.S. citizen back in 2012. When asked why it took him so long, he said, “Well, I was busted. I had the mistaken idea, I guess — or maybe not — but I had a green card and I had an idea that the law was that people with green cards, permanent residents, could vote for everything except president — which I did."
He continued, “And then one time, shortly before I got my citizenship, I went into the local elementary school where you vote and they finally must have checked against citizenship, immigration, whatever else, and they said, ‘You can’t vote!' I said, ‘OK, I’ll be back.’ They were good-natured about it.”