By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The NAACP is making a push to get more Philadelphia area voters registered by the October 6th deadline.

“It’s clear from our observation that there is a steady erosion of the principles of democracy,” NAACP Philadelphia vice president Rodney Muhammad (in photo above) said provocatively, kicking off a call for action to get those eligible to vote registered in time for the November gubernatorial election.

“We have roughly 40 days before one of the most important elections in the state will take place,” he said.

Philadelphia turnout in the last presidential election was about sixty percent, but in the last governor’s election was only about 40 percent.

While the plea to register and vote was nonpartisan, Philadelphia city councilman Curtis Jones (at right in background of photo) noted that a higher Philadelphia turnout might have changed the 2010 results.

“There has not been a commitment to public education,” Jones said.  “Young people have to choose between books and paper, so we have already seen what can happen adversely.”

Philadelphia has about 1 million, 32 thousand registered voters, but census figures suggest that leaves some 200,000 unregistered.