Get Out The Vote: Work With Your Church Congregations!
From RoseMarie Newton, Chair of Government for Accountable Citizens…
Dear G-A-C Team and Friends,
I’m not sure what contact you have with pastors and parishes — I imagine you know many of them. If not, I’m sure you know people who are influential in some sphere of activity, e.g., small business owners or club members. And I’m sure you have already become involved in the politics of this season which will bear fruit for many generations to come.
Did you know that in 2008 only 50% of Christians voted? Some surveys show that only 25% of Christians usually vote. (I don’t have the figures for Jewish voters.) But this is not an ordinary election. A mounting body of people committed to retaining our founding principles is attempting to articulate and act upon the importance of Faithful Citizenship. Recently the Northwest Florida Christian Voters Conference was held that focused on the Role of Pastors & Christians in Civil Government. They affirmed the right and the responsibility to vote. How do we carry this message?
We need to make certain that our pastors, priests, rabbis and religious leaders know that there are easily available materials and directions for organizing a voter registration effort in every church. We are trying to alert, in particular, those people who are not registered. But every person needs to know how important their vote is, particularly in this election. The deadline for voters to register is October 9, 2012–just 30 days from today!
With the help of the Internet, it’s possible for a church group (or any group–the materials can be used for nonreligious, Jewish, etc.) to get this organized in a few hours. There are even free graphics to download for promotional materials. The whole process can be done onsite. Here’s how:
1. Go to http://www.unifythevote.com/ . . .
2. Click on Religious Organizations in the menu at the top. Everything you need is right in this one spot – here in the pulldown menu you’ll find Fearless Speaking; Programs & Tools; Faithful Citizenship 101; and Videos for Churches. You’ll find out who’s registered, and you can register them right here on this website as well.
3. Follow the How To Steps; download the free graphics for flyers, yard signs, and posters that can be used by any person or organization to remind people to vote.
4. Set up a voters registration table right at your site; you will need a laptop, internet access and printer. Print out two copies of each voter’s registration voucher, mail one copy to the Supervisor of Elections, and give one copy to the voter.
Check out Faithful Citizenship 101, and www.PoliticalResponsibility.org if you have any concerns about IRS regulations. Note: If you live outside of Florida, or want to look at a slightly different approach, you might check out http://www.championthevote.com/, which has the same one-stop capability.
Chair, Government for Accountable Citizens
Feel free to contact RoseMarie at firstname.lastname@example.org