Are You Ready to . . .
“Cast your vote, not on a partisan basis, not based on your biases, but vote your values. Vote the values of human dignity and equality. Vote the values of the rock on which this country was built. Vote.”
“We are blessed as a nation to vote. As citizens of this country this is a right, an obligation, and a duty. Go vote. Vote your conscience. Your conscience informed by what it means to love your neighbor, to participate in the process of seeking the common good, to participate in the process of making this a better world. However you vote, go and vote. And do that as followers of Jesus.”
-Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Note: Churches, as nonprofit organizations, must follow certain guidelines when participating in elections. Churches may not campaign, openly or otherwise, for or against candidates for public office. However, the IRS permits houses of worship to involve their members in the political process by helping them understand the issues, registering and encouraging them to vote, and inviting candidates to address them. Here are more resources on what your church can and cannot do during election season. The IRS also has a publication that you can use as a guide for your election engagement activities titled “Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations.”
Register To Vote!
We cannot engage in the public square through voting if we’re not registered to vote! Don’t procrastinate— get registered today!
✓ Visit https://vote.gov/ to get registered NOW.
✓ If you’re registering for the first time, don’t do it alone! Find friends and fellow parishioners who aren’t yet registered and sign up together.
✓ Talk to youth and young adults about the importance of registering and help get them registered. Many states allow voter registration before 18 years old if you will be 18 before the next election.
✓ Host a voter registration drive. Use this link for information on hosting your own voter registration drive, state-specific information for North Carolina. Use this link to Rock the Vote for a complete Voter Registration Tool Kit including state specific details.
Mobilize Your Community!
Help your community members get to polling stations on Election Day. It is important to remember that churches are required by law to be non-partisan.
✓ Join Lawyers and Collars. This initiative engages pastors, imams, rabbis, and other faith leaders, to stand alongside lawyers at voting precincts of vulnerable citizens. They will provide a combined legal and moral presence against voter suppression, intimidation, and harassment. Check out their website for more information.
✓ Give rides to the polls. Not everyone has an easy means of transportation to get to their polling location. Match people willing to offer transportation with those who are in need of a ride to the polls.
✓ Provide child care service during election hours. Some voters with children may experience challenges to get to the polls due to child care needs. Find volunteers for providing child care and identifying those who are in need of child care while they go to cast their vote.
✓ Make sure your community members know where to vote. Finding your polling location is simple! You can now search “find my polling location” via Google and you will be directed to provide #VoteFaithfully your voting address. Google will provide early voting information, Election Day polling locations, and ballot information! You can also go to Rock the Vote for voting info.
✓ Know the laws for community members with past criminal convictions. Criminal disenfranchisement laws vary by state. Use and share this resource to inform people on their eligibility to vote.
✓ Equip your community members with voter protection tools. Make sure every member of your congregation knows where they can turn for help if they have trouble casting their ballot. Share this information about election protection. Include voter protection information in your church bulletin!
✓ Use the Civil Discourse Curriculum to help engage your parish in conversations around civic engagement and the key issues in the campaign. Find the full curriculum here.
Use common church platforms for quick and easy communication to encourage your community to get out the vote.
✓ Announce Election Day in your church bulletin or newsletter. Familiarize your congregation with any services you are offering to help people get to the polls.
✓ Put up signs encouraging your community to #VoteFaithfully! Here is a sample: Voting is service to our community. #VoteFaithfully this Election Day, November 8! Are you voting?
✓ Engage on social media. Demonstrate to your friends, family, and community your church’s commitment to our common life this election season. Tell them that you #VoteFaithfully. Here are some sample posts:
- When we vote, we publicly declare our commitment to love our neighbor and to seek the common good.
- Let’s spread the word that we #VoteFaithfully!
- I listen, I pray, and I #VoteFaithfully on Election Day!
- I #VoteFaithfully because voting is a commitment we make to our community.
Do not miss opportunities to write elected officials! Subscribe to the Episcopal Public Policy Network email list for action alerts or follow them on social media @TheEPPN on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Read resolutions the Episcopal Church General Convention passed in July related to elections:
✓ Addressing the Issue of Voter Suppression
✓ Support of One Person, One Vote
RITE II 10:30am
Choral and Family Holy Eucharist
Taizé 6:00pm Tuesday
Ecumenical music and prayers in the Taizé tradition