Civic Action

As a Civic Awareness Coordinator, you will facilitate nonpartisan voter registration drives in your congregation. Below you will find what you need to help you organize an efficient and effective voter registration drive!

Your participation will literally impact the course of this nation. What you will be doing is SIMPLE, but the effects are long lasting. We believe that things can and will change if we will pray and act. Part of Justice at the Gates role in this process is to educate Christians on the election process and to encourage voting through voter registration.

Who is Eligible to Register?

American citizens age 18 and older who are not registered, are not convicted felons, and have not been declared mentally incompetent by a court of law

Votes who are new in your county

Voters who have changed their name

Voters who have moved, even within the same precinct

Individuals serving in the military

Why is it so important to register members of my congregation?

In the United States today, there are 60 million people who identify themselves as Christians. However, only 36 million are registered to vote and only 15 million even voted in the 2000 Presidential Election!! That means that only 2 out of 4 Christians are registered to vote and only 1 out of 4 even vote! It is quite probable that there are a number of people in your congregation who don’t vote and who aren’t registered to vote. This must not remain the norm. That is why your help is so critical!

Is it legal for me to hold a voter registration drive in my congregation?

Yes!! It is completely legal for a congregation to sponsor and/or conduct a nonpartisan voter registration drive or GOTV (Get out the Vote) drive among its members or on its premises. For it to remain nonpartisan, a voter registration drive must be designed to register anyone, regardless of preference for any candidate or political party.

Where do I obtain the applications for the voter registration drive?

You can obtain the application cards by contacting the election division at your county courthouse or the election division at your Secretary of State’s office and asking them to send you applications for voter registration.

How do I organize the drive?

Obtain the permission and blessing of your pastor, priest or rabbi.

Recruit e a few congregation members who will help with the voter registration drive.

Provide a voter registration drive insert or flier in the Sunday bulletin.

Contact your Secretary of State office to find out what the date for your Election Day is and plan the drive 5-6 weeks out (applicants will be eligible to vote on the 30th day after completing registration, or whatever date the laws in your state determine).

How do I conduct the drive?

The most effective way to give everyone the opportunity to register is (with the permission of your congregations’s leader) to pass out the cards during the service and either the leader or you can go over the cards with them and have them fill them out right then. Then, you can either pass a container for them to put their cards in or have a box marked MAIL at the back of the church for them to drop their cards into.

If it is not possible to fill them out together, you can set up a table in the foyer and make an announcement during church that the table is there for people to register to vote.

After you have collected all of the cards, take them to the nearest post office and send them on their way (postage is already pre-paid)! It is not necessary to be deputized to collect the cards and mail them.

How can I help members of my congregation cast an informed vote?

It is important that people of faith make wise choices when casting their votes for candidates. One way you can help to educate others is through voter guides. A voter guide will list the candidates running for office and their positions or beliefs on certain issues (pro-family, economic, education, etc.). You can contact a pro-family organization in your city or state. They may already have a voters guide available or might be able to direct you to an organization that does have one.

In addition, Justice at the Gate has published some booklets that compare the two major national party platforms stand on issues (In one booklet, we look at Biblical issues prayer in schools, education, homosexuality, and abortion. In the other booklet, we look at the two parties views on racial equality and civil justice.). Knowing which party has values that line up with your own is a very important part of the decision making process of the elections! You can contact our office at (210) 677-8214 or visit our store to order copies of these platform comparisons.

Is there anything else that I need to know?

If you have any questions that have not been addressed in this brochure, please feel free to contact our office and we will help you in any way possible!! You can also visit the Secretary of State’s website for your state and stay up to date on all of the elections and requirements for your state. Also, make sure that you are signed up for the Justice at the Gate email alert so that you can stay connected with all that is going on.

We cannot succeed without people like you!! John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence, said, I urge you, by all that is dear, by all that is honorable, by all that is sacred, not only that you pray but that you act. Thank you for the action you have taken by volunteering to organize your church. Together we can see our nation changed through effective prayer and righteous voting!