Recently, a published statistic astonishingly indicated that nearly 60 percent of church going Virginians are not registered to vote! How can we expect to change the political culture in our commonwealth and nation if we don’t even bother to take part in elections?
To encourage more citizens to vote, The Family Foundation of Virginia is urging you to make sure you are registered to vote in this year’s elections, and then ask your church leadership to hold a voter registration drive in your church over the next two Sundays. The Family Foundation’s goal is to register 30,000 Virginians during this period because the voter registration deadline for this November’s crucial election (or to have voter registration applications postmarked) is Monday, October 6. So, we urge you to act immediately since that date is only a couple of weeks away.
To register yourself, simply download this pdf form at the State Board of Elections Web site, fill it out and mail it to the State Board of Elections at: 200 N. 9th Street/Suite 101/Richmond, VA 23219.
Voter registration at your church is simple. The following are some ideas for running an effective voter registration drive at a church:
Sunday School Or Group Initiative:
Print the State Board of Elections voter registration form at the above link and make copies. Delegate the distribution of these voter registration applications to every individual in a Sunday school class, study group or ministry meeting. This can be done by the distribution of applications by the teacher or facilitator to each individual once the group has assembled; or through the placement of an application in each attendee’s chair before the start of the meeting.
The teacher or facilitator then can provide an opportunity for those who are unregistered to fill out the application and return it to a designated person at the end of the session. This designated “collector” then can mail the completed applications to the State Board of Elections.
Church Or Attendee Wide Initiative:
Delegate the distribution of voter registration applications to every individual attending each worship service on Sunday. This may be done either by the placement of a voter registration application in every available seat; through usher/greeter distribution as attendees enter the church; or through distribution at a designated point in the service.
The senior or lead pastor, or designated spokesperson, then can highlight the presence of the applications and encourage the completion of them by every unregistered voter in the congregation. Upon completion of the voter registration applications, they may be collected in whatever format seems most efficient and effective for the particular circumstance and congregation. The person designated as responsible for them can then send them to the State Board of Elections.
Please note: The ”Church Or Attendee Wide Initiative” is the most effective form of securing the largest amount of Voter Registration Applications. Other forms are effective, but do not hit the largest audience available in a church’s congregation.
Voter registration drives are well inside the boundaries of the law, and are not party oriented. For a church to conduct a voter registration drive is nothing more than an encouragement of its members to be actively engaged citizens as Paul promotes in the book of Romans.
If you are interested in a sample bulletin insert to encourage people in your church to register to vote, we can provide it. Just let us know as soon as possible. (Click here for our contact information.) (For more information on voter registration, including key links to the State Board of Elections Web site, click here.) Participating in an election is a special freedom. We hope you will make sure you are registered to vote and to encourage others to speak their voices as well by voting on November 4.