*(Bristow, VA) — Vote With Authority, the faith-based voting coalition, has announced an urgent call to action for churches to proactively take part in ensuring a high voter turnout in the 2012 election.
A letter addressed to the entire faith-based community — all clergy, churches of all denominations, ministries, artists and concerned people of faith are urges participation in ecumenical initiatives. The letter follows in its entirety:
URGENT CALL TO ACTION TO THE FAITH-BASED COMMUNITY: “All Hands On Deck”
Vote With Authority is on a mission to register faith-based voters in record numbers. The voice of the faith-based electorate must resound at the polls like never before on November 6, 2012! Such an impact requires “All Hands on Deck.”
We are living in perhaps the most turbulent sociopolitical climate in U.S. history. The nation is politically polarized, morality and civility are decaying, and the repercussions of an economic demise have dampened hope for many, while surreptitious practices threaten the very privilege of voting. Amid this rampant adversity, bold strategies to suppress votes and disenfranchise the elderly and minorities are pervasive. All of these conditions signal a political state of emergency! If Americans ever needed guidance from God Almighty, we sure do need it now!
The voices of the faithful must be heard through civic outreach.
During these concluding months before the election, Vote With Authority strongly encourages your active engagement in three key initiatives: 1. National Voter Registration Day, 2. Transport to the Polls and 3. the Voting Flash Mob.
In preparation for National Voter Registration Day on September 25 and the General Election on November 6, Vote With Authority challenges churches across the nation to conduct Voter Registration and/or a “Transport Souls to the Polls” effort.
The National Association of Secretaries of State has officially declared September 25, 2012 National Voter Registration Day (NVRD)! Vote With Authority, has partnered with NVRD to register voters before voter registration deadlines take effect around the nation. For one day non-profit organizations all over the country are expected to register their members and citizens in the areas they serve. VWA is asking you to stand with us so that faith-based communities can coalesce for massive impact on one single day that is dedicated to pervasive voter empowerment. Religious entities must be adequately represented.
VWA is encouraging participants to take an additional step and provide transportation to polling places on election day, November 6 — not only for church members, but also for anyone who needs it. Think of the individuals who do not show up at the polls simply because they do not have a vehicle, from students to the elderly, to the hard working person who has resorted to using public transportation because they can no longer afford a full tank of gas. Mobilizing voters is essential; registering is impractical without the ability to cast a vote.
Consider this: Although African-American voter turnout increased in 2008, only 65% of those registered showed up to vote (PEW Research Center, 2009). This data reflects the voting outcome nationally during the last election — thousands registered, but did not vote.
Finally, as an additional means of building awareness online, VWA is also giving voters the opportunitty to show their support of voting and motivate others with a flash mob contest. Although anyone can enter the contest worship and arts departments are encouraged to participate and use social media to gain votes for their entries. Contest details and the entry from are availabLe at http://www.votewithauthority.org/Vote-Mob-Rules—Sign-Up.html
Vote With Authority has been on the ground at the headquarters of BET registering and empowering people of faith as they attended the recording of Bobby Jones Gospel. The organization has gained the support of several gospel artists such as Tamela Mann, VaShawn Mitchell, Everett Drake and Sencere. The Rejoice Musical Soulfood Network has also pledged its support to Vote With Authority. Although this grassroots initiative is gradually growing, cooperation from faith leaders is the vital link to the movement’s continued advancement.
Now is the time for your ministry to take action! Planning is very minimal and training and resources will be provided. Sign up to become a host church by completing the registration form at www.votewithauthority.org. Please note the important dates on our agenda below:
FREE VOTER REGISTRATION TRAINING
September 5, 7 p.m.
September 12, 7 p.m.
Please email [email protected] for access to the pass code to join the training call.
Stickers and signage are available to all host
NVRD, September 25
First Baptist Church
“Celebration of Freedom,” October 27
ABOUT VOTE WITH AUTHORITY: Committed to the principles of faith, action and freedom from its headquarters in Northern Virginia, VWA is a non-partisan coalition of concerned citizens, Christian media, artists, churches, civic groups, fraternities and sororities that are committed to voter empowerment and social justice, especially in battle ground states.
ABOUT “ALL HANDS ON DECK”
VWA launched the “All Hands on Deck” campaign to unite churches in a singular voice to have a recognizable impact on voter turnout in the 2012 elections. The organization believes it is imperative that the church answers the clarion call to return to its historic position as a beacon of light for civil rights and social justice. For more info about VWA call 703-594-1779 or join us on Facebook: VotewtihAuthority2012. Gospel artists who are interested in impacting the vote during their appearances should email [email protected].