Forward to Action : Voter Registration, Mobilization, and Empowerment
This year’s Mid-Terms Elections are critical. It is often said that “this is the most important election in our lifetime.” This year’s election probably is. There is so much at stake, in a word the future of our democracy. The Sixth Episcopal District has made a commitment to help register and produce Black turnout in Georgia. To do this we must register hundreds of thousands of unregistered Blacks, and then get them to vote. There are six hundred thousand unregistered Blacks, and even more who are unregistered and don’t vote. We must change this reality.
Let our passion lead us to work and to produce. Below is the “Plan for Registration, Mobilization and Empowerment” of the Sixth Episcopal District for this year’s mid-term elections. Each church should have a Social Action or Election Committee to implement this Plan. This committee is critically important. If we follow the plan below we can have a huge Black turnout for this year’s elections. The goal is for 80% of our congregation to have voted by the end of early voting on October 28th.
- Each church is asked beginning Sunday, October 7th to print out and run off Absentee Ballot applications for every registered member of the church for the November 2018 election. Pass them out in congregation on Sunday mornings. Have members, especially seniors fill them out in church and collect them during service. Record the names of all those who request Absentee Ballots. Request them to bring completed Absentee Ballots back to the church no later than October 30th. Social Action or Election Committee will be responsible to mail them or return them personally to county election office. Social Action or Election Committee will cross off names of those who return Absentee Ballots, and follow up with those who have not returned completed Absentee Ballots. Procedure should be followed every Sunday up to October 28th. Absentee Ballots collected on October 28th should be taken to the County Registrar’s Office no later than November 3rd.
- Beginning Sunday, October 7th ask everyone who is in service and is registered to vote to stand. Those who do not stand should be given a registration form to complete. Collect the registration forms and turn in to the Board of Elections. The last day to register to vote in Georgia is October 9th.
- Every church should conduct a Voter Registration Drive. Begin within church congregation. Have each congregant get members of their families who are not registered to register. Give them registration forms to take home to have family members fill out, return to church and mail them in. Have Registration Stands at shopping centers, football games, etc..... Arrange to get high school students who turn 18 this year to register, if possible at school.
- Also seek to get colleges to assist in registration efforts. Remember to register former inmates and others in the correction system.
- Goal is for 80% of our congregants to cast ballots in early voting by October 28th. Early voting begins October 15th. Pastor should emphasize and encourage early voting each Sunday. It would be wonderful if we could organize around the State of Georgia where on Saturdays, October 20th and 27th, we organized cars and vans in each conference to take people to pick people up and take them to vote early. Presiding Elders and pastors may organize this.
- Don’t just vote yourself, but get others to also vote. Join the “I’m One of Ten” Campaign, where you get nine other people to also vote. Imagine how powerful this could be.
- There is early voting on Saturday, October 27th throughout the State of Georgia.
- In some counties, early voting will be held on Sunday, October 28th. Please see if your county is one of them. If so, churches should organize “Souls to the Polls” and following the benediction congregant should get in their cars or church vans and go to their polling site and cast their ballots early.
- Sunday, November 4th following service, every church should hold a “I Voted Early” Fellowship or event for the church and community members who voted early.
- Organize for Election Day, where the Social Action or Election Committee in each local church calls each member who is registered to vote, to remind and see if they have voted. If needed arrange transportation for those who need it.
The Outcome of this year’s Mid-Term Election is in our hands!!!