Get out the vote!

VICPP Faithful Citizen Civic Engagement Program

Is everyone in your congregation registered to vote? Does everyone faithfully vote on Election Day or use early “absentee” voting opportunities? Does your community have many people who are unregistered or who don’t usually vote? We can help!

Get involved with our Faithful Civic Engagement Program. The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) is working with faith communities across the state to encourage people to vote during this year’s general election.

VICPP partners with congregations to offer training that promotes 100 percent voting.  In Virginia, faith communities are central to civic life and can play a critical role in organizing and motivating people to vote in every election. It is important to work together with faith communities to empower more people to use their votes to amplify their voices and impact public policy.

Civic engagement is the process of helping people be active participants in building and strengthening their communities. Voting in elections is a civic responsibility and has the most direct impact on our freedoms and on the health and future of our society. Elected officials work for us, so we need to make sure that the right people get hired. And once we hire and elect them, we need to make sure they do a good job representing our communities.

All 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the Virginia Senate are up for election in 2019. There are also key local elections such as sheriff, school board, board of supervisors and Commonwealth’s Attorney races that are very important opportunities for Virginians to decide which candidates will best to represent their interests.

The general election is on November 5, 2019.  Mark your calendars now and start/continue researching your candidates.

VICPP is offering regional Get Out the Vote (GOTV) trainings to equip congregations on effective nonpartisan civic engagement.

Tidewater: Monday, 9/9 and Tuesday, 9/10 – 6:30pm – 830pm both days – Location TBA
Prince William County: Saturday, 9/14 – 10am – 12pm – Location TBA
Richmond – Chesterfield: Monday, 9/16 – 6:30pm – 8:30pm – Location TBA

VICPP’s Civic Engagement Program utilizes:

  • Pledging
  • Preaching
  • Reminding
  • Celebrating
  • Analyzing and Planning

Pledging: Tests have shown that a simple way to encourage people to vote is to ask them to sign a Faithful Citizenship pledge card promising to vote.

Preaching: Pastors can build excitement about voting by preaching on the importance of using the power God has given us to make a difference in the world.

Reminding: People need to be reminded to vote. You can do this by sharing regular announcements with your congregation.

We will train volunteers to utilize the Outvote mobile phone app to remind their family and friends about voter registration deadlines and to get out and vote. Every election matters and every vote counts. Here are the deadlines:

  • Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Tuesday, October 15, 2019
  • Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.
  • Deadline to vote in-person absentee is Saturday, November 2, 2019
  • 2019 General election is Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Celebrating: Congregations can celebrate the privilege of democracy and build excitement about elections.  You can organize a “celebrate voting” party for people who bring their voting receipts. You can hold an election night party to watch the returns. You can ask everyone who voted to stand in the service right after the elections and give the voters a round of applause.

Analyzing and Planning: Effective voter registration and getting folks to vote is based on good data.

Analyze who in your congregation and community does and does not vote and make plans to focus your efforts on getting them registered and voting.

  • VICPP can help your congregation run your membership list through Virginia’s Voter Activation Network (VAN) to provide you with a report on who is registered (and who is not) and who is a regular voter (and who is not).

For more information, contact our Civic Engagement Coordinator, Quan Williams at (804) 643-2474 ext. 108 or fill out the form below.

Civic Engagement Interest Form

 

Resources:

http://www.pacefunders.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Civic-Engagement-Definition.pdf
https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/ref/college/collegespecial2/coll_aascu_defi.html?mcubz=3
Duty to vote: https://www.civics-online.org/voting-rights/four-important-responsibilities-of-voters