In line with a legacy of affirming the right for all citizens to participate in the democratic process, the 223rd General Assembly passed an overture calling on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to oppose, “any efforts to restrict participation in elections, including, but not limited to, voter suppression initiatives and racially based and/or partisan gerrymandering.”
The following resource list is designed to help congregations and members offer witness to the values and promises of a just and equitable electoral process. In addition to the links presented below, be sure to watch our webinar on engaging congregation members in the upcoming election.
Congregational Resources from the PC(USA):
Advocacy in the New Age of Voter Suppression: This guide gives a historical overview of voting rights and the social movements that secured the Voting Rights Act, and provides discussion questions and suggestion activities related to the reading material.
Lift Every Voice: Democracy, Voting Rights and Electoral Reform. Published by the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, approved by the 218th General Assembly.
“A Call to Citizenship- Answering the Challenge of Political Life.” An essay from Rev. Dr. Cynthia M. Campbell, which gives the theological and biblical basis for public witness role of the Christian community within society.
Clarifying 501(c)(3) Status: What can Congregations Do?
Many churches are 501(c)(3) organizations, which means they are exempt from a federal income tax. How does this shape the organization’s involvement in the political sphere? Below is a list of resources that can help answer questions specific to organizations with a 501(c)(3) status:
- Guide to Election-Related Activities for 501(c)(3) Organizations
- Election Checklist for 501(c)(3) Public Charities
- Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns
- Hosting Candidate Debates
- Contacting Parties and Candidates Concerning Election Protection Efforts
- Distributing Voting Records/Legislative Scorecards
- Election Activities of Individuals Associated with 501(c)(3)Election Activities of Board Members
- Sample 501(c)(3) Organizational Policy for Election Season
Interested in registering someone to vote or hosting a voter registration event? The tools below will allow you to understand how to do that and everything in between! The Voter Registration Event Toolkit (last link) allows you to download a folder that includes a voter registration guide specific to your state, a social media guide; and premade, printable logos and banners for your event.
- Check Voter Registration Status
- Polling Place Locator
- Absentee Ballot
- National Mail-In Voter Registration Form
- Online Registration Form
- Voter Registration Event Toolkit
Below you’ll find voter rights resources related to voter protection, which include: a document that highlights accessibility rights, volunteer opportunities, and the information needed to report a voting-related incident.
- Federal Laws Protecting the Rights of Voters with Disabilities
- ADA Checklist for Polling Places from the Department of Justice
- Lawyers and Collars Toolkit
- Volunteering at Polls
- Voter Protection Volunteer: English | Spanish | Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali
- Report An Incident:
- Justice Department Voting Rights Hotline: 800-253-3931
- Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law: 866-OUR-VOTE
- Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Education Fund: 888-Ve-Y-Vota
- APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice: 888-API-VOTE
- Arab American Institute Yalla Vote Hotline: 844-418-1682
The Voting Information Tool below allows for voters to see official voting information, such as ballot information, only using a residential address.
Interfaith Elections Webinar:
The “Our Faith, Our Vote,” webinar is a collaboration between faith partners that intends to share the best ways people of faith can contribute to the civic and political engagement movement. The webinar provides an overview about how to set up a voter registration drive in a congregation, best practices for engaging candidates on key issues, important voter protection efforts, and examples the actions faith communities and others are doing this election cycle.
Click HERE to access the recording.
Lawyers and Collars:
Lawyers and Collars is a program that engages faith leaders alongside legal presence to ensure that vulnerable voters at voting precincts do not experience suppression, harassment, or intimidation. The toolkit presented on their website has a comprehensive do’s-and-don’ts list for faith leaders, voter education component, and a best practices against voter suppression section.
General Assembly Policy:
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is guided by the General Assembly. To view the policies passed by the General Assembly that are relevant to voter rights, see:
Many Thanks to interfaith partners Friends Committee on National Legislation, Islamic Relief, Emgage USA, NETWORK, NCJW, and ELCA. Thanks to Congressional Hunger Fellow, Jamila Cervantes for preparing these resources.