In order to be successful in achieving our goals we must begin by focusing on the most basic act that a citizen can perform – voting.
Polling has shown that fewer than 50% of self-identified Christians are registered to vote, and only half of those who are registered actually vote on Election Day. If we are to continue to thrive as a political force in this country, if we expect our issues to be addressed in the public arena, then we must be capable to turning out in force when the polls are open. Obviously this is impossible if Christians are not registered to vote.
Citizenship Sunday is a targeted voter registration effort conducted in churches all across our country. To make it a success, it is vital that your church participate and ensure that all its members are registered to vote.
In anticipation of conducting a Citizenship Sunday registration drive in your church, or in other churches, you should first gain the pastor’s approval. After you’ve done that, follow the steps as listed below.
Place an announcement in your church bulletin several Sundays in advance. If your church has an announcement board or video screen, use this method as well. Whatever needs to be done for your church to be aware of Citizenship Sunday should be done.
Have the pastor make an announcement from the pulpit that Sunday as well. If an announcement is made by a lay-person or other staff member, it won’t have as much influence. The pastor should mention this during the Worship Service and give directions as to where the registration table is located.
You should be able to get copies of the voter registration form for your state by clicking here.
Set Up The Table
When setting up your registration table, make sure to place it in an area with heavy traffic. You may want to use multiple locations if there are several exits. If you have posters, hang them behind your table so that people will know why you are there. Spread the registration forms and other materials on your table.
Work The Table
When working the table, you should stand in front of it, (DO NOT SIT DOWN). Engage people in conversation as they pass, asking them if they are registered to vote. You must be pro-active or nothing will happen.
When a person takes a form, have them fill it out immediately at your table. Don’t give them any opportunity to take it with them and then forget. Tell them you will be responsible for taking all completed forms to the voter registration office, (or mailing them in if your state so requires). Use the voter registration sign-up sheets to get their names, addresses and phone numbers so we can keep them informed on issues as well as upcoming elections.
The Follow Up
After you have filed all the new registration forms with your voter registration office, send a copy of the names to the state office and a copy to the national Christian Coalition of America office if it is allowed in your state. Keep a copy for the local chapter. You now have a list of Christian registered voters. Stay in contact with these individuals, as they may need additional information about opportunities for grassroots activism in the future.
Now a must: A ‘Thank You’ note to the pastor and other leadership in the church who helped make the project possible. Express your appreciation for their help and the importance of the duty of voting. This helps you to build a trusting relationship with your pastor so when you plan your next project/event, you will have access to the members of the church.
We are encouraged by the progress that the Christian Coalition of America has made in the past few years, brought about by increased turnout among pro-family voters. Not just voting Christians, but active citizens that are informed and knowledgeable about political issues and candidates. These are the people who will become future Christian Coalition Church Liaisons, Precinct Captains and volunteers. They are the next generation of leaders for the pro-family movement.
The church is the largest target market for potential Christian voters. There are other markets that should be considered. Local business, Christian Bookstores, clubs, malls and other high traffic venues are potential voter registration sites. Get permission to set up a voter registration table and put up a Christian Coalition of America sign as the sponsor.
Reporting Voter Registration Threats
If you receive reports of any church or pastor being threatened not to participate in voter registration activities, please report those incidents to our national office as soon as possible. Supply the name of the church and/or pastor threatened and all pertinent contact information and full details of the person or organization that threatened the church.
According to federal law, it is illegal to intimidate, threaten, or coerce anyone, verbally or through correspondence, from registering to vote or participating in voter registration activities. This would be a serious threat to our freedom as Americans, and must be dealt with accordingly.
How To Contact Us
If you have any questions about conducting a voter registration drive in your church, other Christian Coalition activities or would like to get in touch with Christian Coalition leadership in your area, please call us at (202) 479-6900.