“The right to full participation of the person in political and civic life, including the opportunity: to vote by secret ballot…the right to vote is a basic human right.” from the 1963 NCC Human Rights Policy Statement
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) announces the publication of its “Voter Empowerment 2022 Resource Guide: A Church-based Action Plan.”
Since adopting a Human Rights Policy Statement in 1963 that declared the inherent worth, rights, and responsibilities of all persons, and steadfastly supporting the Civil Rights Movement by marching with the late civil rights icons Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Congressman John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the NCC has long been resolute in making sure people have the right to vote and exercise that right in every election.
“The NCC Voter Empowerment Resource Guide provides ways for our member denominations and their local congregations to actively engage in encouraging participation in the basic human right of voting,” said Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, Interim President and General Secretary. “Polling places and voter identification procedures have changed. Many voters have been removed from the voter rolls. With more than 35 states changing their voting laws and requirements since the 2020 election, churches must be trustworthy vessels and carry accurate information to their members so that they know how to exercise their right to vote.”
The NCC Voter Empowerment Resource Guide focuses on monthly calls for action on the second Sunday of each month, “Check-up Sundays,” culminating in “Turn Out Sunday” on November 6th before the midterm elections on November 8th. The guide was developed in partnership with Faiths United to Save Democracy, a broad-based interfaith coalition, which founded and promotes Turn Out Sunday. The Voter Empowerment 2022 Resource Guide is meant to be used by churches as a companion to Faiths United to Save Democracy’s Toolkit detailing voter information for all 50 states.
“Voter protections are severely lacking,” said Bishop Teresa Jefferson-Snorton, NCC Governing Board Chair and Presiding Bishop of the Fifth Episcopal District, Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. “Crucial protections that would have been guaranteed by the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act were never passed by the U.S. Senate. Churches have often played a role in supporting essential services and programs by encouraging their members to vote and the National Council of Churches hopes to support their efforts.”
To obtain the guide:
Go to https://nationalcouncilofchurches.us/voter-empowerment/