Do More Than Vote

by Debbie Wuthnow

Practical Actions You Can Take

As we all know, voting is effective only insofar as people participate and votes are counted correctly. In recent years election fraud has been the focus of much attention. As citizens work with state legislatures to enact laws that make voting more secure—and stop destructive federal overreach—we must also recognize that it is within our power to make a difference right now.  

Less than twenty percent of those eligible actually vote, and even fewer take part in facilitating the voting process, which is essential to free and fair elections. I want to give you an overview of three things that you can do this season:

Practical Actions to Protect the Integrity of the Election Process

1. Become a volunteer voter registrar, or hold a voter registration drive.

Millions of eligible voters are missing from America’s political decision-making process. While many complain about voter integrity, one of the simplest ways the effects of fraud are countered is when like-minded people are registered to vote and show up at the polls. Once registered, people are more likely to take the next step and vote. Honest voter registration is a safeguard against fraudulent registration.

Nearly one out of every two Christians who are eligible to vote do not consistently take advantage of this tremendous opportunity. Imagine the impact even a registration drive at just one church can have!

In some states, you can apply to become a deputy voter registrar. In Texas, you must become a deputy registrar to submit a person’s completed voter registration application. Otherwise, that person must submit it themselves.

Other states do not provide a deputy registrar program, but they make registration forms available for individuals and organizations to hand out at registration drives. You can contact your county elections office to find out how you can help register voters.

2. Become an election worker.

Election workers facilitate the voting process on election day. It wasn’t until later in life that I became aware that this opportunity is open to people like you and me. By working at a local polling location, you take responsibility for protecting the right to vote and the security of part of the process. It’s also a great chance to meet your neighbors!

You can sign up to be an election worker here through the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. You may be paid a nominal wage for your service. Training is usually provided through your county elections office. Your duties may include:

  • Setting up and packing up the voting equipment at the polling location
  • Making sure voters are registered in the correct county
  • Transporting the ballots and election equipment back to your county elections office—a major responsibility!
  • Guarding against electioneering (illegal campaigning) at the polling location

How important are poll workers, you ask? In a 2004 Tennessee election, a vigilant poll worker caught one lady trying to vote in her deceased sister’s name. In a 2010 primary in Dallas, a poll worker attempted to use another person’s registration information to cast a fraudulent vote. Her attempt was thwarted, thankfully, by another poll worker who was honest.

The integrity of those entrusted with administering our elections are critically important—and the opportunity is available to you.

3. Become a poll watcher or observer.

Accountability is a key component to a fair election. Volunteer poll watchers observe the voting process at the polling location. As a poll watcher, you make sure election workers are enforcing and observing the law, no illegal electioneering is taking place, and voters are being treated correctly.

Poll watcher (also called election observer) duties may include:

  • Alerting an election worker to potential errors or violations in facilitating the voting
  • Documenting all observations and reporting any incidents
  • Observing the set up and dismantling of election equipment, and the handling of ballots at the end of the night

Poll watchers may be appointed by a political candidate or political party. In addition, election observers may be needed at the location where ballots are counted, not just where the voting takes place.

You can find your state requirements for election observers as well as training through a resource provided by one of our partners.

Does it make a difference? Yes, it does!

Often the most important jobs are not the most glamorous. Citizen action is by far the most effective way to engage your neighbors in voting, protect election integrity, and ultimately preserve our freedoms. At a time when people feel helpless and don’t believe they can make a difference, have no doubt . . . YOU CAN.  We need trustworthy citizens like yourself to step up and fill these positions.

It’s tempting to think preserving our freedom always requires bold measures and sacrifices. It is often the relatively mundane, behind-the-scenes, sometimes unnoticed acts of service that make the biggest difference. Sometimes, the most courageous action you can take is simply doing your part, refusing to give up, and leaving the rest to God.

Across your state—in each county, community, and polling place—these roles can be filled by people who desire to preserve freedom, or weaken it. It’s a compounding effect, for good or bad. It all depends on who takes action!

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