Religion and Race

 


The Ministry of
Racial Reconciliation

 

 

Contact

Rev. Brian Tillman 
brian.tillman@ngumc.net

Religion & Race Resources

CCORR Fair Elections Initiative

The members of CCORR (the Conference Committee on Religion and Race) see voter suppression as one of the pivotal racial issues of our day. Each year since 2018 CCORR has participated and encouraged others to participate in the SCLC WOMEN’s Civil Rights Heritage Tour that walks the path of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. We visit pivotal locations in Alabama that include 16 Street Baptist Church, the location of the death of Jimmie Lee Jackson, and also Selma where many were beaten on Bloody Sunday before eventually marching 54 miles to Montgomery demanding voting rights for Black Americans and any others whose vote had been suppressed.

You may be surprised to learn that voter suppression is still present in American society. It just looks different that it did before. Black American’s are routinely subjected to longer lines on election day year after year. Black voters are turned away from the polls or discouraged from voting. This summer, Georgia made national news for its failures on election day. Some people had to wait in lines for 7 hours to cast their vote. This should never happen in the United States. Equal access to the voting booth is not a partisan position.

The members of the United Methodist Church in North Georgia can help in a number of ways that will help remedy this problem.
 

For Pastors and Members

  • Vote! Vote in every election (Primary and General Election). Vote for candidates that represent racial justice issues and who are committed to the beloved community where everyone has equal access. Know when ad where to vote. https://www.mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do
  • Vote early or by mail! The best way to avoid long lines and to safely vote during the pandemic is to vote early or to vote by mail. https://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/advancedVotingInfo.do
  • Encourage newer voters to register and to vote! Anyone who will be 18 years old before election day (November 3, 2020) is eligible to vote. The registration deadline in October 5, 2020. https://registertovote.sos.ga.gov/GAOLVR/welcome.do#no-back-button
  • Become a poll worker! One issue we see is that there are too few polling locations because there are shortages of poll workers. To become a poll worker, you must be at least 16 years old, speak English, not be a candidate or a relative of one, be able to work on election day for 8-14 hours, and be a problem solver. It’s a service to the community that has been underappreciated. Several members of CCORR have started the process of becoming poll workers and we’d like you to join us. https://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/countyelectionoffices.do
  • Join other groups efforts to encourage voters! Groups like the New Georgia Project help to organize to call and encourage potential voters to vote. https://newgeorgiaproject.org/

 

For Churches

  • Make election day a staff holiday for all church staff. Encourage them to go vote and you do the same.
  • Collect umbrella’s, water, snacks, etc. for people waiting in long lines on election day. Send teams from your church without any political gear to distribute freely to those in need so that they are encouraged to stay in line longer to exercise their voting rights. This is particularly needed in areas where long lines have consistently been a problem.
  • Become a polling location. Call you county election office and ask about becoming a polling location in the next election. https://elections.sos.ga.gov/Elections/countyelectionoffices.do