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Baltimore voters cast their ballots during early voting 2014.
Attribution
Jay Baker

This is an extraordinary election year. Control over the U.S. House and Senate hang in the balance as voters go to the polls this November. The public is deeply polarized along partisan lines, and threats of violence related to the elections have been rising. The outcomes of local elections—from school board representatives to the governor—will significantly shape our common life, and the integrity of our democratic process is at stake.

As people of faith, our voices are needed not only to strengthen our democracy but to help end bigotry and hate, prevent electoral violence, and begin to heal the deep divisions in our country.  

The Nov. 8, 2022 election comes at a time when we recognize that our democracy is teetering and is continually subject to onslaughts in our highly divided country.

In states across the nation, we have witnessed gerrymandering and attacks on voting rights. Lawmakers are making it more difficult for voters living in poverty, people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Polling shows millions of people believe violence can be justified for political change.

As people of faith, our voices are needed not only to strengthen our democracy but to help end bigotry and hate, prevent electoral violence, and begin to heal the deep divisions in our country.  

We must participate in elections, which are the bedrock of our democracy, and help ensure a free, fair, and safe process for all voters. If people are prevented from voting or don’t think their vote matters, we cannot have a government of, by, and for the people.

Ways to Engage

Pastor holds "Count Every Vote" sign at pro-Democracy protests in Washington DC on November 4, 2020.
Attribution
Geoff Livingston/Flickr

Power the Polls

In 2020, America faced a record shortage of poll workers. In 2022, we’re already seeing the need for more poll workers. Our democracy depends on ordinary people who make sure every election runs smoothly, and everyone’s vote is counted. That’s why we’re partnering with Power the Polls, a 501 c(3) non-profit, to help address this shortage.

Learn more and sign up to serve as a poll worker.

Faiths United to Save Democracy

In partnership with Faiths United to Save Democracy—a nonpartisan, multi-racial, multi-faith, and multi-generation voter justice campaign—Quakers and friends are working to engage in voter mobilization, get out the vote efforts, and election protection. You can sign up to volunteer as a poll chaplain in selected states (AL, AZ, FL, GA, MI, NC, OH, PA, TX, WI).

Quaker Call to Action

Concerned that our democracy and the concept of evidence-based decision-making are under attack, a group of Friends have joined together to engage in a national dialogue on the urgent threats we face.

Learn more about A Quaker Call to Action.

Make a Plan to Vote, Early if Possible

Celina Tijerina, 2018 Arkansas Advocacy Corps Organizer, with "I Voted sticker"

Take advantage of the early voting that is permitted in many states.

Don’t assume your family, friends, and neighbors will vote. Particularly given efforts to suppress voter turnout, your personal outreach to help others cast their ballots is tremendously important.

The government has a site where you can register to vote , change your voter registration ,  and get information on congressional, state, and local elections .

Looking Ahead

The 2022 election is important—and it’s also just one point in the process of political change and in the work needed to heal the rifts that divide our country. Changing U.S. policies and strengthening our democracy to advance the world we seek takes persistence and focus before, during, and after an election. It takes an ability to adapt to changing circumstances, paired with a clarity of purpose and principle and a sense of what can and can’t be compromised.

The challenges facing our country won’t be solved by one election, but how you participate during this—and every—election can make a difference.