NEWS, ADVOCACY AND ACTIVISM

NBA Encourages Civic Action on Election Day Nov. 3

NBA   |   September 25, 2020

In partnership with the Office of General Minister and President and other Disciples of Christ general ministries, the NBA will use Tuesday, November 3, and the weeks leading up as a time for action, advocacy, and activism as it relates to voting rights in the United States. In NBA’s work related to justice and advocacy, we chose to focus and offer a spotlight on voting rights this year.

As the U.S. approaches this national election, we have heard and witnessed the challenges of providing equitable and accessible voting, a right extended to all American citizens. Many citizens struggle to exercise their right to vote due to voter registration restrictions, voter purges, felony disenfranchisement, and voter ID laws. Within the prison and jail system alone, it is estimated that 6 million Americans are prohibited from voting due to laws that disenfranchise citizens convicted of felony offenses. In the spring, NBA hosted a conversation on voter rights issues impacting citizens who have completed conviction sentences. These voting challenges are documented and in play in over 21 different states.

Led by the efforts of former XPLOR Resident, Alex Keys, NBA released a detailed resource guide called “Voting Rights and Registration Resources for Faith Communities.” A recent webinar in August took place as a companion to the guide, which featured church leaders and activists who shared how communities can prepare for elections. During this conversation, one panelist, Rev. Janae Pitts-Murdock, interim pastor at Light of the World Christian Church reminded our audience why voting is something Disciples have been called to do. “Since the formation of the Stone Campbell movement, Disciples have been placed at the intersection of faith and democracy,” she said. “Therefore, it's in our DNA to encourage and participate in this democratic process."

For the next six weeks and on November 3, 2020, the NBA is encouraging its staff, Disciples, and our communities to get involved in our democracy. We recognize the importance of voting in all elections and will be offering Nov. 3 off for staff members to vote on election day. In addition to this, we are considering ways in which we can use this time not just to benefit NBA staff, but the communities they live in work in, we invite others to do the same.

Some of the ways NBA is encourages getting involved are by participating in any of the following:

  • Work at a local polling station
  • Create a carpool for individuals who will need transportation on election day
  • Volunteer at a local shelter, food pantry, or other health and social service nonprofit
  • Share important polling/voting information on social media from your jurisdiction’s official voting office
  • Request a mail in ballot in advance to ensure you receive it in time
  • Research where you can drop off your mail-in ballot in case you miss the mail-in deadline
  • Make announcements during worship services about voting
  • Help individuals with limited technology access to register online and request an absentee ballot
  • Print paper registration forms and distribute them in areas with limited transportation
  • Download voter rights resources from the National Benevolent Association and from other Disciples ministries.

NBA President and CEO, Mark D. Anderson, reflects how “a core part of NBA’s mission is to “advocate for the well-being of all humanity.” As part of the Disciples Church, we understand civic engagement and having informed access to voting is truly an important way of living into this belief.”

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As the health and social services general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the National Benevolent Association partners with congregations, regions, general ministries, and a variety of Disciples-related health and social service providers to create communities of compassion and care. Founded in 1887 by six women responding to the needs of the day and on their doorsteps, for more than 130 years the NBA has continued to serve "the least of these." Learn more at www.nbacares.org.

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