Interested in helping increase voter turnout for 2024 elections? Applications open for cohort volunteers
Building on the success of its pilot program during the 2022 U.S. midterm elections, The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations is launching a second cohort of Election Activators to help increase voter engagement for 2024. Applications are open online.
Organizers are looking for more U.S.-based Episcopalians like Kim Hayes, a volunteer from the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina whose church participated in the program last year.
“I felt like I was really doing something, and even though my efforts were relatively small-scale, I think they made a difference,” Hayes said. “A woman visiting our church from Tennessee looked at the materials we had on display in the foyer and sought me out to say thank you. That alone makes me willing to sign up again.”
Election Activators work over a two-year period to promote and facilitate local, non-partisan voter engagement efforts. These volunteers meet regularly to develop and implement strategies, share stories, and build a network across the country to help increase voter turnout and encourage others to take on a greater role in the elections.
More than 55 Episcopalians from 26 states volunteered in the pilot program. Organizers hope to build upon this success and reach all 50 states plus U.S. territories. Those who participated are asked to reapply if interested in continuing.
“We are thrilled to launch our second group of volunteers committed to expanding voter engagement in the church and leveraging church assets in promoting voter engagement in communities across the country,” said Alan Yarborough, church relations officer for the Office of Government Relations. “We hope to continue the learning, networking, and troubleshooting that really drove success in the pilot version of the program.”
The program is modeled after the Episcopal Public Policy Network Ambassador program, which seeks to build across the church a network of volunteers to help promote resources and calls to action on advocacy issues. That program includes a focus on voting rights advocacy, while the Election Activator program deals specifically with voter engagement.
The two-year commitment begins January 2024 and continues through 2025. Activators are expected to adhere strictly to non-partisan engagement while connecting with local parishes, sharing resources within their networks, directing and mobilizing Episcopalians to support elections through voter registration and education, providing rides to the polls on Election Day, and performing other tasks as needed.
Hayes plans to sign up again to be an Election Activator. “This next time around, I want to get more churches in our diocese engaged and energized,” she said. “Our votes as informed, thoughtful followers of Jesus do more than just affect our American democracy—I believe they impact all the things we are doing to build the kingdom of God on Earth.”