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Is Christian Nonprofit Voter Outreach The Answer To Beating Democrats’ Election Machine?

Under the radar of national media, Christian groups are working to activate voters ahead of the 2024 election.

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There used to be a day in America when elections were simple. Voters would show up to the polls on Election Day, cast their ballot, and know which candidate won that night before going to bed.

That is no longer the case following the 2020 election cycle.

The expansion of early and mass mail-in voting has turned Election Day into election season. In several states, voters are forced to wait days — and in some cases, weeks — before learning the outcome of an election. This has led many Americans to lack confidence in the electoral process.

Even more startling, however, has been the complete shift in how elections are won. Candidates and their policy platforms are no longer the main factors in predicting the outcome of any given race. Rather, it’s how many ballots from eligible electors can be “chased” and submitted at the behest of partisan actors ahead of Election Day.

In the case of Democrats, a big facet of their strategy involves the participation of left-wing nonprofit organizations, which aim to register so-called “underrepresented groups.” This includes demographics likely to vote for Democrats, such as racial minorities, college-educated women, and young people. Taking this approach allows these groups to skirt federal law, which prohibits 501(c)(3)s from engaging in “partisan” voter registration.

Investigative reports published by the Capital Research Center and Restoration of America have unearthed how embracing nonprofit voter registration has netted Democrats potentially millions of votes across battleground states in recent elections. Given their candidates’ dominance in contests since 2020, the game plan appears to be working.

Republicans have largely faltered on mimicking the electoral machine Democrats have spent years building. The GOP and its mega-donors’ failure to prioritize conservative-friendly nonprofit voter registration is costing Republicans elections across the country.

But that hasn’t stopped several Christian nonprofits from stepping up where others haven’t. Under the radar of national media, these groups are working to ensure biblical values are felt at the ballot box this November.

Evangelical Voter Activation

A common goal espoused by the various Christian nonprofits The Federalist spoke with is to encourage Christians to vote biblically.

“Christians have an obligation to get involved” in the electoral process, former South Carolina GOP Chair Chad Connelly told The Federalist.

Connelly is the founder and CEO of Faith Wins, a nonprofit launched in 2017 that assists faith leaders and evangelical Christians with “leverag[ing] their influence and impact within the governmental and political arena.” The group successfully registered 77,000 new Christian voters in Virginia ahead of the commonwealth’s 2021 elections and “just under two million” Christians during the 2020 cycle, according to Connelly.

The former South Carolina GOP chair explained how Faith Wins intends to step up its voter registration and outreach efforts in the months leading up to the 2024 contest. He said he’s recently traveled to 15 states “laying the groundwork” for the group’s plan to hold outreach events at evangelical churches throughout the country, which are expected to kick into gear next month and experience a “big push” in mid-September.

According to Connelly, event attendees will hear from speakers such as former Rep. Bob McEwen and faith leaders about U.S. history, religious liberty, and the importance of voting biblically. Attendees will be provided voter guides and can ask questions about various topics such as marriage, Israel, and religious freedom.

While costs determine whether Faith Wins reaches out to voters after registering them, the organization follows up with engaged pastors and provides them with voter registration information, precinct locations, and other election-related materials ahead of the election, according to Connelly.

“We don’t talk to candidates or the part[ies],” he said. “My line is, ‘Jesus ain’t running.’ So, [we encourage Christians] to vote for the lesser of two evils or human beings — … not [based] on a person or party but policies and principles that line up with [their] biblical worldview.”

My Faith Votes, a Christian voter advocacy group, also aims to accomplish similar feats ahead of the 2024 election, according to CEO Jason Yates. He told The Federalist his organization sees a “huge opportunity” to turn out what they estimate to be 15 million Christians who are “not registered to vote.”

“The issues that we’re facing aren’t just political issues. These aren’t just policy issues,” Yates said. “These are cultural, social, and moral issues that we’re facing. And so, it’s important for pastors to engage and bring some of these resources to their church.”

Yates described how My Faith Votes plans to host its sixth annual National Voter Registration Sunday later this year. Held every third Sunday in September, the event is hosted at churches throughout the country and designed for church leaders to “encourage their congregations to engage civically and register to vote” and “bring the solutions of their faith to the ballot box.” Participating churches are provided with election “toolkits” that help pastors register their church members to vote.

Among the resources My Faith Votes offers is its “My Voter Hub,” which prospective Christian voters can use to view their registration status, register to vote if they aren’t already, sign up for reminders about elections in their jurisdiction, and locate their local polling site.

According to Yates, the group also has 11,000 “action partners” across 50 states, who equip their churches with voter registration tools and take these resources to “other churches in their community.” It’s also partnered with the American Pastor Project, which seeks to engage pastors committed to biblical orthodoxy.

Yates said the ultimate goal is to create a nationwide Christian voter outreach drive “owned and driven by the church” and supported by My Faith Votes. The organization is further seeking to activate 1.2 million Christians to vote across seven states during the 2024 election: Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Don’t Forget the Catholics

Voter registration is also a big priority this election cycle for CatholicVote Civic Action, a 501(c)(4) that elevates Catholic voices and encourages them to “live out the truths of [the Catholic] faith in public life.”

Speaking with The Federalist, President Brian Burch noted that while CatholicVote is attempting “to work with some dioceses and parishes around nonpartisan voter registration efforts,” most of what the organization is doing “is online.”

“We’ve identified hundreds of thousands of Catholics that are currently in households with no registered voters across about seven target states,” Burch said. “We are doing a big reach out to field teams that we’ve built across the country … to drive traffic to these voter registration websites that we’re building.”

According to Burch, CatholicVote identifies these prospective voters by collecting data from a variety of sources. This includes looking at people who engage with Catholic-aligned social media accounts, geofence data from mobile devices whose users frequent Catholic churches, and even artificial intelligence models. CatholicVote then compares this data to existing voter registration records that show “a residential address with no registered voter where [it] believe[s] an active Catholic resides.”

This will allow us to “target that household or any devices or phone numbers associated with that household with texts, door knocking, etc.,” Burch said.

Following up with Catholics who register through and share their data with CatholicVote is also a big part of the organization’s 2024 outreach strategy. According to Burch, the group plans to maintain contact with these voters and “continue to message them with advertising around the importance of voting, their moral duty to vote, [and their] civic obligation to vote.” These communications will come in the form of phone calls, video and text messages, and in-person contact “where possible.”

A major facet of this messaging will be encouraging voters to cast their ballots early, according to Burch, who added that CatholicVote aims to turn out 10,000-25,000 new registrants in each targeted state.

A Wake-Up Call to GOP Donors

How much of a difference Christian nonprofits make in shaping the outcome of the 2024 election remains to be seen. But ignoring the value of conservative-leaning voter registration efforts is a luxury Republican donors can no longer afford.

“The [political] parties have ruined a lot of [their] credibility, so nobody’s going to trust the party,” with voter registration, Connelly said. “That in itself sums up for me why [our efforts are so important].”


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