Voting is an instrumental pillar of our civic and social life. The world is changing fast, and the upcoming elections will elevate new voices, new movements, and reshape our local and national governments for years to come. Voting, along with civic engagement, advocacy, and protest are all important methods of making your voice heard.
In the Episcopal tradition, we promise at baptism to “strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Part of this promise is to vote for the common good. At Trinity Church Wall Street, we vote for our neighbor so that all have decent housing, food, education, and income.
This fall, Trinity is proud to offer programming and resources on civic engagement, voter registration, and managing election-induced stress and anxiety. Join us in taking faithful action!
Get Out the Vote: Volunteer from Home
Now through November 3, 2020
Volunteer to phonebank to help get out the vote in the upcoming election. Trinity is joining Reclaim Our Vote’s nonpartisan campaign to empower voters of color and fight voter suppression. Reclaim Our Vote’s phonebanks are a lifeline to voters, providing up-to-date, accurate information. To volunteer, email Maggy Laraque at MLaraque@trinitywallstreet.org.
National Voter Registration Day
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating our democracy. First observed in 2012, it has quickly gained momentum ever since. Nearly 3 million voters have registered to vote on the holiday to date. Learn more about how you can register to vote or update your voter information here.
#voiceyourvote Video Challenge with DYCD and Trinity Church Wall Street
September 17 - October 19, 2020
Trinity Church and the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) are partnering on a video challenge for young New Yorkers, ages 13-18, to promote civic engagement during the 2020 voting season. The contest will be open from September 17th to October 19th. The winner will be announced on October 26th and will be featured in Trinity and DYCD’s civic engagement campaign through the fall of 2021. For more information on how to enter, visit trinitywallstreet.org/youth.
Thursday, October 1, 6-7pm
What does it mean to be American in this fractured 21-century landscape? Who are our people? Emmy-nominated journalist Alex Wagner will explore how race, immigration and politics shape our collective identity, drawing upon themes from her book, Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest and the Secret to Belonging. Learn more and register here.
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, Trinity Church Wall Street is hosting Women’s Suffrage: Race, Gender, and Power, which focuses on the role of women of color in the fight for enfranchisement. The series will be hosted and facilitated by Trinity’s Theologian in Residence, the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union and a leading voice on racial justice. In the weeks leading up to the presidential election, this series invites participants to consider the importance of the vote, the power of racism in the country’s legacy of voting rights, and the sacrifices made to win enfranchisement for all adult citizens.
The Great Fight to Win the Vote with Elaine Weiss
October 8, 2020, 6:30pm
How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All with Dr. Martha Jones
October 13, 2020, 6:30pm
How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women with Brent Staples
October 20, 2020, 6:30pm
Finding Your Civic Voice
Tuesday, October 6, 2020, 4pm
Join youth activists from around the city to discuss how they found their calling in civic leadership and connect to the many ways young New Yorkers can create change locally and nationally. Curated by NYC Youth Civics Initiative and in partnership with the Department of Youth and Community Development, the event will include a forum with youth leaders and hands-on workshops with youth-led organizations. Let’s talk about life #beyondthevote. Click here to register. For questions, email Jennifer Chinn, Senior Program Manager for Youth Programs, Trinity Commons at email@example.com.
Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 6-7:30pm
Join Trinity’s Theologian in Residence, the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union for a conversation with Ari Berman, author of the award-winning book Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Berman outlines the important role faith leaders played throughout the passage of the Voting Rights Act and in the ongoing struggle to secure the ballot since. Citizens across the nation must understand this history and their role in writing the next chapter of this struggle. Register here via EDS @ Union.
Voter Eligibility and Registration
The most important thing is to make a plan to VOTE! Learn more about making your own voter plan in New York State:
Check Your Registration Status
- Are you currently registered to vote? Verify that the Board of Elections has your current registration status and address here.
- Confirm you meet the requirements to register to vote.
- Military or overseas voting has special registration deadlines and absentee ballot information.
- Citizens who do not have a permanent home still may be eligible to vote.
- Citizens with a criminal conviction still may have the right to vote. Misdemeanor and violation convictions do not prevent voting even if serving time in jail. Citizens convicted of a felony and released from prison can vote.
- As of 2018, citizens on parole can vote in New York State.
Register to Vote
Register to Vote by October 9. There are several ways to register:
- If you have a New York State issued I.D. (Driver License, Permit, or Non-Driver I.D.) you can submit your voter registration application online.
- If you do not have a state-issued I.D., you can print or request a voter registration application or call 1-800-FOR-VOTE to request a voter registration application by mail.
- Register in person at your county board of elections or at any New York State Agency-Based voter registration center.
Updating your voter status:
- Contact your County Board of Elections if you haven't received a response to your voter registration application.
- You can update your address or change your political party enrollment by completing a new voter registration form.
- Visit Nonprofit Vote for information on voting outside of New York State or how to register in another state.
Making Your Voting Action Plan
In New York State, all voters have choices in how to vote. You may vote in person on Election Day on November 3rd, vote early (from October 24 to November 1), or vote by absentee ballot. Because of COVID-19, all voters are entitled to cast an absentee ballot.
- Vote Early: A safe and easy way to vote in person is to cast your ballot during the early voting period, Saturday, October 24 through Saturday, November 1. Your early voting polling place may be different than your regular location. Check before you go.
- Vote Absentee: Request an absentee ballot no later than October 27; however it is recommended to request your ballot at soon as possible. Learn more about requesting and filling out your ballot through the League of Women Voters or VoteEarlyNY.org. Solicitud de balota para voto en ausencia del estado de Nueva York.
- Vote on November 3: The polls will be open in New York State from 6 am to 9 pm. Find your polling place.
- For answers to commonly asked questions, please visit the New York State Board of Elections frequently asked questions, and the Board of Elections in New York City frequently asked questions.
- Call the League of Women Voters of New York City hotline at 212-725-3541 for personalized assistance.
- Learn more about voting laws outside of New York State.
Once you have registered and planned your voting strategy, research who will be on your ballot. While the Presidential election generates the most attention, local and state elections are also highly consequential. Use this tool to see who will appear on your ballot and research the candidates so you can make an informed vote.
We must continue to monitor any restrictions on the right to vote and insist on fairly conducted elections. While we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting eligible women the right to vote, may we remember that then, as now, some Americans are still not able to vote or to access fair representation, often through indirect ways. Our democracy requires our participation through exercising our right to vote and our diligence in expanding and maintaining that right for all.
adapted from The Episcopal Church, Vote Faithfully website
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