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Resources related to voting rights

A government by the people and for the people can only exist when everyone eligible is able to vote. We must be able to freely participate in all aspects of civil life, which includes voting, weighing in on important government decisions, and dissenting when we choose. We are God’s hands in the world: it is ours to act to protect voting rights.


The right to vote can be found in scripture. For in Matthew 7:12, it states: "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." This has been interpreted to mean the granting of every person their right to vote. Treating everyone equal in their right to vote is also consistent with our baptismal code “to respect the dignity of every human being.”

Unfortunately, not every person is treated equally in their right to vote. Some have been overtly denied their rights (such as formerly incarcerated individuals), others have been systemically denied their right to vote (such as African Americans in the Jim Crow South), and still others have been purposefully denied access to voting places (such as eliminating voting booths in communities of color).

Plus, by using the electoral college, not every person’s vote is equal. Many states with higher population see their citizen’s voting power diminished as their votes are not counted equally. The idea of one person, one vote is lost. In order for each person to have their vote count, we need a direct popular election of the President and Vice President.

One might believe that New Jersey does not discriminate against anyone trying to vote, yet just recently the US Department of Justice secured an agreement for access to voting rights in Union County. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit claiming barriers to access to the voting box for certain individuals. Voting rights and access to ballot boxes are under attack everywhere.

What Does The Episcopal Church Say about Securing our Right to Vote?

The Episcopal Church has spoken many times on this issue. Most recently, at the General Convention in 2022, The Episcopal Church affirmed its support for reforms that would expand voter registration, increase voter eligibility, and make voting processes more accessible by such measures as:

  • implementing automatic voter registration.
  • enabling same-day voter registration.
  • preparing for natural and man-made disasters that threaten voting access.
  • allowing online registration.
  • expanding the circle of people who are eligible to vote.
  • making it easier to vote by mail.
  • enabling no-excuse absentee voting.
  • creating long-term mailing lists for absentee voters.
  • making voting convenient for people to vote early (i.e., by mail and in person).
  • enabling weekend voting and extended hours.
  • guaranteeing an adequate number of voting locations
  • Eliminating all statewide voter ID legislation

The Episcopal Church also supports the elimination of the electoral college (which denies direct popular voting and diminishes the voting capacity of many) and encourages advocacy.

Act – Get Involved

What can you do?

You can advocate for voting rights, not only on a national level but also on a state level.

One of the easiest ways to get involved is to send a prewritten message to your elected officials.

The Office of Government Relations of The Episcopal Church has a very informative page on Voting Rights suppression and legislation to correct it. On this page you can even send a message to send to your elected officials. It can be found here:

In our own state, you can support the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act of New Jersey (NJVRA). This legislation would protect voters of color and strengthen our voting rights by reducing barriers to accessing the polls. It would hold local governments with a history of discrimination to a higher standard, protect voters against intimidation, deception or obstruction at the polls and ensure local and state voting laws do not discriminate.

The League of Women Voters of NJ is a NJ non-partisan nonprofit organization with a simply stated but profoundly important mission: Empower Voters. Defend Democracy. They provide networking, training, resources and many opportunities to engage in this work:

We need voting rights legislation that permanently expands access and resources to help people vote.


Gracious God, help every voter to understand the importance of voting in our elections. Empower our citizens to overcome the barriers that have been set to make voting more difficult in our country. Turn the hearts of lawmakers, judges, and attorneys towards justice and righteousness and guide them in the faithful administration of the privileges and power of voting. So that all people may be protected and enabled in the exercise of their duties and partake in the blessings of this nation in Jesus name we pray. Amen