I found a press release in my inbox this morning from American Atheists describing their campaign to get atheists out to vote. Here are the deets:
On Tuesday, American Atheists announced the launch of the #AtheistVoter Campaign, a two-week initiative on social media to encourage atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other non-religious U.S. citizens to voice their intentions to vote and their concerns about issues to the candidates running in the midterm elections.
“Atheists make up millions of voters in every election but we get little attention from candidates or elected officials,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “It’s time that we make ourselves known–that we be loud about the fact that we vote and about the issues we care about. If candidates want our votes, they are going to have to pay more attention to us.”
American Atheists debuted a website at AtheistVoter.org that features voting guides from the Secular Coalition for America, resources to help visitors sign-up to vote, links to contact governors, Congressional represenatives and senators from every state, and a live stream of tweets using the hashtag #atheistvoter and tweeted images of atheists with their elected officials and of their “I’ve voted!” stickers.
“AtheistVoter.org is a one-stop resource for atheists to find out how to register to vote in their state, find information about the mid-term elections, and to connect with other atheists who care about public policy issues,” Silverman said.
And to quote from the AA twitter feed: “State legislature races are just as important, if not more, than Congressional elections. A few hundred votes can swing them.”
An this is even a great opportunity for a lesson! Isn’t American Atheists encouraging political action? Shouldn’t they lose their 501(c)3 tax-exempt status? Shouldn’t they be subpoenaed like the pastors down in Houston? Nope! The reason why is that American Atheists is encouraging people to vote, not encouraging people who to vote for. If AA were encouraging specific political action, like pastors so often do, then they’d be in trouble. But they’re not. Kudos to American Atheists for doing it right by the law (even though, presumably, we atheists are the immoral ones).
Anyway, the moral of the story is that we all need to vote. If we want politicians to pay attention to our voices, we need to give them incentive to do so. Good job, American Atheists!