Today, September 25 is the first National Voter Registration Day. This is a one day blitz for volunteers, celebrities and organizations from all over the country to hit the streets to raise awareness of voter registration opportunities. According to the site, in 2008, the year of the last presidential voting cycle, 6 million Americans did not vote because they did not know how to register or they missed their state’s voter registration deadline (based on U.S. Census data).
Just this week, I received the October edition of The Lutheran magazine. “2 kingdoms: Taking your faith to the election” reads the cover. Professor and Pastor Darrell A. Jodock, faculty member at my aluma mater Gustavus Adolphus College, writes an interesting article on Lutherans and politics. Jodock draws in his own farming roots, Luther scholarship and posits that the Lutheran tradition does not prescribe how to construct society, but rather invites us to start with and be guided by the orientation toward service to and with the neighbor and community.
I say it every post—my area of study is political science—so I am already on this bandwagon, but I must just say it again. Okay, Hunger Leaders, what is ELCA World Hunger’s comprehensive approach to ending poverty and hunger? Relief, Education, Advocacy and Development—right on! Advocacy is really so integral to ending the cycle of poverty and hunger, because it grows out of our valuable relationships and experiences. *If we are able to, we are compelled to participate in the process that can address root causes of poverty and hunger, at all levels, local, state, federal and international levels.
Participating in the political process does not always feel like the most rewarding activity, but it is a gift, perhaps even a right to do so. Which “side of the aisle” is not the central question to me; rather, will you be actively participating in this process that shapes our communities?
Today’s the day to get registered, and I’ll see you at the polls!
Mikka serves as program director for constituent engagement and interpretation with ELCA World Hunger. To join the network and for more information on how you can get involved, write email@example.com.
*This presents another set of interesting questions around who has access and “ability” to vote, but we will save that for another thread and another day.