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To: Secretaries of States

Demand Secretaries of State ensure fair and just statewide elections

Ensure a fair and just statewide election by:
- Running fair and impartial statewide elections
- Maintaining intimidation-free and harassment-free zones for voting in all polling places
- Ensuring every vote is counted, whether by mail-in ballot, absentee ballot, early voting, or in-person on November 3, 2020.

Why is this important?

To: Secretaries of State

More than 222,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. We are faith leaders who face this election with the gravity of burial rites, sitting virtual shiva, and praying the Janazah for our people. Before this pandemic began, we were wary of the death toll. Nearly 700 people a day were dying of poverty before the pandemic. 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions teeter on the edge of losing health insurance now. 140 million Americans, and growing, are low-income or poor. In 2016, over 1 million voters were denied their right to vote because of systemic racist voter suppression laws. As of today, the Senate has failed to renew the Voting Rights Act for 2,680 days.

We cannot face this election season without their voices and stories within us. We cannot silently bury another member of our church, mosque or synagogue. We know who we are voting for this election season—every one of the 222,000 forever silenced. Every one of the 1 million-plus disenfranchised from voting. Every one of the 133 million, of the 140 million. Every one of us.

Among our spiritual ancestors are those who endured violence and intimidation at every turn in order to vote: Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, Sister Antona, the Rev. James Reeb, and Jimmie Lee Jackson.

Protecting our democracy and the right to vote is our sacred duty.

We call on you now drawing from our collective moral center to insist that you fulfill your duty to execute a fair and just election that protects our democracy. We implore you to count every vote and ensure that voters are free of intimidation and harassment.

As faith leaders in communities, we know that people are scared.

We implore you to ensure voter safety in your states. It is our collective sacred duty to ensure a just democracy.

In his famous line which has echoed across generations, the English poet John Donne wrote that we should “never send to ask for whom the bell tolls / it tolls for Thee.” When he wrote those words, church bells in an English village were used to call the community together for funerals. This year, as more than 7 million Americans have contracted covid-19 and over 222,000 have died, we have used bells, pots and pans to mark the evening shift changes by honoring the frontline healthcare workers who risk their lives every day to care for the sick. They do not have to ask for whom the bells toll. They toll for everyone who has stepped up to do their part in the midst of this global crisis.

On November 3rd, in each of the 50 states, faith leaders and their communities will ring the bells, cast votes and publicly pray for a just democracy.

We petition you to fulfill your role in this Election Season by ensuring all votes are counted and the election is free of intimidation and harassment.

In the abiding Spirit of Love and Justice,

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II President,

Repairers of the Breach
Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: 
A National Call for Moral Revival

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

Executive Director, Kairos Center
Co-Chair, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Rev. Dr. Iva Carruthers

General Secretary, Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Rev. Dr. Alvin O’Neal Jackson, D. Min.
National Executive Director, Poor People’s Campaign

Min. Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove
School for Conversion

Rev. Abhi P. Janamanchi
Senior Minister, Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church Bethesda, Maryland

Rev. Dr. Beth Johnson
Minister, Palomar UU Fellowship Vista, California

Rabbi Rick Jacobs
President, Union for Reform Judaism

Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center
Senior Vice President, Union for Reform Judaism
United States

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2020-10-26 12:52:28 -0400

100 signatures reached

2020-10-25 10:32:53 -0400

50 signatures reached

2020-10-21 21:45:13 -0400

25 signatures reached

2020-10-21 17:19:06 -0400

10 signatures reached