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Focus on the Family Launches iVoteValues.org, Aims to Register 1 Million Voters

( [email protected] ) Jul 21, 2004 01:35 AM EDT

Focus on the Family and The Family Research Council hope to register more than 1 million Americans to vote in the upcoming Nov. 2 elections with the help of a new campaign site, iVoteValues.org, which launched on July 19.

"This project has one goal in mind: to increase the number of Christians entering the voting booths across America," said FRC's President Tony Perkins.

Many Christians have been inactive in the voting process, according to recent reports.

“Half the Christians in America aren't even registered to vote," said Dr. James Dobson, chairman of Focus on the Family," and of those who are, only half go to the polls."

"Research shows that as many as 56 million Americans won't be able to vote this Election Day even if they wanted to because they haven't registered," said Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family's vice president of government and public policy.

"That's not the way our founding fathers designed our system of government," continued Minnery. Noting that America is a "representative democracy," he said "people must understand that it is worth their time to make sure their views and values are being fully represented."

Through the campaign's Web site, iVoteValues.org, the ministry is calling on Christians to vote for candidates who support Christian values instead of favoring candidates who belong to a particular political party.

With the exception of some unique material, iVoteValues.org is a mirror image of iVoteValues.com, which was originally developed for the "I Vote Values" campaign launched by For Faith and Family of the Southern Baptist Convention in partnership with Details Communications. The Web site of the "I Vote Values" campaign, which aims to register 2 million new voters by the 2004 elections, is sponsored by Christianity.com.

Both sites also provide an easy-to-fill-out voter registration form. Another useful feature available on both Web sites is a quiz that allow the voter to answer questions on topics ranging from abortion to the war in Iraq and determine which presidential candidate's views most closely match those of the voter.

"A common excuse used by those who don't vote is that they think all the candidates are the same," Minnery said. "iVoteValues.org is designed to not only give them information about where the candidates really stand, but also to help them identify where they as voters stand -- and to show them the importance of casting their ballots for the men and women who share the values they deem important."

Unlike its master site, iVoteValues.org website offers state Voter Guides and volunteer opportunities at Family Policy Councils around the nation.

Focus on the Family will also urge its 1.6 million constituents to register to vote by mailing them motivational material. Pastors will be invited to informational meetings in six cities in August and September.

Focus on the Family's director of issues response Peter Brandt, who is coordinating the voter-registration project, could not emphasize enough how important it is for Christians to participate in the voting process.

"The decisions made by the candidates who win in November, from president on down, will have an impact on every one of us," Brandt said. "From the war on terror, to abortion policy, to the judges nominated to the federal courts, these are critical issues that will shape what our country looks like a generation from now. Can any of us afford to not have a voice in that process?"

One of the hottest issues facing voters this November will be same-sex "marriages." The two pro-family organizations had been feverently rallying support for a constitutional amendment that would have banned the practice. However, the legislation failed in Senate.

Focus on the Family and FRC alongside other pro-family groups have pledged to continue the fight to protect traditional values such as marriage between one man and one woman.

"It is not enough to complain about what is happening in the culture or just to talk about it around our own kitchen tables," said Perkins in his daily e-mail update, which called for more pro-family voices in the booths. "We must be willing to be salt and light in our communities, our work places, our schools and, just as importantly, the voting booth."