Voter Registration Drive for American Muslims
(Emailed by) United Muslims of America
We are drawing closer to the end of Ramadan - and also to a critical election in this country on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008!
We all realize the importance of this election, and the significance a new administration can hold for the Muslim-American community. Let's engage in this process - by reaching out to Muslim-American voters to effect change in November and the next four years!
Below you will find some simple recommendations on how to get active in the remaining weeks. Depending on your political affiliation, we recommend the following websites to learn more:
1. Muslim-Americans for Obama (mafo2008.com), which offers Democratic voters the ability to create or join 'MAFO' chapters nearby, personalize their own page and blog, post or learn about upcoming events, and share their opinions.
2. Muslim Republicans (muslimrepublicans.net), which offers Republican voters articles, general strategy guidance, space to debate the issues, and other resources for learning more.
1. Focus on the Battleground States
Every state is important, as is each Muslim voter, but the battleground states are critical. Although the polls change every day, the main battleground states with large Muslim populations are Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Colorado and Indiana. If you are in any of these states, your efforts can have a great impact. If you know people in any of these states who can get involved, please forward them this email and encourage them to visit
mafo2008.com or muslimrepublicans.net to get active.
2. Set up Voter Registration Tables at Eid Prayers and Events (MSAs can play a key role on campuses)
This year, Insha' Allah, Eid will be celebrated primarily on Wednesday, October 1st. In most states the last date for voter registration is Monday, October 6 (for exact dates - please refer http://www.rockthevote.com/voting-is-easy/important-dates/ or http://www.mpac.org/article.php?id=695). Eid will bring thousands of Muslims together - presenting a GREAT opportunity to register voters.
To help register voters, you should:
a. First make sure you are a registered voter!
b. Get permission from your masjid to set up a table.
c. Become a voter registrar (by visiting your local state election office and filling in a form) and bringing forms from your local office, OR, download the national mail voter registration form (go to http://www.eac.gov/voter/Register%20to). Print the first 7-8 pages of the national mail voter registration - and create mailing labels with the mailing address for your state (latter half of document).
d. Develop a flyer with information on: i) Voter Registration links; ii) Your State's Voter Registration deadline; iii) Polling Locations, and iv) Your State's Voting Day requirements (driver's license, utility bill, etc. - each state is different).
e. If you have a couple of computers and a printer you can set up an online voter registration drive.
If you need any assistance with voter registration approach the League of Women Voters (www.lwv.org/Election2008/index.html).
If you can't do voter registration, distribute flyers with critical information on how and where to register.
Whatever your political leanings, the most important outcome is that Muslim-Americans turn out to vote (and to do this, they have to be registered!)
3. Participate in Election Forums/Create a Local Group
In the coming weeks, please discuss the importance of voting in your mosques, homes, community centers. For example, the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) is setting up Rock the Vote Town Halls in 12 cities across the country and is willing to set one up in your city. Refer to http://www.mpac.org/article.php?id=699 to learn more. As
mentioned above, go to Muslim-Americans for Obama (mafo2008.com) or Muslim Republicans (muslimrepublicans.net) to see if there are any activities going on nearby.
Talk with others in your local community to set up an informal gathering where the election, the candidates, and the issues can be discussed. Many people are very involved in this election as volunteers, or just informed observers…it is not difficult to get the discussion started! Consider inviting an elected official or a member of a non-partisan political action or advocacy group to come and speak to your friends and others.
4. Vote Early!
This year 36 of the 50 states allow early voting (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1841934,00.html). Early voting allows you to assist with Get Out the Vote (GOTV) and other efforts - and you can avoid the rush at the polls on November 4. Check early voting dates in your state - but early voting starts from Oct 20th and lasts till Oct 31st, 2008.
Please let us know what you are doing in your community - we can link you with others and provide assistance.
If you need more information on how to get involved - and on efforts in your area - please email MuslimGOTV2008@gmail.com.
OR contact Zeba Khan (email@example.com), Shahed Amanullah (firstname.lastname@example.org), Aftab Siddiqui (email@example.com) and Zeba Iqbal (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your vote, your voice is important. Let's come together and make ourselves heard! Please pass this on!