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Focus on the Family sends voter registration forms to 1.3 million

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Stepping up its effort to encourage Christian participation in the election, Focus on the Family has mailed voter registration forms to 1.3 million of its constituents — an unprecedented initiative by the evangelical organization.

The registration packet includes everything needed to register, except a stamp. Two registration applications are included — one for the recipient and one for a spouse or friend. A letter from Focus on the Family founder James Dobson accompanies the applications. Names of candidates, though, are not mentioned in the packet.

It is the first time Focus on the Family has mailed voter registration forms directly to its constituents.

“We’ve had some very generous contributors that have really had a heart for this, and we have them to thank,” Focus on the Family’s John Wilson, who is heading the voter registration effort, told Baptist Press.

Dobson quotes data estimating that 40 percent of Focus on the Family’s constituents are not registered. The get-out-the-vote effort is part of a larger endeavor by evangelical organizations.

Several organizations, including Focus on the Family, have joined together as part of the iVoteValues.com initiative, a voter awareness and registration effort to encourage voters to consider their values, not their pocketbook, when voting. Developed by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, it is also being promoted by Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. The groups have set up two websites — iVoteValues.com and iVoteValues.org — where voters and churches can acquire election resources.

“The future of our great nation depends on concerned Christians going to the polls to reflect their deeply held convictions,” Dobson wrote in a letter accompanying the mailing. “But we can only do that if we are properly registered.”

The nation, Dobson noted, stands “at a crossroads” and is divided on a host of issues: healthcare access, religious freedom, taxes, jobs, abortion, gambling and same-sex “marriage.”

“Most importantly, Election 2004 will decide what place marriage will have in the future of our country,” he wrote. “The institution of the family literally hangs in the balance.”

The issue of same-sex “marriage” has been at the forefront of the election this year. Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex “marriage” in May. President Bush supports a constitutional marriage amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage; Democratic nominee John Kerry opposes it. Nine states are being sued by homosexual activists to legalize same-sex “marriage.”

“Rest assured, voter registration is not about Republicans or Democrats, conservatives or liberals,” Dobson wrote. “It’s about Christians responding to the issues that threaten the future of family, faith and freedom in America.”

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  • Michael Foust