About the Campaign
Secular America Votes launched in 2018 as the first voter registration initiative by the secular community. Secular Americans now make up one-quarter of the population, yet we are severely underrepresented in government. While we are a diverse constituency with many different points of view, we are united by our shared secular values and a commitment to our secular democracy.
Secular America Votes is a joint project of American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Secular Coalition for America, and Secular Student Alliance.
This year, the secular movement will build the foundation for a long-term, voter registration operation that will demonstrate to the political establishment, candidates, and elected officials that secular voters are a united political force and voting bloc that is an essential element of their election strategy.
While Secular America Votes launched ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, we will continue to build and expand our voter registration operation every year moving forward to ensure our community has a voice in elections at all levels of government, from the comptroller to the presidency.
As our community continues to grow in size, our political influence is still unrealized. With more than one in four Americans—and more than one third of young people—claiming no religion, increasing the visibility of atheist, humanist, and secular groups is of critical importance.
The Secular America Votes project will harness our rapidly growing communities to engage in the political conversation and become a force for organizing on-the-ground activism.
Increasing Voter Turnout Among Religiously Unaffiliated Voters
The religiously unaffiliated are now the largest and fastest growing “religious” demographic. And yet when you look at the unprecedented attacks on religious freedom and the separation of church and state in favor of a powerful Christian minority, one wonders how the secular community and our values are so drastically underrepresented in government.
Despite growing at an explosive rate, the nonreligious have only made up 12% of the total voter turnout in every election through 2014 and increased to only 15% in 2016. As of 2018, more than one-quarter of the nonreligious report they are not even registered to vote.
By comparison, despite their shrinking share of the total population, evangelicals made up 26% of the electorate in 2014. That means evangelicals are beating secular voters two-to-one at the polls. It’s up to us to step up and increase voter turnout in our community by getting more involved.
Demanding Representation in Government
The religiously unaffiliated are the largest and fastest growing religious demographic in the United States, and yet we are severely underrepresented in government. While our Constitution prohibits a religious test for office, the stigma associated with having no religion and the pervasive misconception that one must be religious to have values has reinforced a de facto religious test on political candidates.
Many elected officials continue to govern in the “secular closet,” claiming a religious affiliation when in fact they are secular. Secular America Votes seeks to change this by empowering secular activists to have a visible role in elections.
Getting Secular Voters on the Map
We envision a political system in which secular voters are recognized by politicians and the political establishment as an essential, powerful constituency whose hearts, minds, and votes they must win over.
That's where you come in.
Politicians and political parties pay attention to people power. Movements that have ground game get on the political radar because they have the potential to be an asset to an ally or a detractor to an opponent.
One of the advantages religious institutions have during election season is that they have a captive audience they can engage. Politicians do outreach to religious leaders because they know there is an engaged, voting constituency behind those leaders.
By mobilizing a movement-wide registration effort in 2018, we are planting our flag in the ground and demanding the representation we deserve. Make your mark in your community by signing up to run a voter registration drive.