WASHINGTON, Jan. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today launched its annual non-partisan "Muslims Vote" campaign designed to empower American Muslims by increasing their political capacity and presence in the 2020 General Election.
CAIR kicked off the campaign with the release of its 2020 General Election "Sample Questions for Candidates and Government Officials" toolkit and a "State Voter Registration, Primary, Caucus, and Special Election Calendar" as a Muslim community resource.
The Washington-based Muslim advocacy group estimates there are more than 1 million registered American Muslim voters with large communities residing in key swing states.
"CAIR is excited to launch our robust 'Muslims Vote' 2020 General Election campaign to support turning out our nation's one million registered Muslim voters during the primaries and in November," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Unlocking the voting potential and political power of the Muslim community is CAIR's number one goal."
Awad added: "The 2020 General Election is a pivotal moment in the history of our nation and American Muslims. There is a lot at stake for our community and this election presents Muslims with an opportunity to unite and work together to ensure we are civically engaged, registered to vote and turn out to vote at greater levels than ever before."
This election year CAIR's national network of 31 offices in some 20 states will promote its 2020 "Muslims Vote" campaign through local voter registration drives and get-out-the-vote initiatives, in addition to hosting candidate forums and debate watch parties.
SEE: CAIR's 2020 Sample Questions for Candidates and Government Officials
CAIR's 2020 State Voter Registration, Primary, Caucus, and Special Election Calendar
CAIR's 2020 questionnaire is an update to its 2016 questionnaire and provides sample questions for Muslims to ask local city council, mayoral, state legislative, gubernatorial, and congressional candidates running for office and government officials.
Candidate responses to CAIR's election questionnaire will assist American Muslims in evaluating each candidate's leadership criteria and their ability to unite and engage the community on policies and programs that meet Muslim needs.
The questions and the issues included in the questionnaire emphasize the American Muslim community's concerns, as well as those of its civil rights, immigrant rights and worker rights allies.
Other components of CAIR's "Muslims Vote" election campaign include:
- Build a national database of more than a million Muslim registered voters based on 60,000+ common Muslim names. CAIR chapters and community affiliates will have access to that database to help turn out Muslim votes through door knocking campaigns, phone and texting banks, and automated reminders.
- Host community forums with local mosques and civic associations to connect candidates running for office with Muslim constituents.
- Release periodic pre and post-election surveys and polls on the positions and views of Muslim voters.
- Encourage Muslims to run for office and track their progress through CAIR's interorganizational report "Rise of American Muslim Changemakers" and national database of Muslim candidates.
- Work with other Muslim organizations to develop and release a unified "Muslim Policy Platform" for the 2020 election.
- Confront political Islamophobia through documentation, reporting and pushing back.
- Distribute toolkits like CAIR's "2020 General Election Questionnaire Toolkit for the American Muslim Community" and "2020 State Voter Registration, Primary, Caucus, and Special Election Calendar."
- Promote CAIR's Rock the Vote-sponsored online voter registration portal for voters to register from the convenience of their home, work, school or mosque (or other house of worship).
- Distribute election news on CAIR's Twitter accounts @CAIRNational and @MuslimsVote using the hashtag #MuslimsVote focusing on niche news relating to Muslims and the election.
Coming Soon: In the next few weeks, CAIR plans to relaunch its "Muslims.Vote" website with updated community resources, and working with its national network of chapters, will release this fall, congressional scorecards and presidential voter guides to ensure that American Muslims are knowledgeable about the candidates and their positions.
CAIR's election calendar provides a state by state breakdown of voter registration deadlines of primaries, special elections and the general election. The calendar also links to each state's agency that oversees voter registration. For states with online voter registration, the CAIR's calendar links directly that state's online portal.
CAIR's mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)