Why Don’t Secular Voters Have More Political Influence?
A major reason why the Religious Right has outsized political influence is because its base has a high voter turnout. Despite growing at an exponential 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 just this year, 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 the evangelicals are beating secular voters more than two-to-one at the polls.
We cannot expect lawmakers to hear us if we’re not speaking up when it matters most. Increasing voter turnout of secular voters is our top priority.
Despite recent trends, secular voters continue to be severely underrepresented in government. According to an analysis by the Pew Research Center, while the nonreligious comprise nearly one-quarter of all Americans, they comprise only just 0.2% of the 115th Congress. That means there are 100 times as many religiously unaffiliated Americans as there are religiously unaffiliated Members of Congress.