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Get ready. It's one of America's most important, influential, and respected voices on cultural and political issues. An apologist, Christian political advocate, and author, here is the founder and chairman of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes. Well, hello and welcome to Christian Perspective. I'm Chris Hughes, and I've got an exciting guest today.
And I'm going to tell you more about her in just a minute. But before we do that, I want to be sure that we thank our sponsors, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, for being the host of the studios of the Christian Perspective radio show right here in Memphis, Tennessee. If you are looking for a great Christian college or even a master's or doctorate degree program, I want to encourage you to check out Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Their undergraduate school is called the College of Mid-America, and they have a great, not just a great educational program, but your kids or you will learn as well as your kids. You will learn an environment that loves the Lord and teaches you how to develop a biblical perspective and a biblical worldview that you can carry with you throughout life for the rest of your life. Maybe you've already gone to college and you want to get a master's or a PhD, but you've never thought about going to a seminary. Don't let the word seminary scare you. It's just a school where you can get a graduate degree. And again, you're going to get a great, great education. They have a new program which will help you understand what you believe and why you believe in the Bible. It's called an apologetics degree, and I hope you'll take a look at it. Visit mabts.edu.
That's mabts.edu to learn more. I also want to thank the Citizens for America Foundation at the Citizens for America Foundation. We work every day to educate and train Christians to develop a biblical worldview and take that biblical worldview into the arena of public policy and politics. And my guest today is someone that you're going to want to really follow as you are developing that biblical worldview and then understanding how to apply that in the political arena and how to find Christian and godly candidates that are running for public office. My guest today is Debbie Westnow. Debbie is the president of iVoterGuide. Now you might recall a couple of months ago we did another show with Rob Chambers from the American Family Association Action Division where we talked about iVoterGuide, and I recently met Debbie at a national meeting and wanted her to come on and tell us more about iVoterGuide.
We're right now in the midst of, we've just come through a series of primary elections, and this is what we call midterm election, which is two years before presidential election. It's going to be so important for our country right now, and as Christians we need to understand the issues. We need to know the candidates, but we don't always have time to do that, and that's why iVoterGuide is so important. Debbie Westnow is a president of iVoterGuide, and when I was looking at your bio, Debbie, it's neat because I see that you got your master's degree from Princeton University, which is a great, great school, beautiful, one of my favorite campuses in the country.
When we were touring with my kids, I just loved the Princeton campus. It's a beautiful place, and since you've been with iVoterGuide in 2011, you now have reached over three and a half million users on iVoterGuide, and you have information on over 8,000 candidates. Debbie, thank you for joining us on The Christian Perspective today. Chris, thanks for having me. It's a pleasure. Well, hey, before we get into all the work stuff, I want to hit a few personal things with you. When I was reading up about you, I saw that you're a musician, not your typical instrument, that you play the bells, is that right?
I do. I've played handbells since 1990, and I've been in a variety of different handbell choirs, just the regular one at my church, and then I joined a ladies quartet, and we kind of worked up gigs, and we're playing at Bible studies and Kiwanis meetings and things like that, and then I joined an invitation-only community choir that was at a Methodist church, and we actually performed at the Pinnacle Handbell Conference, and we're the closing concert, so I love worshiping God through her music, and handbells is part of it. So people, if you're listening and you're not familiar with handbells, they literally, what they sound like, they are bells, and you hold them with your hand, and you ring them, and you can play beautiful music, and so based, it's just like other instruments based on the smaller instruments, the smaller bells, or a higher pitch, and then on up through the larger bells, or more like a bass or a baritone. So I've not thought about this for years, Debbie, but I used, when I was in college, a friend of mine went to, and it seems to be usually Methodist churches that have bells, a friend of mine was a Methodist, I'm a Southern Baptist, and she invited me to come to their church, and I would go there and play their handbell choir, and it's such a neat instrument, it's an under-appreciated instrument, but the music is really, really beautiful.
And I know that's not what you came here to talk about today, but I was so excited when I saw this. No, but I love talking handbells, and I will, there's a spiritual connection to handbells, because I mean, if you've ever played piano, you've got all those keys on your instrument. Well, imagine in handbells, every person only plays two notes in the keyboard, but you're trying to produce this melodious, contiguous music, so it's really an image of the body of Christ, because everybody does their little parts, but when it works together, it's a beautiful way, illustration of God's body. So it's a fabulous ministry, you make friends, I encourage it if you have an opportunity. And I play in a Baptist church, so my husband grew up Baptist, I grew up in a Methodist church, and the handbells, when we searched for a church, he said, I want Baptist, I said, and I want handbells, so that's how we found our church. And you were able to find a Baptist church that had handbells, so that's great. I did.
That's pretty rare today. Well, I'm sorry to get off on that, but I was excited. I haven't ever had anybody on the show that I know of that played handbells before, so I'm glad that you do that. Well, Debbie, I want to ask, as I shared with you before you came on the show, I always love to have our guests share their testimony, because you never know who's listening, and we all need to learn how to tell others about Jesus, and sometimes we might think, well, my testimony is not as powerful as somebody else's, and I don't want to share it, but we all have a testimony, and when we share it, God will send the people to us who need to hear the story of what God did in our lives. So if you don't mind, can you share with our listeners first, why don't you share a little bit about, other than handbells, you know, kind of your family and who you are, and then maybe tell us how you came to know Jesus. Well, I grew up in Missouri, in southwest Missouri, in Springfield, and was a Christian family. We actually went to a Methodist church, but if the weather was really nice, it was more important to go to the lake, so church was a part of my growing up, but it wasn't the priority, and I had a father who had grown up very poor, and the way that he provided for his family and showed us love was by working all the time, so he was very rarely there, also kind of coming from a German stock, very stoic, not very emotional and relatable, so I basically was well cared for, but didn't feel love. Nobody ever said I love you, that kind of thing growing up, and when I was 16 years old, I was a member of the speech and debate team at my high school, and came home after I'd won my first speech trophy, and my father sat me down and said, your mother has brain cancer, she's going to have surgery tomorrow, and it rocked my world that, you know, my mom might not live very long, and I've got this dad who doesn't relate to me, and we're sharing that with my debate partner at public school, and she was active in a Baptist church, was in their church youth ministry, and sent me home with, I still picture the yellow legal pad that had scriptures on it, she says you should go home and read these, and I read through several of them, and it may be cliche, but John 3 16, that God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whoever, you know, would accept him, would have salvation, and to me it was the the willing draw of a father's love, that I prayed that prayer, said God I need you, I need that love, I need that hope, and then my speech coach in my speech front was actually a part-time youth minister at a Baptist church, so I went to the revival evening and walked the aisle, and did that, you know, standard Baptist thing that I wasn't familiar with growing up as a Methodist, but then went back to my Methodist church, but I had that hope, and that light at the end of the tunnel, and then, you know, there's always elements of your life, kind of went to college, and as many did, kind of went astray just a bit, and got my degree in computer science from the University of Missouri Rolla, and took a job in New Jersey with AT&T Bell Laboratories, felt like God was directing me there, without really knowing that it was God directing me, but I can look in, you know, behind me at the footsteps, and see it was his guidance, that's where I met my husband, was in New Jersey, then we moved back to get to Missouri, get out of New Jersey, because I felt like God's highest calling is to be a stay-at-home mom, and you can't do that, it was difficult to do that in New Jersey, so we went back to St. Louis, which is really close to my family, and I, as soon as I had my first daughter in 1991, I quit, I went to stay home and raise my kids, got really active in Bible study, spent the next 20 years really discipling myself, and training, raising my kids, discipling my children, and when that daughter started college, actually my first Bible study that I ever did, which is, it laid the foundation, was Henry Blackaby experiencing God, and I learned through that, that God speaks to us, not just through the Bible, not just through the Holy Spirit, but through prayer, through circumstances, and other individuals, so I really became a, I would watch for God to be at work, which is what he teaches God, where is God at work, join him in that work, and that God will guide and direct you through open doors, or closed doors, so when my daughter started college, I knew God had a plan for me, he's ordained all the works that he's planned for me in advance before one of them came to be, and that he wants me to step out into them, and I knew that I'm one of those doer people, I'm not a sit along the side, I'm that 20% in the church that does 80% of the work, so I wanted to know, I asked God, what do you want me to do with my empty nest, because you know, it'd be nice to help pay for college, I know you've got these works planned, and I asked my community Bible study teaching director to be a job reference, she had been, I'd known her for 15 years as I was on the leadership team, and she knew my background in computer science, I thought there's no way God could use a 20-year-old computer science degree, she comes back a week later and says, my husband programs this online voter guide, he's been complaining at the dinner table that he needs some technical help, are you interested, and that's how God directed me into his family, and to iVoterGuide. What a neat story, so I was wondering how you got into the world from being a stay-at-home mom, and entered into the arena of public policy and politics, but you did it using your computer science background, so were you a programmer in the beginning for much of what is done on iVoterGuide now? I was never a programmer, I was a systems engineer, so I designed internet protocols, actually before there was an internet, so communication protocols, so I'm more of the big picture, I kind of have a strategic brain, and never wrote code, so that's why I thought, when they offered me the job, I looked at it as a way to get current with my technology skills, my degree was pre-internet, so if you can imagine, it was a little bit old, but I understand how computers work, they're very logical, they'd only do what you tell them to do, so Jim would just teach me what to do, he'd show me how to set up a new website, and then I, that would be my job, or he'd say figure out how to do this, and I'd go google it, and watch a YouTube video, and then that became part of my job, so, and then like three years later, they asked me to be director of operations, because I guess that, you know, getting things done was the way I worked, and to me that was like being the mom, during the operations, you're just making sure everything gets done in the right time frame, but and then two years later, they asked me to be the executive director and then president, but I did learn to write code when I first came on board, because iVoterGuide, and Will may want to talk about this next segment, was campaign finance data, and my first job was to write the code to import campaign finance data into our database.
Oh, I didn't realize I had that. Well folks, we're talking to Debbie West now with iVoterGuide.com, I want you to stick around, because now we're going to fix and jump into it, you want to know who to vote for this election year, you want a resource that will help you when you don't have time to maybe question all the candidates yourself, iVoterGuide is the resource you've been looking for, it is the one that I recommend above all others, and when we get back, we're going to learn more about it, why it was created, and how you can use it today. Stick around, be right back. This show is brought to you by Generous Joe's, the coffee company with the Christian perspective. This is the answer that Christians and conservatives have been looking for, a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about.
Order your coffee today at ShopGenerousJoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus and see the Bible come to life. This December, join nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the Citizens for America Foundation, Dr. Chris Hughes, on a life-changing trip to Israel. It's one of the world's oldest and most fascinating travel destinations, luring the faithful from all over the world for thousands of years. Visit Jerusalem's religious quarters and explore Christianity's most treasured religious sites, like the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Via Dolorosa. Walk with Chris through the winding alleyways of Nazareth's old city and visit ancient Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth. Float in the Dead Sea, visit the Sea of Galilee and the Jewish fortress of Masada. See firsthand where the events of the Bible took place. Touring Israel with Dr. Chris Hughes is a travel odyssey like no other.
Visit CitizensForAmericaFoundation.com and get ready for an unforgettable trip and memories that will last a lifetime. Do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time? Does creating a godly family seem like a daunting challenge?
You're not alone. I'm Connie Albers, author of Parenting Beyond the Rules and host of Equipped to Be. As a mother of five, I understand your struggles. For 35 years, I have been helping families just like yours build lasting relationships.
I'd like to invite you to tune in to Equipped to Be and visit ConnieAlbers.com where I share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood, faith, and life with confidence and joy. History was made on today's date. Stay tuned for an American Minute with Bill Federer. Under an elm tree in what was to become the city of Philadelphia, William Penn signed a treaty with the Delaware Indians this day, June 23, 1683. A Quaker who took his faith seriously, Penn insisted on dealing fairly with the Indians, buying the land rather than taking it by force.
As a result, his colony was never attacked. William Penn addressed the tribe, my friends, there is one great God that has made the world and all things therein to whom you and I and all peoples owe their being. This great God has written in our hearts to love and help one another and not to do harm. This has been an American Minute with Bill Federer. For a free transcript call American Minute at 1-888-USA-WORD.
Welcome back to Christian Perspective. I'm Chris Hughes. My guest today is Debbie Wolfnow. She's with iVoterGuide. I've talked about iVoterGuide a lot on the show over the last few months because we're an important election year. This midterm election is so important. I know every cycle we say most important election of our lifetime but goodness look around right now when gas has tripled in price and shelves and stores are bare and even chicken and bread and milk and some of the other things cost more than they ever did before. We're now seeing that elections matter and we as Christians need to get educated on the issues.
We need to learn who the candidates are and know where those candidates stand on the issues and then once we get educated we need to engage in the arena of public policy and politics and there's no greater tool out there today and I've got a lot of great friends that have voter resources or different voter guides but I'm telling you the best one I'm going to get trouble with this with my other friends from other great organizations but the best out there is iVoterGuide. So Debbie tell us a little bit I know you weren't there in the creation of the company but what inspired the creation of iVoterGuide? Well it's a great story. I think it's the way God weaves the tapestry. So the original founder's name was Richard Ford and he had been involved in Texas politics for decades just you know grassroots activism. He led the very first family policy council group in Texas back in the 70s and 80s and he had a realization as a strong Christian that he had never really voted an intelligent ballot from the top to the bottom. I mean even though he knew most of the legislators were you know was working at the capitol and he started to research candidates and he understood that it's more important to look at what candidates do than what they say they're going to do because there's rhetoric and there's spin but yet when they get into office they vote and the votes are really telling about what's important to them so Richard's whole philosophy created that how he evaluated candidates and he did it by gathering their campaign finance data so looking at who have they given money to who have they accepted money from because that tells a lot about you know who has influence over them and what's important to that candidate. He gathered their scorecards so all legislature legislators if they're at the state capitol or the federal capitol there are groups who pay attention to how they vote on various issues whatever issues are important to that particular organization and then they release scorecards so Richard was gathering all these scorecards on the candidates and he started by doing this just in his home county which was Dallas county Texas and he did it from the top of the ticket to the bottom of the ticket got all their campaign finance data he got all their scorecards he looked to see who had endorsed them he sent each candidate an issue survey a questionnaire he gathered it all back he put it in this actually he set a four inch binder and then he gathered his some of his friends that were very politically connected and they sat around the conference table they each had copies of that binder and they talked about each candidate and assigned them a grade and they created these grades created a pdf it would look pretty much like all the voter guides you guys are used to seeing in churches printed them distributed them in Dallas county well god wove another so I pictured it as a weaving so Richard might have been the vertical thread and then horizontally Jim Staringer is a the other foundational founder of iVoterGuy he was a retired IBM programmer he on his own had written some bible study called word search I believe bible study software he served on his local school board and he wanted he had this idea I think it was from god of how to create a voter guide on the internet and the information would be on the internet that would be the distribution tool but Jim said I don't know how to do a voter guide I don't know how to evaluate candidates so he was talking to people and it was actually Kelly Shackelford with First Liberty who is a Dallas a Texas area guy told Jim you need to talk to Richard Ford so Jim calls Richard uh what for miracle number one Richard answered the phone because he doesn't answer the phone if you're not in his contacts and Jim told him his idea and Richard says I remember holding up that four inch binder and saying do you mean you can put this on the internet and Jim said yeah and so that was way back in 2006 2007 and that's when my voter guide was born and then so in 2008 and 2010 they were testing out the system Jim you know programmed always pro bono and built it out just in Texas they did five to seven of the largest counties in Texas after the 2010 elections they both realized with their board that Texas was doing okay but the rest of the nation needed some help needed information so that people could identify candidates who supported biblical values and life and liberty and limited government and at that point they went nationwide and uh didn't go as far down the ballot so they covered federal candidates in all 50 states so everybody in the senate everybody in the congress and then they would pick a half dozen to a dozen states where they would go down ballot in that state cover the statewide races like governor comptroller treasurer and then they would cover the state senate and state house of the state legislative candidates and that's when I got brought on board because they were Jim was looking for some help with the technology and as they went nationwide they needed the campaign finance data from the federal election commission called the FEC and that was my first job was understanding what that data is figuring out what type of information iVoter guided needed on that information and what what we provide is really it's not the total amount of candidates raised or how much they've spent but we're looking for relationships between a candidate and an organization be it somebody and you know somebody donating to them or even who they've supported as individuals before they ran for office because that's pretty that's a pretty important data point of who does you know a candidate as individuals send their money to so I started importing campaign finance data and iVoter guides started at that point working with partners we started working with American Family Association action at that time as our national partner and then things just kind of kept growing from there well I've got so many questions go ahead with your questions before I just kind of go into a monologue okay well there's there's so much to ask here well one I want to commend you and your founders on going down ballot ballot drop-off is is a huge issue so Christians if you're listening I want to tell you you know you get so excited about voting for president or governor or who's running for congress or senate but but what Debbie's describing is actually a reality all across the country people do not vote down line for maybe district judges or county commission or school board and in my opinion Debbie I think one of the most important positions in the country are school board races there are races where we can make a huge difference on a local level but when you look at the the number of people in a county for example that vote for president there's a huge drop-off by the time they get down to school board and it's really crazy but go ahead I'm sorry I was going to say we did some analysis of that and found that the average is 35 to 45 percent of voters who make it to the polls and vote on their ballot will leave a race blank they call it under votes and that's like when you get down to the county judge or the or the school you know city council and if it's a non-partisan race which is what happens at school board because they don't run as a republican or a democrat so you don't really have even that to to guide you as to which candidate you share values with it's like 50 to 60 percent of people will leave it blank need and so voters need information that's what i voter guide exists for and isn't that crazy because those are the ones I mean their kids go to our kids school they go to our churches they live in our communities those are the ones that we really should know more about than anybody else and yet we don't and because we don't know about great tools like like i voter guide and I'm so glad that you're getting involved in those lower level races too because they're so important and are you going now across the country all the way down to like the school board races are you still working in some areas to get that done so we are still working so in 2020 we covered down all the federal down to and state legislative down into 21 states 2021 we understood the importance of school boards so we did our first test of covering some off-year school boards we covered 20 school districts in texas in 2021 as a pilot program very successful the majority of of candidate of more conservative candidates were victors so we're we're growing that program in 2022 we're continuing to cover i would call it uh select school boards or key school boards and those races don't always happen in november they happen throughout the year so we're covering them in a cycle and then down we're going down ballot in 35 states in 2022 so we're estimating it will be at least 12 000 candidates that we're going to evaluate and we've already covered oh my gosh probably close to 50 or 75 school districts in 2022 we're going to cover some more in august elections and a bunch more in november the goal being by 2024 that we're covering state legislative in all 50 states and continuing to go down ballot as much as resources allow yeah and that's going to be so important as we look at what's happening with roe v wade and if if uh you know if that decision is overturned and then they go back and say that this is a state rights issue not a u.s constitutional issue those state legislative races are going to be so important for us to elect godly men and women to public office who you know hopefully will stand right on that decision so so in the 2022 election cycle then you're not going to have all the state legislative races in the country uh for the midterm election just just 35 of the states but i will throw out there that we do cover the prime the republican primary in addition to the november election so we have voter guides out there right now and there's a whole bunch of elections coming up on june the seventh so and even more you know between now and september and then the general in november so i voter guide is the only organization i'm aware of that gives you information on the candidates running in the republican primary which is when the general election you do both right and the general election will cover every ken tested candidate okay we all well let's take a quick commercial break i'm getting excited my blood pressure is going up in a good way debbie because i'm excited about what y'all are doing this is so important and it's an important tool that christians need to have before i take the break it's i voter guide.com right not dot org i vote guide that is correct they'll both work but i voter guide.com is really where we live so folks look that up while we're talking because you might have questions and you want to pay attention because debbie's going to tell us a lot more about how you can use this important tool to go vote this november or even in the primaries if your state has not had a primary yet stick around be right back with more on the christian perspective the united states of america has a strong christian heritage but most americans don't know the truly important role that god in the bible played in the founding of this great nation this june joined nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the citizens for america foundation dr chris hughes for four amazing days in our nation's capital with chris you'll embark on a journey of discovering the hidden secrets of washington dc and rediscover much of america's forgotten christian heritage your tour will include an up-close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception know the truth about the creation of the united states of america about the faith of the founding fathers and how christian principles were used to establish this form of government visit citizens for america foundation.com today and secure your spot to join chris hughes in washington dc this june this show is brought to you by generous joe's the coffee company with the christian perspective this is the answer that christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about order your coffee today at shopgenerusjoes.org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about the conservative baptist network is a dynamic movement of southern baptist pastors churches and christians committed to standing for the sufficiency of god's word in the face of a culture of compromise the passion and prayer of the conservative baptist network is that god would help southern baptists stay bold for the gospel so that we might see revival in america and the world reached for christ visit our website today at conservative baptistnetwork.com to learn how you and your church can join and support this exciting movement welcome back to christian perspectives my name is chris hughes my guest today is debbie what's now she is the president of i voter guide i voter guide in my opinion is the premier voter resource and tool in the country today and there are a lot of great resources a lot of great organizations but i voter guide better than anybody else has come across on a national level to put together finance information issues information scorecards and so many other things debbie i mean i've got so many questions i want to ask you about can i ask you about the scorecards you mentioned scorecards so listeners if you may not know what she's referring to there are organizations for everything there are teachers unions there are labor unions there are groups who are interested in what's happening with military and technology and all these different specialty groups look at candidates when they're trying to decide who to support and they have what we call scorecards in the industry where they try to determine if if these candidates support issues that are important to whatever that organization may be as christians we want to know where candidates stand on issues that are important to us as christians and developing a biblical worldview and electing godly men and women to public office so debbie on your scorecard what kind of questions are you are you asking i'm assuming you send what an email survey or something to candidates so correct me if i'm wrong here usually i know a lot of the other organizations and there are some great ones you know family research council faith and freedom coalition a lot of groups have scorecards and usually what they do is send a questionnaire so the candidates themselves it's not usually not a third party determining what they believe but the candidates themselves have an opportunity if they will take the time to fill out the card to say where they stand on these issues is that what y'all do and what type of questions do you ask so we don't technically produce what i would call a scorecard what i call a scorecard is is uh what organizations let's say national right to life looks at the members of congress who are elected officials and they're in office and then they look at the different pro-life bills or pro-choice bills that have been come before the congress and they choose certain votes that the that all of those elected officials had to do and they you know pick 10 20 50 different vote what they call a record vote and they look at it did the candidate vote our way did they vote our way or the other way and then they give them a score which is why we call that a scorecard groups like nra do that and focus on the family research council does a right to life plan parenthood there's we have 350 different uh scorecards that other organizations have done that have looked at the bills that the legislators either at in federal level or at a state level have have scored so we gather all of those scorecards into i voter guide we don't look at the particular individual record votes of the legislators but we are getting as many data points from other groups who look at those record votes and that's that's our scorecard part and then we get then we send a issue survey we call it an issue questionnaire to every candidate that we evaluate and it covers a broad spectrum of every issue we can think of that's going to be important to faith-based voters we cover immigration health care the economy values religious liberty I just can't there's like 20 different topics we have about 35 questions and what we're trying to do through that questionnaire is give the voters visibility on how the candidate would answer those questions because you can see all their answers at i voter guide.com we give that all directly to the voters because that's what i voter guide is designed for is to give voters information on the candidates on the ballot so we email the candidates and they answer the survey on our website so it's all directly in their words they type it in themselves and then we aggregate that together and create we I might call it a scoring page for i voter guide for all the candidates that are on the ballot where we've gathered those other organizations scorecards on the issues where we've gathered a list of everybody that those candidates have given money to or received money from we've gathered all the endorsements because a lot of times candidates work very hard to get endorsed by you know President Trump or Governor Abbott or you know whoever they they they who they look up to and they think their voters would respond to and we gather that and aggregate that all into one place and then we have volunteer panelists that look at all of that data kind of like Richard had his friends around the coffee table or his actually his conference table we gather those those volunteers they each look at about 35 candidates they dig deep they look at all of the information we've gathered how they've answered the survey they read through their website they read through their twitter feed any social media feed they google them they did what can they find we guide them on our evaluation criteria so we don't just research candidates we actually evaluate candidates on their political philosophy on a scale from verified liberal to verified conservative and that's what those volunteer panelists do we train them we facilitate we facilitate their their digging and then we pull them together on a zoom meeting where they're with three to five others that have looked at the same candidate our staff facilitates the meeting to discuss each candidate and where they fall on our guidelines of which rating their the data matches with so that we rate them and then that's what goes and the voters get to see so when you go to i voter guide.com you enter your address and then you'll see the races on your personalized ballot and it'll list every candidate in that republican primary and then a little gas gauge that shows you that rating but if you want to see all the data it's all there for you to see for yourself just click on the more button or the little arrows or their photo and you can check it out for yourself especially in the primary where there will be multiple candidates that are conservative or moderate or whatever ratings you align with and you can look at the data decide for yourself which one you want to vote for we're just we're not telling you who to vote for we're trying to give you a tool so that you can decide for yourself which candidate is worthy of your vote. So if I wanted to know who the NRA endorsed or whose students for life endorsed will and if I dig deep enough or push that more button it's going to actually tell me the endorsements from those individual organizations? Yes yes we won't we don't currently have a way for you to say I want to see everybody those students for life have endorsed you would get that from the student for life website but we've gathered together all of those groups all of those endorsements and it just shows on that candidates page so you will see it there. What a tremendous resource so folks if you're listening you would spend if you're hearing what Debbie would tell you you would just spend numerous hours trying to compile this information and they are doing it all for you and it's absolutely free for you this is a ministry for them they want to see godly men and women allayed to the public office and they're giving you the tools I know Debbie you're probably the same way every election is like lab people from my church or you know from parent teachers organizations calling me and saying you know who should I vote for well now you can tell them to go to iboterguide.com and it'll have all the information because different people are interested in different things you might be a second amendment person and want to know where gun owners of America or NRA stand or you know maybe life is your is your prime issue whatever your issues are you can find out what those organizations think about your candidate so with the finances I know you said when you first came on you were dealing with the financial side for candidates Debbie does it is there a way do you list all the donors for a candidate or just certain ones I mean we want to know okay we don't list all the donors what we do is go through a process of identifying ideological donors so those groups that show either conservative or liberal values we're trying to get at that that rating that verified liberal to verified conservative so that you can have a so the voters can have an idea of how that person will vote when they're in office that's really our bottom our goal is is to evaluate their not only their political philosophy but world view if possible we have several quick questions on our survey that get to world view so that's what we're going after and so in campaign finance we go through a process we've downloaded all the data from the federal election commission any state that we cover their state legislative candidates we download their full database of every you know how every person who's given to the nri every person who's given to Planned Parenthood and then we match that organization and then we go through and match the candidate so that that relationship you'll see just the name of the organization that is either you know receives money from or given money to that candidate so it's a it's just ideological names but it's not a comprehensive list of every you know mom and pop who's given to somebody that makes sense yeah when people go to your site let's say election day is two or three days away and and i haven't done my research i want to do my research now you mentioned a while ago that in the 35 states if i put in i guess do you put in your zip code is that how it knows where you are because we're now covering local races you need to enter your full address because it's just the zip code just is too big to be able to specify so you enter just your voting address you don't have to enter your email address you don't have to give any money but that allows us to give you the races just on your ballot so and in fact it's even got some auto complete in there to help you get your address in there do you list like a uh you know like a sample ballot they can print out uh or is it just list the candidates that are running in at their polling place it lists the candidates in the races that we are covering so just i mean it's not going to list the races that i voter guide hasn't researched so if we're not covering your city council so there will be races potentially on your when you get to the polling place that we have not covered but if we've covered it it will list all the candidates and their rating and there's a little icon in the upper right that looks like a printer and you can print that and carry that with you to the polls so the goal is really done research for you but yeah and even that sheet if i'm carrying the polls is already filled out to indicate the candidate is probably has a stronger biblical worldview than the other one that you're ready yes it is but i would think so what i do personally i didn't come into this with a lot of political knowledge i i feel like i represent the christian voter who needs this information i know there are a bunch of people out there who have friends who who uh people will call them to who i vote for and they'll send them a list i'm the person who wants to ask somebody to tell me who to vote for so i go into i voter guide before i voted i i'm in texas we just had a runoff election on may 24th i would encourage you strongly vote in every election not just november but i went to i voter guide and it listed all the races if there was more than one candidate that was the more conservative rating i clicked into look at their their candidate profile page i wanted to read how they answered the survey and see individuals that rated them so that i could choose between those that had the same rating which one i wanted to vote for so what i on the print icon you can print the whole thing or you can select the ones you've already decided who you're going to vote for and then it will print that so you can take it to the polls with you but you need to do a little bit of research before you just print the race page because you may have some that are rated the same yeah that's great information folks we're talking about i voter guide you can learn more at i voter guide.com that's i voter guide.com we're going to take our last commercial break when we come back i'm going to ask debbie to share with us about the resources available to churches and how churches can use this great tool to help influence elections and elect godly men and women to public office stick around i'll be right back a brand is a design name symbol or any other feature that sets an organization or individual apart bringing that brand to life can be difficult but diggs design is here to help you take that next step or re-energize your current situation we can handle logos social media graphics cards weddings clothings prints photo editing and much more give us a call today at 704-984-2432 or connect with digs design on social media in a world crowded with viewpoints and voices critical condition after asa i believe the message of this financial problem only one voice matters gods at the college at mid america and mid america seminary we equip leaders to think from a biblical world view online or on our memphis campus check out the college at mid america and mid america baptist theological seminary at mabts.edu and be equipped to light the way this show is brought to you by generous joe's the coffee company with the christian perspective this is the answer that christians and conservatives have been looking for a coffee company that gives back to causes you care about order your coffee today at shop generous joe's dot org and even subscribe to a subscription coffee plan and never forget the coffee you love or the causes you care about do you desire to build family relationships that stand the test of time does creating a godly family seem like a daunting challenge you're not alone i'm connie yaupers author of parenting beyond the rules and host of equipped to be as a mother of five i understand your struggles for 35 years i have been helping families just like yours build lasting relationships i'd like to invite you to tune in to equip to be and visit connieaupers.com where i share useful tips and proven strategies to help you navigate the seasons of motherhood faith and life with confidence and joy the united states of america has a strong christian heritage but most americans don't know the truly important role that god in the bible played in the founding of this great nation this june joined nationally syndicated radio host and founder of the citizens for america foundation dr chris hughes for four amazing days in our nation's capital with chris you'll embark on a journey of discovering the hidden secrets of washington dc and rediscover much of america's forgotten christian heritage your tour will include an up-close and personal look at the nation's establishment and how it's evolved over the centuries learn about the government and the men who helped forge this new kind of republic one that acknowledged the creator from its very inception know the truth about the creation of the united states of america about the faith of the founding fathers and how christian principles were used to establish this form of government visit citizens for america foundation.com today and secure your spot to join chris hughes in washington dc this june welcome back to christian perspective i'm chris hughes my guest today is debbie woof now she is the president of a great resource called i voter guide you can go to i voter guide.com and you just will have a wealth of information you can spend thousands of hours and never have the information that is available to you absolutely free in one location on the internet and it's the best resource out there i'm telling you i've done this for many many decades and i've been involved in a lot of different campaigns and there's some great resources by other organizations but none have the comprehensive research and information available like you can get at i voter guide.com so i want to encourage you to check them out before i ask about churches debbie i wanted to ask you so if i put in my address it's going to give me a sample ballot that we just talked about that gives me information on the candidates running does it also tell me my polling place if i don't know where to vote yeah no if you go and enter your address it'll take you to a page that'll either show you your sample ballot if we've already released the voter guide for your address we are still working on voter guides for some of the states so it may show tell you you know we're still working on it if you've got so many days until we release your voter guide and ask you to sign up for our email list the benefit to you is we will then let you go know when we've released that voter guide so if you get on our email list which i would strongly encourage you we we don't fill your email box we mail about once a week and then we'll let you know when elections are coming up so that you're can go to check out the voter guide and go vote but we do have on that same page there's a little tile at the right or if you're on a phone down at the bottom they'll say find my polling place and that will take you to a link where you can find out where you go in your local area and we're a nationwide voter guide so it's probably going to take you to a link in your state where you click your county or click your city or do something to find out you know what are the hours of the polling places what is the procedure for turning in my ballot can i mail it in you know just every state i'm sure you can imagine is its own unique beast as far as how they run their elections and how that works but we've got all the links there on that ballot page and then you can print it out and take it and what you just said is such an important point particularly coming out of the 2020 election is election laws are not federal laws they're different in every state and every state has their own regulations if we don't know if there's a listener out there may not know if he or she are registered to vote can they is there a database they can access through i voter guide or is there a way for them to register to vote on i voter guide we will have links for that so i'm double checking it right now by entering my own address but there should be a question there it should be and i'm double checking a tile on the right that would give you a link to to register to vote or to find out if you're registered and um let's see is it there find your polling place school board way to start a full email us and we will help you out we've got a great team that is has all that information and can direct you to the right place or the right place on our website or on the state website so on our on the footer page for i voter guide there's a contact us if you have questions that you're not able to find the answer uh just let us know we we have a great team that is really trying to provide as many resources as we can to voters so if you need some help let us know and again folks if you're just tuning in we're talking about i voter guide.com it is the best resource for particularly for christian voters in the nation today it's all absolutely free and so much information you can find out where candidates are getting their donations from who they're giving money to how they voted on issues how they're ranked by other organizations where you vote in your neighborhood so much great information is available what the election days are in your state debbie um i know a lot of churches ask um you know is it legal for me to hand out a voter guide and you have a great resource on your page just for churches so if we have a pastor or deacon or somebody that's a leader in their church listening and they're afraid you know i can't we can't do this because it's a violation of church and state folks i want to tell you that it's simply not true there is nothing in the constitution that ever says anything about separation of church and state and there's not a case where any church has lost their 501c3 status for registering voters that's right you can have a voter registration drive at your church and these uh this voter guide put out by i voter guide.com is what we call 501c3 compliant meaning it's information and education that is available to christian voters uh it's not an endorsement it's just educating christian voters and it's 100 legal for you to hand this out you can even print out i believe debbie correct me if i'm wrong i believe you can even print out a voter guide to insert in your bulletin but can you tell us about the resources available for churches that might be listening sure yeah because it's really important i feel like it's a christian's uh stewardship responsibility to put to vote because god tells us to be salt and white and and the easiest way we can be salt and white is by getting people electing people who represent us and what's important to us so that they pass laws that are consistent with our values so on i voter guide.com in the top menu is the word act act you click on the act word and it'll show you various tiles or options of information we have one of those is church resources so if you click on church resources we have information that you can pass out at church we have a bulletin insert that you can download and print it's like two of them on an eight and a half by eleven so it fit in a bulletin and it's not that um voter guide like you might have seen in the past that says candidates side by side with you know this one supports or oppose these different issues it's basically a flyer that says go to i voter guide.com to get your personalized ballot because everybody in my church everybody is so dispersed we couldn't print all of the state legislators and if we started to do school board candidates that would be on that personalized ballot so it really just tells voters go to the website enter your address get your own ballot that is completely c3 compliance we have a church slide that can be shown in powerpoints before services we have a little business card it's like a push card that just says i voter guide.com grounded in god rooted in research go there to find out information on your candidates and then we also have letters for the pastor from legal groups so first liberty wrote a document called church and government know your legal rights that you can give to your pastor that just documents what chris just said there's also a letter from our legal council telling pastors or churches any c3 that you can point people to i voter guide because we don't tell people who to vote for we just give them information to decide for themselves i will tell you you can't print the the bat it would be as an individual i can print the race ballot that gives the little ratings but the ratings are something that is why i voter guide.com we are a tax exempt but we are a 501c4 organization because of those ratings churches can send people to i voter guide but they may not want to print the the actual candidate evaluations and pass those out but an individual in a congregation certainly can so that's on our church page right so if you go to i voter guide.com you can get all this information the debbie said they have a great logo slide that's already pre-made like a powerpoint slide a lot of churches i know i have slides prior to the service beginning or after the service and that's something you should be putting in your rotation between now and november every single week have that slide up and and you can also put in your bulletin every even if you don't do the bulletin insert which is available absolutely free and i would certainly encourage you once early voting begins that sunday before early voting you ought to put the entire insert because you want to to educate christian voters we have george barnas who is a christian pollster says that there are nearly 40 million christians who profess to be christians that are eligible to vote that are not even registered to vote in the united states today pastors i'm telling you there's so many important issues right now whether it's the abortion issue or you know the economy that affects your church too you're going to lose your right to tell other people about jesus if we don't win this nation back to jesus christ and part of the way we do that is to elect godly men and women to public office and pastors you need to be telling your church about the issues of the day the candidates that are running and this is the best way to do it it's a hundred percent 501 c3 compliant by encouraging your people in your church to visit i voter guide.com so they can learn more about the candidates and the issues that are coming up in your community and in whether it's in primaries right now or in the general election in november debbie what are uh are there any changes that we'll be seeing i know you add so many new features i mean for the time you joined in 2011 to now this has just grown exponentially are there new things coming down the road that we can expect to find at i voter guide.com well uh we're continuing to grow and expand so the goal is to be covering you know more candidates more races down ballot in the coming election we're also looking at it won't happen this cycle but beyond 2022 covering a ballot proposition statewide ballot propositions giving you a way to search for candidates by name uh giving you if you you know gathering the information on on a particular issue and and letting you see here's the pro like if life was my issue here's the pro-life groups and who they've endorsed so there are so many as we build out all this data there's a whole bunch of ideas that we have for how we would grow and expand beyond 2022 and the biggest one in my book in my book is we're trying to grow this army of volunteers who will help us to research down ballot because it takes volunteers and it takes finances so while we're provided free to voters if you wanted to support support what we do and you see value i would ask for your support that way as well so how do people do that if someone does want to volunteer that that's a great deed how would they let you know their desire that same act page that you may have the church resources it's called our get involved page if you scroll down there's one that says become a panelist and panelists it says are an integral part of i voter guides process to evaluate candidates and we need panelists from all 50 states so you can click the learn more button it'll go and tell you about the you know the requirements it's about we estimate 8 to 12 hours of your time per election but we do require you to apply there's a button apply now you can apply and see if you can become a panelist and that helps us that's who evaluates the candidates what we've heard from the people who serve as panelists is not only do they feel like they're performing a valuable community service to their neighbors in researching and evaluating these candidates but they learn what to look for in the candidates in the races that even we don't cover so they feel equipped to go and look for their county judge or information on their you know city council so it's it's it's equipping people in more ways than one it's equipping them on who to vote for but also how to be a more informed voter wow such great information this is something that has really been needed for a long time and debbie i commend you and your company for what you're doing to help christians become educated voters thank you so much for being with us today oh thank you chris for the opportunity we all just have to work together that's how the body christ is supposed to so glad we can play our part amen so folks visit i voter guide.com that's i voter guide.com you can learn about what your church can do with the resources available and you can even volunteer to help them as they screen candidates again it's i voter guide.com thank you so much for listening today listen here each and every day it's your favorite radio station and this show will be released later today in podcast format if you want your pastor to be able to hear what debbie and her team are doing at i voter guide.com until next time let's impact the culture for jesus thank you for listening the christian perspective with chris hues learn more about impacting the culture for jesus visit citizensforamericafoundation.com this is the truth network
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