Your U.S. Senator plays a central role in government. It is his or her job to represent you in the U.S. Congress through their votes. For example, the President may nominate a qualified judicial candidate who promises strict adherence to the original intent of the Constitution. Then, the Senate must vote on whether or not to confirm the President’s nominee. Once confirmed, these judges and justices rule on a number of important issues of concern to people of faith, such as the definition of marriage, the protection of life from “the womb to the tomb,” free expression of religion, and much more. Consequently, your vote in the U.S. Senate race matters.
Your U.S. Senator represents you
Proverbs 29:2 says: “When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan” (Proverbs 29:2). With that in mind, consider a candidate’s:
Convictions. Our nation’s first Supreme Court Justice, John Jay, said: “It is the duty, as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation, to select and prefer Christians for their rulers1. Obviously, most candidates call themselves “Christians,” but their positions vary on specific issues.
- Examine his or her voting record, stated positions on the issues, etc. Candidates & Information Consider biblical instruction on those issues. Vote My Values Ask yourself: “Does this candidate share my values?”
Character. Founder Noah Webster said: “In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide…look to his character… When a citizen gives his suffrage (vote) to a man of known immorality he abuses his trust; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor, he betrays the interest of his country2.
Consider voting for the candidate who most closely represents your values!
1 John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, Henry P. Johnston, ed. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890), 4:365.
2 Noah Webster, Letters to a Young Gentleman Commencing His Education to which is subjoined a Brief History of the United States (New Haven: S. Converse, 1823), 18-19.
It may seem that there’s not much difference between candidates. However, many times there is a radical difference when it comes to a party’s position on important issues. For more information on where the major political parties stand on a broad range of issues, Candidates & Information
Every candidate has his or her own values. Make sure they match up with yours!
In 1916 ONE VOTE won Woodrow Wilson the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
In 1948 ONE VOTE gave Harry Truman the Presidency by carrying California by less than one vote per precinct.
In 1960 ONE VOTE per precinct in Illinois would have given Richard Nixon the Presidency over John Kennedy.
In California in 1974, Jerry Brown won the race for governor over Houston Flournoy by a margin of fewer than eight votes per precinct.
In California in 1982 George Deukmejian won the race for governor over Tom Bradley by a margin smaller than four votes per precinct.
In Texas in 1985 Jim Chapman won the First U.S. Congressional District race over Ed Hargett by fewer than five votes per precinct.
And consider than in 2000, if Al Gore would have won the state of Florida (an issue still a point of contention for some) or in 2004 if John Kerry had captured the vote in Ohio—they would have been sitting in the Oval Office instead of George W. Bush.
The reality is that if you chose not to vote, the outcome of the election more than likely will not be impacted. Now if all your neighbors get the same idea that they won’t be missed at your local precinct, then there is a much better chance that some races will be impacted
Yet those who question whether or not their vote really matters have really missed the point. In the very unique participatory republic in which we are blessed to live, we shouldn’t be asking if our vote really matters but instead, when do the polls open?
Dr. James Dobson answers “that half the Christians in America aren’t even registered to vote, and of those who are, only half go to the polls1.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as many as 25-35% of the voting age population is not even registered to vote. That translates to between 45 and 65 million Americans!
What is worse is that Census Bureau statistics also show that only 53% of Americans who were eligible to vote did so in 2000, and only 39.3% voted in 2002. It would be safe to say that less than half of all professing Christians vote in a given election.
Here’s more sobering news: Many believers fail to consider their biblical values when voting, often choosing candidates whose positions are at odds with their own beliefs, convictions, and values. A recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans say their faith has little to do with their voting decisions.
Imagine the impact believers could have on our government, its leadership, and our nation if we all simply registered to vote and voted our values!
1 James Dobson’s comments on voting and our civic responsibility as Christians can be accessed by following this link: Click here.