4 ways to love your neighbor with your vote

As we count down the days until one of the most historic elections, our country is facing some serious issues: Covid-19, racial injustice, and concerns about election integrity. 


These are complicated problems, but our responsibility as followers of Jesus is simple: we’re called to love our neighbors in all things - even with our vote. This responsibility goes deeper than allegiance to any political party. 


So what does it look like?


Read on for a few ways to cast your ballot as a Christian: 

1. Vote in solidarity with the vulnerable and disenfranchised

In Matthew 25, we learn about Jesus’ concern for specific groups of people: those who are hungry, poor, ill, immigrants, and imprisoned. Following his example, we must listen closely to these people, who are still most impacted by injustice today. What are their concerns? How will candidates’ policies and decisions impact them? What candidates do they endorse?

Research your candidates’ positions on economic policy, foreign aid, education policy, racial justice, immigration reform, healthcare, criminal justice reform, and climate change. Legislation in these areas often have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable members of our communities.

 

2. Pursue and share truth

Pursue truth as you research the candidates and measures on your ballot. The best way to do this is to use only high-quality news sources and websites like Ballotpedia that compile neutral information about most candidates in the upcoming elections (as well as their records if they’ve held public office in the past). Take the time to carefully research each person on the ballot - and don’t overlook the local or municipal candidates! These people will have direct influence over your immediate community, especially its school systems and law enforcement.

Before sharing information about candidates or issues on social media or in conversations, make sure you’ve fact checked your information and only share information from reliable news sources. Sharing helpful, factual information can help others make informed voting decisions as well. 

3. Get involved on election day

After you’ve made a plan to vote, think about ways you can help others to do the same. Is there anyone in your church or community who might need help getting to their polling place? Could you register to be a poll worker (especially if you’re not high-risk for Covid-19 complications)? Could you send texts or call friends and remind them to make a voting plan? 

4. Pray

Most importantly, ask God to guide your research and choices as you fill out your ballot. Ask God to give you wisdom as you weigh the candidates and measures. After you cast your vote, continue to pray each day for the democratic process and the outcome of the election. Join with Christians in other countries as we pray for the following issues in the U.S. Please pray…

  • That Christians will vote in solidarity with the poor, the vulnerable, the oppressed and the disenfranchised
  • Above all, for unity and common ground to be established in the face of growing polarization, especially among believers
  • That all Americans will exercise their right to vote, and that they’ll seek wisdom and discern truth from falsehood in the process
  • For the protection of democratic processes. Help election officials in every place to guard their polling places from intimidation and interference. Give officials a resolve to count every ballot and make it possible for everyone to vote. 
  • Against the threat of political violence and corruption.
  • For peaceful acceptance of the election results, and smooth transitions of power for those who are elected. 

Amen.

Image credit: Jennifer Griffin via Unsplash