Confusing title considering a few months ago I wrote a post on why I think it's important to vote, right? I wrote that post as the primary elections were coming up earlier this year, and now that the general election is right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to book-end that post with this one.
Don't vote without being informed.
And yes, this might take some effort and research. But I discussed in my other post why I think it is not just a privilege but a responsibility to be informed and vote accordingly. You should know where you stand on the issues, know which issues are most important to you, and know who best represents your position before voting.
Don't vote for candidates based on "likability" alone.
If you like the candidate you are voting for as a person, bonus! But national elections are not American Idol, and they shouldn't be treated as such. You should consider your values and vote for the person who you think will uphold them best (this is where that research comes in), not for the person that seems the "coolest" person to vote for. Which brings me to . . .
Don't vote based on who you think is going to win.
This is probably the silliest way I can think of to pick a presidential candidate, but I have really heard of some people voting for the person they think is going to win anyway. I know we all want to be on the winning side, but really? The choice of president is huge in determining the direction our country is going to go - take it seriously and make an informed choice!
Don't vote against your conscience.
This all rolls back around to what things you value most, but I think we all have our critical, hot-button issues (if we are informed about the issues, anyway). Two of mine happen to be that I'm strongly pro-life and I support traditional marriage - the Bible is very clear to me about God's position on the value of life inside the womb and on how He intended marriage to be, and I couldn't vote for someone who didn't also support those values.
I know I probably lost half of you there (though if you've been reading a while, I'm sure you're not surprised). But to vote for someone who was on the opposite side of those issues when I had another choice would be to go against my conscience. Maybe your critical issues aren't mine, but know what they are and vote accordingly.
Don't vote without considering what God thinks about your choice.
I'm speaking to fellow Christians here. I think voting is a huge privilege that we have in this country. It's not something everyone in the world gets to enjoy. But more than a privilege, as Christians I think this is also a practical opportunity to be the "salt of the earth". Back in the day salt was used as a preservative to keep things from going bad - to vote the way we think God would want us to is one very practical way to exercise our role as that "preservative".
And if you're not sure of how He would have you vote? Study His word, and try to decide which candidate best fits with what God tells us in scripture. Spend some time in prayer and ask Him what He thinks.
And if it's one of those things that the Bible doesn't say much about one way or another? Pray about it, do some research, and do the best you can.
Despite the title I picked for this post, I hope you all are registered and planning to vote on November 6th! It really is an a privilege and something that shouldn't be taken for granted by any American - no matter who you end up voting for.
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