Monday, June 17, 2024
Monday, June 17, 2024
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Politics, Ugh! – Vote

What’s the first thing that you think of when someone asks you, “Are you going to vote?” or “Are you registered to vote?” Ugh, politics! Your response is not as uncommon as you might think, but should it be? With only between 53%-62% of the eligible population voting in the last three presidential elections, that leaves almost one-half of the eligible population not voting.

Voting is one of the cornerstones our founding fathers envisioned so that America would be a democratic nation forever. The Constitution has been in place for over 200 years and has been called a “living document” because its people can take action to the needs of a changing and emerging society.

Our first presidential election was held on April 30, 1789, with George Washington being elected. The Bill of Rights guarantees our right to vote, something most people in the world do not have. There have been constitutional voting amendments added that have expanded the rights and lowered the voting age and given rights to all sexes, races or ethnic backgrounds of citizens in the United States. This was done to help ensure that there are not any disenfranchised voters.

The following is an acronym for the word VOTE to help us remember the reason we should not pass on our opportunity to exercise our right to vote:

Validate — Who are you voting for? Before you vote, take the time to know the candidates and what they stand for. “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan” (Prov. 29:2 NKJV). This is our opportunity to validate and show our support for our Constitution. When we vote, we show elected officials, younger generations and other countries that we take our liberties seriously. Voting helps to preserve our freedoms and validates that we believe in voting freely when we vote for the candidate of our choice. Gertrude Baines believed in voting. She was the oldest person, at 115 years old, to vote until her death.

Opportunity — Eligible citizens have the opportunity to vote for who and what public policies they desire. “Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you” (Deut. 1:13). The methods for voting have changed over the years — from the paper ballot, lever pull, punch cards and now touch screens at most polling locations. Voters in the United States have the opportunity to freely express their preferences in a private manner when they vote. This is something that people of other countries desire in their country. 

Do you remember the Tiananmen Square protests of June 1989? It’s hard to forget the picture of the student staring down Chinese military tanks as they attempted to move forward in the square and threatened his life. There are millions and millions of people around the world who have laid down their lives to have the freedoms we have in America. Are you taking the opportunity to vote?

Time — Every time we vote, we reinforce that our freedom to vote is important. The time-proven freedoms and democracy in the United States are the model that others wish their country would emulate. Time has shown that it is possible for just about anyone to become president. Proverbs 14:34 reminds us that, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” We have had presidents that have been farmers — George Washington and Jimmy Carter. Lyndon Johnson had been a schoolteacher and Woodrow Wilson a college president before they became the president of the United States. By taking the time to vote in every election, we can eradicate the belief that Americans are apathetic.

Election — Every vote in every election is important. When you vote, you are expressing your opinion and making your voice heard. How many times have you heard someone say, “It doesn’t matter if I vote, I’m only one vote.” Even worse, how many times have we gone along with that type of thinking and said, “You’re right.” Every vote counts, period. History has shown, time and time again, that one vote did make a difference. Some of those one-vote differences are:

• In 1776, one vote gave America the English language instead of German.

• In 1850, one vote made California a part of the United States.

• In 1868, one vote stopped the impeachment proceeding against President Andrew Jackson.

• In 1923, one vote in Germany gave Adolf Hitler leadership of the Nazi Party.

• In 1984, one vote was the margin for Monroe County, Florida commissioner.

Your vote does make a difference. Voting results have repeatedly proven the enormous power of one single vote. Each time we vote, whether it is a local election, primary or presidential election, we help to guarantee our rights, our right to worship, free speech and to vote for whom we desire. Don’t take your rights for granted, vote to be heard!

“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (II Chron. 7:14).