Why do people not vote? Around the world people line up to vote and in America we do not exercise our right. Other democratic countries experience approximately a 98 percent voter turnout (Serbian voters dodge mortar shells) while American voter turnout is closer to 49 percent.
This begs the question, Why do people not vote? Some people are lazy. Some think their vote does not matter. Some think the issues are not important to them (welfare, taxes, education, foreign policy, healthcare, etc.). Some feel they will get a raw deal from either candidate. Some believe there is no good candidate (this is the reason primaries are so important).
As a pastor, I believe we have a Christian responsibility to vote. Jesus said we are to be Salt and Light to the world.
Mark Twain understood the importance of a Christian’s responsibility as a citizen. He wrote, “A Christian’s first duty is to God. It then follows, as a matter of course, that it is his duty to carry his Christian code of morals to the polls and vote them… If Christians should vote their duty to God at the polls, they would carry every election, and do it with ease… it would bring about a moral revolution that would be incalculably beneficent. It would save the country.”
John Jay, the first chief justice of the Supreme Court, was one of the three men responsible for drafting the constitution. In 1816 he wrote, “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty, as well as the privilege, of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”
Voting for and supporting moral candidates who support moral public policies is the minimum required of Christian citizens in a system of self-government.
I believe that godly people must vote for godly rulers. William Patterson, a signer of the Constitution and a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, quoted Proverbs 29:2 (KJV), “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”
Yet, the only way that the righteous can rule in America is to be elected to office, and they can only be elected to office when God-fearing citizens vote for them. Quite simply, we have been given a tremendous stewardship of the nation and its policies. If we fail to vote conscientiously for godly rule then evil will increase in our nation.
Our vote is important because our government is a reflection of the character of the people of our nation. President James A. Garfield said, “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature…
“If the next centennial does not find us a great nation… it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”
Adolf Hitler was elected by just one vote. Thomas Jefferson was elected by just one vote. Texas was admitted into the union by just one vote. Your one vote is important.
I believe that doing nothing is not an option. Sir Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
In 1832, founding father Noah Webster warned young people, “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public officers, let it be impressed upon your mind that God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of our government depends upon the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted; laws will be made, not for the public good, so much as for selfish or local purposes; corrupt or incompetent men will be appointed to execute the laws; the public revenues will be squandered on unworthy men; and the rights of the citizens will be violated or discarded. If our government fails to secure public prosperity and happiness, it must be because the citizens neglect the divine commands, and elect bad men to make and administer laws.”
Said the politician to the judge, “It’s not my fault, your honor, I never could have done all that stuff if the people hadn’t elected me.” 1 Samuel 8:18 says, “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.” We have a choice as to who will be our ruler.