Welcome to a new month! With the presidential elections just around the corner, we thought it would be interesting and exciting to cover the topic of voting! As I’ve mentioned before, even if you’re not yet of voting age, this is still an important issue to consider! There are so many different aspects to this topic, so we decided to discuss voting for the next six weeks, instead of just the five weeks of October. During that time we will discuss everything from statistics on voting in the U.S., to voting as an exercise of our freedoms, and how our first duty as Christians — our duty to God — plays into our duty as U.S. Citizens. Also, this month you will be hearing from most of our contributors!
To begin, I will lay out some information to show you how many U.S citizens vote (or don’t vote).
-The United States population, as of September, was approximately 324 million.
-Of the total population, approximately 219 million are eligible to vote.
-Of those eligible, approximately 146 million are registered to vote, with 42% as independents, 29% as Democrats, and 26% as Republicans in 2015.
-Unfortunately, of those who are eligible and registered to vote, only about half will actually vote. In 2000, 50.3% of those registered actually voted, and in 2014, 54.9% voted. If about half of those eligible are registered, but only about half of those registered vote, then you have less than a quarter of the population that are actually exercising their right to vote. In 2012 presidential election, an estimated 126 million people voted, leaving 93 million that didn’t.
That’s really disappointing! We have a choice as to who will represent and lead us, and it’s critical that we let our voice be heard.
Our founding fathers saw voting not only as a right or a duty, but as one of the greatest means by which we the people control the government, ensure that liberty is upheld and preserved, and flush out those who do not listen to the people and govern poorly. You can see then why this lack of voting is disturbing!
Thomas Jefferson said:
“[S]hould things go wrong at any time, the people will set them to rights by the peaceable exercise of their elective rights.” (‘Elective rights’ being our right to vote.)
Also, John Adams gives us this sobering call to action:
“We electors have an important constitutional power placed in our hands; we have a check upon two branches of the legislature . . . the power, I mean, of electing at stated periods [each] branch. . . . It becomes necessary to every [citizen] then, to be in some degree a statesman, and to examine and judge for himself of the tendency of political principles and measures. Let us examine, then, with a sober, a manly . . . and a Christian spirit; let us neglect all party [loyalty] and advert to facts; let us believe no man to be infallible or impeccable in government any more than in religion; take no man’s word against evidence, nor implicitly adopt the sentiments of others who may be deceived themselves, or may be interested in deceiving us.”
Lastly, I ask that everyone remember the importance of paying close attention to who is morally fit to govern. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 29:2, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Our founding fathers laid out 28 Principles of Liberty, twenty-eight things they believed were necessary for liberty to be preserved. Number 3 says this: “The most promising method of securing a virtuous and morally strong people is to elect virtuous leaders.” If we desire to preserve the blessings of liberty we have enjoyed, we must not only vote, but we must vote for morally upright candidates, both nationally (which, I’ll admit is quite difficult) and locally!
We hope you enjoy this month’s topic and learn more about the importance of voting!