In an average four-year cycle, almost Sixty percent of eligible people will vote in a presidential election. While only Forty percent will take the time to vote for Congressional candidates two years later. Fewer people will actually vote, than those who choose not to . . . as if those elections do not matter. Yet, control of congress can change and shift the direction of the country in a midterm election.
Add to that, elections at the local level have a profound influence on our daily life. The country can be a mess. Washington’s leadership may be completely dysfunctional. But, if our state government is functioning well, our quality of life is good.
Within state government decisions are made about college tuition and funding formulas. Priorities are set. Will the focus be on rebuilding infrastructure or an alternative priority? Consumer and environmental protections are put in place. Regulations can make our lives safer, easier and fairer – or not, depending upon the people who are elected. Health care is administered at the local level. Transportation is funded or not funded by those in state power. Will the focus be on culture wars or on all the people in the state? Will the state make it easier to vote or put barriers in the way of voting? Will redistricting disenfranchise segments of the population or be fair and equitable? How many resources will to allocated to the homeless and hungry?
Decisions about the future are in the hands of voters like you and me. Too often these important decisions are made by people who decided that voting was unimportant and didn’t realize the ramifications of staying home. My hope and prayer is that you will make a decision to vote. Then after researching the issues, you will choose to vote for the candidates who are most aligned with the vision and words of Jesus.