While the campaigns are, in many ways, still getting warmed up, the 2020 election officially started today when North Carolina became the first state to mail ballots to voters. The early start date is yet another reminder that mail will be one of the biggest storylines in the 2020 election. Will people receive their ballots? Can voters depend on the mail system to return their ballots?
While we should make the integrity of our election a point of prayer, here are five additional things to be thinking and praying about as we get closer to November 3rd.
Local elections important too.For better or worse, the presidential election is going to get most of the attention over the next two months, but that shouldn't distract you from remembering how important local elections are. State legislative races will determine the direction of your state. School board elections will determine what is being taught in the school down the street from your house. Those elections are often decided by dozens of votes, not millions of votes. Take those elections seriously and pray that other God-fearing people do as well.
God is always in charge. You should vote anyway. In a contentious political environment, it may be tempting to disengage and count on the fact that God's will is going to be done regardless of who wins the election. Of course, this is true. God's ultimate plan is not dependent upon the outcome of this or any election.
But voting isn't misplaced trust, it's stewardship of what God has given us. As Americans, God has given us authority that we exercise with a ballot. The only reason God gives us anything is because He wants us to use it for His glory. That's true of our time, our money, and our influence. Voting is simply stewardship of our influence. We don't have to fear the result because we know God is in charge, but we do have to be good stewards of the influence God has placed with us.
Vote for the best option, not the perfect option. Almost every choice in life involves tradeoffs; rarely do perfect options exist. This is true for jobs we choose and the candidates we choose. When we look at our ballots, it will be full of imperfection because it's full of people. This could be a reason not to vote or it could be a reason to dig deeper. It could motivate us to think less about the personalities involved and more about the policies involved. If having someone I like isn't one of the options, can I be content with having someone I don't like who does things that I do like? When there is no perfect option, we may need to settle for the best option. After all, if you aren't involved in deciding what is best, someone else will decide that for you.
The election may not be over on election day. Before the virus, 34 states allowed absentee voting. Since COVID, 20 states have revised their laws to make mail-in voting easier. Some states require ballots to be received by election day, but others simply require ballots to be post-marked by election day. This means that in some places, ballots could be counted weeks after election day.
The majority never wins. In 2016, President Trump received slightly less than 63 million votes. That's a lot of votes, but in 2016, the United States had over 320 million people and 230 million eligible voters. That means that the president received the votes of 27 percent of eligible voters. This dynamic is at play in every election. The important thing to remember is that elections aren't determined by the majority of the people, they're determined by the majority of the people who bother to show up. It's our job to show up.
For the latest on election integrity and voter fraud, check out our second Pray, Vote, Stand broadcast. And, for everything you need to know about registering to vote, hosting a voter registration drive, or voter guides, check out PrayVoteStand.org.