There are over 60 million committed Christians in the United States, but only half of them vote. This is both a problem and an opportunity.
Of all eligible millennial voters, only 46% voted in the last Presidential election according to Pew Research. These numbers are staggering, and yet they continue to dwindle with each election. In the last five presidential elections, the highest percentage of young adult voter turnout was 50% in the 2008 election between Senator John McCain and now President Barack Obama. The voting percentage then dropped back to 46% in the 2012 election.
Christian millennials must start taking advantage of their privilege to vote in order to engage in the culture, to have a voice in who represents them, and most importantly, to fulfill the lifestyle Christ calls us to.
Nearly three-quarters of young voters say they do not vote because they do not believe their one vote can make much of a difference, according to Harvard’s annual Institute of Politics Survey. So they would rather retreat from the privilege of voting rather than jump at the chance to exercise their right. Undeniably, the political process can be overwhelming, ever-changing, and just plain daunting at times. Millennials have grown up in the age of “quick-fixes.” Accessing On-Demand television instantly, asking Siri for the answer with the press of a button, and even ordering their Chick-fil-a through an app has made life easier and voting look tougher.
But even one vote can change the course of history. According to Your Five Duties as A Christian Citizen by Campus Crusade for Christ, it was “by one vote that Texas was admitted to the Union; Hitler won leadership of the German Nazi Party; and the U.S. House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson as President.” Your one vote counts.
Christians, whether young or old, are called to action. Isaiah 1:17 notes: “learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.” One of the ways we fight for justice and liberty is through getting men and women of morals into public office. This is not the only way, but it is one way.
Abraham Kuyper found that there is not a square inch over the whole domain of existence over which God does not say “Mine.” Certain issues matter to us immensely, such as the sanctity of marriage, the value of human life, protection of religious freedom, and stewardship of the environment. But because we know of a God who is coming to redeem all things for his glory, all issues are value issues, not just a few.
If we really care about those issues, we need to use our one vote to elect leaders of character who will change policy to reflect our beliefs. “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34).
So how is this done?
First, check your voting status. Double check, because many Americans think they are registered when they are actually not.
Second, be informed before you vote. Voting for President of the United States will not be the only item on the ballot come this November. Inform yourself on the state and local government positions, too.
Third, get out and vote, preferably early! Franklin Roosevelt explained, “Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves—and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”
And finally, pray. When our country is in need, all we have to do is ask. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). God is the ultimate power when it comes to elections: “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will” (Proverbs 21:1). We must pray that He will direct leaders’ hearts and minds.