I receive daily phone calls and emails inquiring about the best method of voting. This year’s voter participation may exceed record levels, but at the same time voters’ trust in the process and political parties is very low. You are justified in your outrage that New Jersey’s vote by mail election is unnecessary. People should be able to vote absentee through the mail if, for example, they have health conditions that prevent them from physically going to the polls. However, forcing every registered voter to use an untested system to sort out millions of ballots is problematic.
The greatest challenge is not the privacy and delivery of ballots, but the question of whether citizens will fill out their ballots correctly. Are people appropriately trained? Voting by mail requires a voter to fill out the inner envelope with their information including their signature, place the ballot in the envelope, and properly seal it. Then, they must place that inner envelope in the outer mail envelope with their information and properly seal that, too. Most voters have not seen a voting machine in four years, and for many this will be the first time in their life that they’ve handled a paper ballot.
But even if you are upset, you still must vote – and you should vote early.
If you want to protest the process by showing up to a polling place on election day, that’s a mistake. Here’s why:
First, very few polling places will be open, and the process could be a hassle. Do not assume your normal location will be one of them. You might have to drive farther than usual. When you arrive, you may have to stand in a long line with other people who are there to hand in the ballot they were mailed. These last-minute ballots will be heaped into containers and boxes much less secure than the safe drop boxes currently located throughout your county.
Second, you will not be able to vote by machine, unless you have a documented disability that makes you unable to complete a paper ballot. If you show up to a polling place on election day to vote, you will be forced to complete a provisional paper ballot that will not be counted until weeks after Election Day. Make sure your vote is counted upfront!
Here is what you need to do:
- Vote early – don’t wait.
- Bring your ballot to your county Board of Elections office or drop it in a secure drop box that is emptied each day by a representative from the Republican and Democrat party together. Putting your ballot in the mail is your last option.
- Sign up to track your ballot online to make sure your ballot was received.
Let’s win back New Jersey!
Director of Advocacy
On our letterhead, we use the phrase, “Advancing Biblical Citizenship.” But what does that mean?
Biblical citizenship can apply to many aspects of the political process: from lobbying to letter writing, from “get out the vote” campaigns to voting for God-fearing men and women. With elections just around the corner, let’s talk about voting.
There are two important aspects to consider about a candidate for office: their personal character and their policies. Both are typically indicators of what will happen if the person is elected.
On the character side, we all want someone who exhibits Christ-like servanthood, but who can also take strong unbending stands on moral issues when needed. Someone who uses the Bible as the standard for their actions and doesn’t merely pay lip service to the Scriptures and its teachings. A person who truly wants to pursue biblical solutions to tough problems.
Is there a perfect candidate on the character side of things? Not a chance. Some may be closer to this ideal than others, but nobody meets these criteria to the extent they should, and that includes both of our current presidential candidates. I’m sure there are also candidates running for office here in our state that miss the mark to one extent or another.
All I can say is, let’s give a little grace on these character flaws. That’s not the same as giving politicians a pass – they should be held accountable for what they say and do. However, always keep in mind that you and I are just as flawed as the next person. Someone once told me, “we’re all broken, some of us just show the cracks sooner than others”.
On the policy side, there can often be substantial differences between candidates. At Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming, we focus on issues that fall under our umbrella of “family policy”, so here are some of the biblical issues I would consider for candidates at all levels.
Abortion: Does the candidate plan to enact policies that protects innocent life from conception to natural death?
Religious Liberty: Is the free expression of religious beliefs something the candidate will protect, consistent with the First Amendment? This applies to individuals, businesses, elected officials, and others.
Education: Does the candidate uphold and protect the primary rights of parents to determine and guide the education of their children?
Marriage/Family: Does the candidate define marriage as being between one man and one woman and is this marriage the nucleus of a healthy family? Does the candidate view men and women as biologically distinct from birth?
While both personal character and policies are important when choosing a candidate, the difference is that policies live on and shape our country long after the elected official fades into history. Some of the greatest presidents this country experienced over the years had spotted character attributes but did amazing things for the advancement of our nation and ensured we held to the fundamentals upon which this country was founded.
Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® is nonpartisan, and we want to keep it that way. We want you to vote your conscience and vote your values on the types of issues highlighted above. If you do that, you are exercising your biblical citizenship and one of your most privileged freedoms. Do not waste it.
“Vanishing Vows” was the title of a recent article in Christianity Today that underscored the decline of marriage around the world. “Family Life” articles always draw my attention because that it is where we live: we are all part of a family. For some, that has been a good experience and for others, not so good. As a pastor I came to realize early on that healthy families make for a healthy church. Staying healthy as a family is a lot of work but the bottom line is that family health is key to so many aspects of life and culture as a nation.
The subtitle to the article was, “Can the Church save what is left of marriage?” Yes, it can, but the Church must be free and unencumbered by government to do that. Many of our Founding Fathers came to America, seeking religious freedom to raise their families according to their values, free of government control. But that has changed and without realizing it we often elect lawmakers who make ungodly laws that restrict parents and even persecute Christians for abiding by biblical values. So, your vote – and who you vote for – is very important!
America still chooses leaders democratically and you can do more than you think. Make sure you and your fellow church members are registered to vote. Our country has a crisis of low voter turnout and Christian voter turnout is no exception to this. It is estimated that over 25 million Christians did not vote in the 2016 election, and an estimated 15 million Christians are not even registered to vote.
While there is no verse in the Bible which states, “thou shall vote,” God’s Word does challenge us as followers of Christ to influence our communities for our own good and, more importantly, for the good of others (Jeremiah 29:7; Galatians 6:10). We can do that in part by voting – not principally as Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or Independents – but as Christians.
This November, we have the opportunity to elect leaders — from the White House in D.C., to the State House in Providence — who will determine our future on critical issues including protecting babies in the womb, preserving our First Amendment rights, strengthening the family, and extending care and compassion to those in need.
Here are the steps you need to take.
- Compare party platforms with an eye for Christian values. You can do this here.
- Look at the voting record of the individual candidate you are considering for your vote and see how they line up on the issues.
Lastly, and most importantly, PRAY that we can keep Wyoming a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished. This is the mission of Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming®, and the mission that you participate in through your generous gifts.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “every vote counts.” The obvious thought behind this is that without individual votes mounting up in a particular direction, the will of the people will not be accurately represented. This applies to election of candidates in primaries and general elections, state-wide ballot initiatives, local district measures, etc. However, I’m here to tell you that sometimes your vote to advance family values may not count.
Let’s talk about electing candidates for office. When you have deeply held pro-life and pro-family values, you seek to elect candidates that hold similar beliefs. However, all is not always what it seems.
In any election, candidates typically run under a particular party’s banner and you assume that they adhere to that party’s platform. Thus, you believe you are in effect voting for the party’s platform. However, there is sometimes a disconnect between a candidate carrying the party banner, versus how closely they adhere to the platform.
I’m happy to say that most legislators in Wyoming do represent their party’s platform, but not all do. If you don’t know this and vote for them, this is sometimes when your votes may not count to advance family values.
The Wyoming Primary election is as important as the General election because many of our counties lean heavily toward one party. Knowing the difference between two candidates in the same party can be more challenging, but that’s where Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® comes in.
We have corresponded with most of the candidates in the Wyoming Primary Election and have produced a grading system to help you. We asked new candidates questions on Life, Religious Liberty, and Family Values and for incumbent candidates we looked at their voting record. We pass this information on by way of a grade from A+ to F. We are providing this to you to help in determining the best candidate in your legislative race.
Please visit the Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming election page and look at the candidates in your State Senate and State Representative races.
If you need to know where to vote, visit the Secretary of State’s website to find your polling place.
There are races in this primary election that will determine the direction of our state and our nation for many years to come. My prayer is that on the other side of this election we will have moved more towards a Wyoming where life is cherished, religious freedom flourishes, God is honored, and families thrive!
Vote by August 18th!
Early voting is underway across New Mexico and it is very important that you (1) get out and vote as soon as possible and (2) encourage your family and friends to do the same. Many people plan to vote on Election Day—Tuesday, November 6—but then it rains, or the car breaks down, or a child gets sick, and, sadly, they never vote. So don’t delay! Vote early!
I also want to encourage you to vote Christian. As I have been speaking at events and churches recently, I have described this election as the “most important election in my lifetime.” Why? Because I believe our state is at a crossroads and that the future of family, life, and religious freedom is genuinely at stake. Gone are the days when biblical values were embraced by our culture, and, quite frankly, we are now living in culture that does not even allow us to agree to disagree on these issues. More and more, Christians are being told that we must not only tolerate but accept and even celebrate the sins of contemporary culture, or risk facing the wrath of an angry mob and an increasingly hostile government.
But, we can do something about this! We can PRAY and we can VOTE! Prayer is the language that moves heaven. Voting is the language that will change New Mexico. So before you head to the polls this week, please PRAY for this election and our state, then VOTE Christian by casting your ballot for those men and women who will support and defend Biblical truths.
For information about early voting in your area, you can look up early voting locations here or you can call your county clerk. Additional election-related information is also available on our website.
Thank you for exercising your civic responsibility and for standing with us!
“Therefore…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV)
Together in Christ,
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of New Mexico
Politics is painful at times…
And in these times of division, scandal and seamy exploits by our leaders paraded on television in the form of journalism—it can be particularly painful for our families and for our nation. Never has there been a time where this has been more apparent than with the Trump Presidency.
Christians who voted for Donald Trump knew exactly what we were getting… a morally flawed candidate who made promises that largely aligned with our values.
Christians who didn’t vote, or voted against Donald Trump, knew exactly what we were risking… a morally flawed candidate in Hillary Clinton who made promises that absolutely violated our values.
That was our choice—neither one ideal. Yet prayerful Christians came thoughtfully to either choice with a clear conscience.
As a ministry working in the public square on behalf of the family, we often find ourselves advocating for the pro-family policies we support, advanced by a leader whose behavior we do not.
This is why we cheer when President Trump promises to end tax payer funding for abortion (we’re still waiting Mr. President), nominates Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court and advocates for more like him, appoints Cabinet members that affirm Christian values and implements fiscal policy that helps strengthen the family.
But we groan in frustration with his tweets, his school-yard bullying and reject his deplorable behavior with and toward women. Oh, how we pray—and we do pray—that He would come to faith and that the many faithful men and women around him would successfully guide him toward Christlike behavior.
The critical midterm elections—in which Family Policy Alliance and our state allies across the nation are actively engaged—will be a referendum on the President’s ability to deliver results thus far, weighed against his current & past character flaws.
At the same time, Family Policy Alliance, is actively searching for, training and working to elect the next generation of Statesmen—men and women dedicated to carrying their faith to the public square and standing for the values that will benefit us all—even for those who oppose them.
Our unique form of government is not perfect. Neither is any candidate. But we will always strive to advance the values that are. Won’t you join us?
To support our efforts to keep or bring in new elected leaders to public office who will represent your values—and be driven by principle, not politics—please consider a non-tax-deductible gift to Family Policy Alliance’s efforts in the critical midterm 2018 election.
Standing for the family of believers,
President and CEO
Yes, it’s the first Tuesday of November in an odd-numbered year. That means, for the most part, elections that are dominated by local bond measures, county commissioner contests and other lower-profile races. All are good reasons to get out and vote—and these races, especially for school board, can make the most difference right in your area for your family—but most are not headline grabbers beyond their local area.
Still, Election Day 2017 does offer some nationally impactful races to keep an eye on as election results roll in on Tuesday evening.
Most of the national limelight is on Virginia, where voters will choose a new governor. With liberal Gov. Terry McAuliffe on his way out, voters will choose between Democrat Ralph Northam and Republican Ed Gillespie. Northam fashions himself as a moderate, though his record as Terry McAuliffe’s Lieutenant Governor would say otherwise. And, in the final days of the campaign, Gillespie has closed within striking distance by pointing that out.
Virginia is also home to a high-profile Attorney General race that has attracted major outside spending. In the final weeks, Family Policy Alliance’s allied organization in Virginia, The Family Foundation Action, has focused voters’ attention on the scandalously pro-abortion record of the Democrat incumbent, Mark Herring.
Herring stunned many observers by issuing an opinion that set aside Virginia’s statutory rape and mandatory reporting laws when it came to abortion clinics. That allowed Virginia abortion centers to avoid reporting many likely statutory rapes of 13- and 14-year-old girls. Even worse, the abortion center that precipitated the opinion is located in an area that has major problems with sex trafficking – meaning that, in many cases, sexual predators are the ultimate beneficiary of Herring’s pro-abortion ruling.
Elsewhere, voters in New Jersey will elect a new governor to replace outgoing Gov. Chris Christie. And voters in Utah’s Third Congressional District will choose a replacement for the retiring Jason Chaffetz.
Among the most important local races is the school board election in Douglas County, Colorado, which has become ground zero in the nationwide fight for parental choice in education.
A six-year effort to enact a modest voucher program has been stuck in the courts, but a U.S. Supreme Court directive this year gave new hope that the program will survive the legal challenge. Yet even with a favorable legal outcome, the survival of the school choice program is likely to be determined by the results of Tuesday’s school board elections.
So what’s the point? The point is..during an election year where there’s not a big, showy presidential race driving everyone to the polls, these local elections give voters who care about the value of life, family, and religious freedom an opportunity to shape what their school, city, state and ultimately country look like for their families!
Please join our team in wearing your “I voted” sticker proudly today!
The 2016 election was full of surprises. Your support of Family Policy Alliance’s efforts made for some great results.
Here’s a graphic that outlines how your partnership made a difference!
As we prepare to spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, Family Policy Alliance wanted to thank you for your support and partnership during this election cycle.
With conservative majorities in the House, Senate and a conservative in the White House, we’re looking forward to making gains toward a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Because of you, Family Policy Alliance was able to work shoulder to shoulder with some amazing, godly public servants and help them retain or gain an elected office. We were instrumental in 24 out of 30 races in which we were involved – that’s an 80% win rate!
Graduates of our Statesmen Academy were successful in 14 out of 16 races – an 88% win rate!
We were able to use mailers, television, digital ads, newspaper submissions, radio and email to inform voters and help them unleash their citizenship.
But without your prayer and partnership, we couldn’t have done this amazing work. Thank you for walking with us and allowing us to impact our world.
May this Thanksgiving be one of the best for you and your family.
President and CEO
Family Policy Alliance
Now that the election is over and conservatives hold the senate, house and White House, what’s the first thing they should tackle?
Stuart Shepard shares some of the ways the conservative majority could advance family policy in an interview with Bob Crittenden of The Meeting House on Faith Radio.