September 4th was a big day in the Jorritsma household. Our daughter Stephanie turned 18 years old. We celebrated with gifts, dinner at a local restaurant, a homemade cake, and a cruise on the Missouri River aboard the Lewis & Clark Riverboat. It was a fun day for everyone.

Aside from being the formal entrance into “adulthood”, this birthday meant even more. It represented the beginning of a lifetime of voting for our daughter. The 26th Amendment to the Constitution allows those who are at least 18 years old the right to vote as citizens. Note that this is a right, not a privilege.

Being her father and the Executive Director of a policy-focused organization, you can imagine my excitement. We now have another voter with the power to elect God-fearing members of Congress, the North Dakota Legislature and other state and local offices.

Over dinner we discussed her newfound right. Stephanie is clearly excited to fully participate in the election process. Of course, I started to mention candidates for office that hold to our family’s Christian values, but she stopped me. She said, “Dad, I will probably vote similar to how you vote, but ultimately how I vote is up to me.” I was so proud of her for making that statement. I know that she is strongly pro-life, pro-family and supports religious freedom, so I’m not particularly worried. However, she was correct. While I will be sure to provide her with all the information I can about the various races and candidates, ultimately it’s her decision.

What about you? Are you still excited about going to the polls and voting, or does it seem like drudgery? Do you sometimes think, “My one vote doesn’t matter, why bother?” I encourage you to remember that the right to vote was won with the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers. Do not easily dismiss this right!

Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota is passionate about our mission to equip families like yours for elections, so you can know which candidates support your Christian pro-family and pro-life values, so you can then vote with confidence. I hope that you use these resources when you are in the polling booth. Like Stephanie, you have the right to vote any way you desire, but voting your conscience is the corollary to this right.

It takes considerable funding to create resources to equip families for elections, so I ask that you prayerfully consider donating to our organization so that we can continue to provide these family-friendly tools. And thank you for exercising your right to vote. It makes all the difference in shaping the country and state in which we live, for our generation and for Stephanie’s!


Mark Jorritsma
Executive Director