August 29 – Our Elections: Protecting Democracy

Without a Hitch?

Vital Sign Religious Freedom

It is the season when analysts and pundits are everywhere. Political parties fault each other for the growing lack of confidence in election integrity. Media bias is evident. And more money is being spent on advertising in this election than was spent in the 2016 presidential election. 

Most of the primaries have been held and the slates of candidates are fixed. But the results are hardly in and already allegations of voter fraud have already been made. 

Claims about fraud during the 2020 election have engendered distrust in the process and prompted new voting laws. Many voters and officials believe that information gaps, misinformation, and deliberate disinformation should be addressed. 

The Brennan Center for Justice conducted a survey in which they found at least 18 states, including congressional battlegrounds, have passed 34 laws that will impact elections. Some of these laws include requiring voter identification, restricting mail-in ballots, empowering poll watchers, or eliminating Election Day voter registration. It is up to voters to get acquainted with the laws of their state in order to be informed and in compliance. 

Issues that arose in the 2020 election have, in many instances, been addressed.  For example, in 2020, election officials employed ballot drop boxes as a solution to socially distanced voting during the coronavirus pandemic. All but 10 states allowed them. Since the controversy over questionable activities in harvesting votes to deposit into the remote ballot boxes, civic groups are promoting civilian oversight of the ballot boxes and, in some states, legislation has been introduced to enhance surveillance of drop-off sites. 

There are other concerns as well. Homeland and national security officials have expressed apprehension over the possibility that Russia could stage smaller hacks of local election authorities that, when noticed, would augment the concept of conspiracies, and create more division among the American electorate. Officials say that American elections have become more secure over the past six years. However, they believe the sheer number of local election systems makes it difficult to protect against Russian techniques that could spur distrust in America’s election results.

Heading into this election period, voters in both parties have reported feeling uneasy as the midterm approach. Political science research has found that anger is a proven motivator to get voters to show up at the polls, according to an article in Morning Consult. The Supreme Court’s ruling on abortions, the impact of inflation and a possible recession, foreign relations, and the aforementioned concerns regarding the outcome of the 2020 presidential election are items that motivate various blocks of voters.

The Association for Psychological Science suggests that an angry voter is an ignorant voter. They outline the importance of taking time to focus on issues and candidate positions. There is too much at stake to just trust one’s “gut.” 

As you prepare for the 2022 midterm elections, consider your own thoughts and emotions. The Bible continually reminds you to set your minds on the things of the Lord, and to think upon those things that are pure, just, lovely, and excellent (Colossians 3:2; Philippians 4:8). When it comes to thinking through the election and your vote, consider 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 

How then should we pray? 

  • For the Lord to lead your thoughts and guide your decisions as you prepare to cast your vote.
  • That the Spirit of God would give you clarity as you deliberate over candidates. 
  • For godly men and women who are running for office in the United States to receive support from the electorate. 
  • For governing officials who are evaluating the administration’s efforts to get federal agencies involved in voter registration and turnout. 
  • That facts, reality, and truth regarding candidates, current events, and election processes would be revealed.
  • For the integrity of election officials and the protection of the ballot tallying process.
  • That the Lord would accomplish His will and purpose through these midterm elections.

See previous Pray 7 daily featured readings.

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