VOTING ADVIS0RY 1:
Do not abstain from voting in the 2019 General Elections.
Faced with either unqualified or unacceptable candidates, you may be tempted to choose not to vote for any of the candidates. This could be the case where:
(i) no candidate has outlined a clear approach to promoting the common good with which you agree; or
(ii) no candidate has the character necessary to promote and not harm the common good, or
(iii) all candidates are otherwise considered unfit or unqualified for the office.
A case can be made that not voting for any candidate is an acceptable option when confronted with candidates who are expressly unqualified. But that is still a choice, and you are still responsible for the consequences of not voting, just as you are responsible for the consequences of voting. If, therefore, to refrain from voting altogether might give the advantage to a worse candidate, you must consider that you share responsibility for that outcome.
Voting is an important civic responsibility and one measure whereby we learn what it means to promote the common good in cultivating a just and merciful society. The duty to vote comes from our duty to build a better society.
As a Citizen, especially as a Christian, you should have no reasons for refusing to participate in elections. Our citizenship is a privilege, given the fact that so many around the world must live with leaders they did not choose. Moreover, our participation in the process of choosing our civic leaders is an opportunity to advance the Kingdom of God by advancing truth, justice, peace, and respect for the dignity of human life. Scripture places heavy responsibilities on Kings and rulers; when a people govern themselves, those same responsibilities fall squarely on our shoulders.
Voting, in the forthcoming elections, for every position is important because the scope of authority and reach of the public officers we seek to elect are wide and varied. They impact and influence the quality of our life in some many ways. No single election, no single vote is more important or less important than any other.
Second, Votes Really Do Count More than Once. Elected officials are elected into a single office, but many serve on additional Constitutional and Statutory Committees, Panels, Boards and Commissions. This amplifies your vote and truly does make your vote count more than once. One vote extends far beyond one position.
As in all areas of our life, before voting, you should first turn to the Scriptures for guidance. Get the Word of God and see what He has to say about the political events of the day. The Bible does not speak directly about how we should vote, whom we should vote for, or even whether we must vote at all. But there is a frequently cited verse in Jeremiah that should shape our decision: “[S]eek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare” (Jeremiah 29:7).
Being an informed Voter is a right and responsibility to which you would be held accountable for on that day of judgement when we will stand before our Saviour to answer for everything we have done.
We appeal to you, as an eligible voter, to Show up on the General Election Days – Saturday, 16th February, and 2nd March 2019 to vote for your preferred candidates and political parties in the General Elections. These election days are not rest days, they are not travel days, neither are they burial days nor wedding days. They are not days set aside for playing street soccer. They are not even Prayer Meeting Days. They are Voting Days! Jesus Christ calls you to change the world, and you cannot do that if you just sit on the side-lines while somebody else chooses your leaders who will then write the laws you have to obey!
Decisions are made by those who show up. Democracy gives people a stake in power and responsibility. So, on the General Election Days, you, as a voter, must show up at the polling station and use your vote and use it wisely.
Show-up and Vote intelligently.
Office of the National Coordinator
Christians in Government and Politics (C-GAP)
Wednesday, 30 January 2019.
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