Election season is a busy time of the year for the Culture Impact Team. Registering your congregation to vote, keeping them informed and motivated to vote is an important aspect of your ministry. We pray the congregation will vote and make the decision to select men and women who fear God and are people of truth who hate covetousness, as directed in God’s word. In support of this goal, we encourage you to produce a voter guide for local offices.
Voter guides do not tell readers for whom they should vote. Rather, the Voter Guide simply provides a candidate comparison based on candidates’ responses to survey questions. Fortunately, there are many Christian sources available to provide information on candidates seeking office at the federal and state levels. However, very often, little is known regarding the views of candidates running for office in local elections.
Why is the local candidate so important? Most high ranking elected officials began their careers at the local level. Thus, it is paramount that churches produce local voter guides, since they may be the only source of information the voter has about a candidate who may one day represent an entire state or the Nation. Those who read the local voter guide will be able to make a wise decision about their vote as they compare the answers given by the candidates.
A church-produced local voter guide poses questions to the candidates that are relevant to our Christian worldview. Most questions will address moral issues for which the church holds steadfast convictions. According to Alliance Defending Freedom, “Organizations should not feel as if they must exclude issues from the voter guide that are important to the organization.” Additionally, a voter guide should include a broad range of issues and those issues must be described neutrally. Visit the Alliance Defending Freedom website for details about IRS guidelines. (www.speakupmovement.org/church)
The book of Nehemiah teaches us that prayer and practical application go hand-in-hand (Neh. 4). While we all have a duty to pray for those in authority over us, we especially have a duty to educate the people. As God says in Hosea 4:6:
“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.”
An informed, educated, and involved electorate not only has great influence on the outcome of local elections, but a ripple effect is created which impacts state and federal elections. There have been many local, state, and national races that were decided by only a few votes. Many elections of profound importance have been lost because the Christian voter was uninformed as to how to cast a vote consistent with Biblical values.
Herein are some guidelines and examples that can be utilized to produce a Voter Guide for any office.
May God bless your efforts.
Faith and Public Policy
The entire Guidebook: Produce Voter Guides for Local Elections can be downloaded below.
Voter Guide Production for Local Elections
City Council Candidate Letter (.doc)
School Board Candidate Letter (.doc)
Voter Guide Template (.doc)