On Voting as a Christian Charlottean

by Spence Shelton

I think we can all agree that the election season has run its course. Every social media platform has turned into a political theater, and most of us are so done. Here’s the problem: most of us still have to vote!
So, I will assume if you are reading this, you care enough about laws, taxes, education, defense, etc., and you know to vote. But, you still haven’t voted yet and you may even have no idea who is on the ballot after Trump vs Hilary. So, here are some resources I think are really helpful to train you and inform you to think as a Christian about voting in Charlotte, NC.
1. “Can the Religious Right be Saved?” –  Russell Moore gave the First Things 2016 Erasmus Lecture and it is an incredibly shrewd, convincing treatment on how to think as a Christian in a post-Christian context. He speaks from a background I think many will relate to here in Charlotte and at the same time points a really positive way forward. By the way, the answer isn’t what you think. Russ Moore is the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission and if there is one Christian voice I could recommend to help you navigate the political landscape, it is his.
2. Gospel & Politics Forum – This was a great discussion on the present political landscape led by Dr. J.D. Greear and several top-notch thinkers on how to think Christianly about politics.
Listen – both of these will take TIME for you to work through. And neither will give you a list of people to vote for. They will help you think well about how to engage in the political process we live in.
Informing at the national, state and local level
1. Check your voter registration status – If you are not currently registered to vote, Same Day Registration is available by going to a One-Stop Early Voting site in your new county during the Early Voting period, ending Saturday, November 5. You cannot do this on Election Day.
2. Learn more about the candidates:
  • You cannot find a non-partisan list of candidates anywhere on the internet. Not gonna happen. And so I can’t just link you to one. On top of that, I’m not about to tell you who I’m voting for because Mercy Church is not a political action group. We are a church. We have people across the color spectrum from deep red to deep blue. And the unity we have in Christ is worth WAY more than an election. So, here’s the Mecklenburg Republican Party site and the Mecklenburg Democratic Party site. View your sample ballot (available on the Voter Registration Status page), then go learn about the candidates and their platforms.
  • As a recent article in the Raleigh N&O pointed out, your write-in options for president are pretty slim. Only one option in fact. According to NC voting laws, Third party and independent candidates seeking to get their name listed must submit a petition with signatures of 89,366 registered voters. Only Jill Stein landed enough signatures to qualify. So if you write in Mickey Mouse, your vote for president will be thrown out.
Think well, vote well, and pray like crazy for our country and its new leaders at every level of government!