voting as an act of love

if one joins a gym, it is better to choose one that is close to their home. the more convenient it is to work out, the more likely one’s workouts will be consistent. the opposite is true too: the more inconvenient something is, the easier to disregard. this principle holds true in voting.

on my recent visit to san gabriel, i took a morning walk. at smith park i saw this:

in washington, we have a similar voting system. we get our ballots through the mail and can mail them back or drop them off at convenient locations or at the polling places on voting day. since washington has been doing this for years, they have fine tuned the safeguards for fraud and errors. i believe that this easy way to vote makes for greater participation in the right and obligation to elect our public officials and have a say in the governance of our cities, counties and state.

i must admit that i do miss the shared experience of seeing others at the polling place, going into the booth and marking the ballot, putting it into the envelope sleeve and dropping it into the secured box. walking out of the polling place after voting really felt like we did out part in this democracy of ours in the usa. being part of the physical voting process and having to sacrifice a couple of hours leads to feeling more ownership in democracy.

can we have the best of both worlds? making it easier to voter AND feeling part of the voting process?

i remember after finding out that washington had gone to all mail in balloting, i started asking for an absentee ballot in the mail. i did this in chicago and in fresno. i looked at the issues and candidates at my leisure, filled out the ballot at home and then on voting day, i went to the polling place and turned in my ballot. it did feel nice to bypass the line. it did feel peaceful to not fill out the ballot on the spot. it was good to see others voting on the same day.

voting is an essential way to exercise our faith. here it is in summary form:

Call to Family, Community, and Participation

The person is not only sacred but also social. How we organize our society—in economics and politics, in law and policy—directly affects human dignity and the capacity of individuals to grow in community. Marriage and the family are the central social institutions that must be supported and strengthened, not undermined. We believe people have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.

Rights and Responsibilities

The Catholic tradition teaches that human dignity can be protected and a healthy community can be achieved only if human rights are protected and responsibilities are met. Therefore, every person has a fundamental right to life and a right to those things required for human decency. Corresponding to these rights are duties and responsibilities–to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.

( from: )

this is what love looks like at the polls. the easier we make it for people to love– to want the good and to do it– the more people will participate in this care, respect and the good and justice for all. yes, voting is an act of love.

will we choose love? will we hinder love?

we are one week away from another election day. let us pray the:

Prayer before an Election

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.

We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.

We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

– Author Unknown

( from )

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s