My One Vote What Difference Does It Make?
We each have one vote to cast in an election; find out why that
makes a difference.
Airing on EWTN Thursday, October 25 at 11p.m.; re-airing on
Saturday, October 27 at 2:30a.m. Listen on EWTN radio Saturday, October 27 at 6:30p.m. and Sunday, October 28 at
5a.m. (All times Eastern)
this show (pdf)
One of the key characteristics of our religion is that it urges us to
"get involved," and not just to sit back and be passive observers.
This actually flows from our teaching about God Himself. He is not a
passive observer of the world He created. He got involved quite fully, by
joining the human community as one of us, speaking to us in our own
language, and giving His life on the cross. God mixed in dramatically with
the things of the world.
So do we his followers. That's why the bishops recently wrote these
"We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their
citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity
meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice
matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible
citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power. We must exercise
that power in ways that defend human life, especially those of God's
children who are unborn, disabled or otherwise vulnerable.." (Living
the Gospel of Life, 1998, n.34).
"Every vote counts." Sometimes we don't believe that. But it counts in
many ways, and one of those ways is in our own spiritual life. What we do,
in other words, not only has an effect (small or large) on the world around
us, but also has an effect on the world inside us. To become informed about
the issues of our day, the positions of all the candidates, and then to vote
according to our conscience, constitutes a significant expression of who we
are. Convictions that are expressed -- by voting, for example -- are
convictions that are made stronger within us. The act of voting goes a long
way toward answering the question of our conscience, "Have I played the role
I could play, no matter how small, in my section of the stage of history?
Have I, like the boy with the five barley loaves and two fish, or the widow
with the mite, made my small contribution to the large and complex unfolding
of the human story? Can I stand before the Lord and say, Yes, I spoke, I
acted, I took part?"
History shows how elections can be decided by a single vote or by a
handful of votes. Can we forget the ordeal of the 2000 presidential
election? Less well known, perhaps, are these facts:
A shift of less than one vote per precinct in a handful of states would
have defeated Woodrow Wilson in 1916. A few votes per precinct in Illinois
and a couple of other states would have meant no President John F. Kennedy
If only a few additional people in each precinct in Ohio had voted
differently in the 1976 presidential election, Ford would have beat Carter.
The governor of Ohio back then won by a margin of one vote per precinct.
Your one vote counts. Use it wisely.