So much energy is expended during national election campaigns that the public tends to have less heart and stomach for those other years when we elect “only” local officials. Common sense tells us, however, that off-year ballots are just as important, if not more so.

The Christian community should be in the forefront of the get-out-the-vote drive. The Church has no business in politics, but it does have a responsibility to encourage intelligent individual participation in the democratic process, because it has a stake in the results. At the very least, pastors should from the pulpit urge parishioners to vote.

Young people particularly need to be encouraged to cast ballots. Many of them who were part of the post-war baby boom are just now reaching voting age. Today’s youth seem to have much to say to society, and there is no better way to say it.

Some elections, to be sure, involve a choice between the lesser of two evils. But life is often that way. The third option, not voting, is the worst evil.

Too often the decision to vote or not to vote is made carelessly at the spur of the moment. Concerned citizens should plan ahead, and not allow the activities of the day to crowd in, then take the easy way out. Especially in this day of so many diverse social pressures, it is as important to vote as to eat or sleep.

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