Let’s cut to the chase this week: four important points!
Easter Greetings. I pray that the Risen Lord has provided deep consolation to your heart during this Easter octave. Our Lord has overcome the power of death brought about by our sin, and opened up the gates of glory for each and every one of us. May the Easter Season be a moment to encounter the radical love Christ has for you.
Learn about Candidates. Nebraska Catholic Conference has officially launched its voter guide website: www.NebraskaCatholicVoter.com.
Every election season, we hear from countless Nebraskans across the state, wondering where their candidates stand on any number of public policy issues. To better serve these well-founded questions, we reached out to all candidates running for statewide or state legislative public office (e.g., U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representative, Nebraska Legislature).
We asked each candidate to answer around a dozen questions on a variety of topics, such as abortion regulations, parental choice in education, immigration, religious liberty, environment, human sexuality, and the death penalty.
In addition, we offered each candidate the opportunity to provide biographical information, as well as a “Message to Catholic Voters” so that they could make their own personal appeal to you as a voter and a Catholic.
Our hope is that this information will provide a snapshot of each candidate who is running for an important public office in your area.
Naturally, we are unable to ask candidates about every topic. There are any number of other issues that are important to voters. Whether we were able to cover the topic or not and whether the candidate answered the candidate survey or not, we always invite you to follow up with candidates to learn more about their positions on other issues that matter to you. Visit their website, review their social media posts, pay attention to local media coverage. As well—my favorite tip—call or e-mail the candidate. I’ve learned that candidates are typically available to take questions and talk with voters. After all, they are trying to win your individual vote.
When you reach out to candidates or when they contact you, do not hesitate to push for clear answers. Candidates can easily slip into platitudes and general truths. Sometimes these platitudes or general truths are so broad they don’t reveal much of anything. In such circumstances, ask follow-up questions, in a charitable manner, and see if you can get more detail from the candidate.
As you review www.NebraskaCatholicVoter.com, feel free to provide us feedback. We want to make sure the website experience—whether on your desktop computer or mobile phone—is a smooth, easy, and informative experience.
Vote! May 12 is an important upcoming date. It marks the date for this year’s Primary Election Day.
Even though coronavirus has disrupted much of normal life, the primary election is still scheduled. While physical polling places are still scheduled to remain open on primary election day, many people are considering early voting through a mail-in ballot. This is certainly a great way to exercise caution and prudence during these uncertain times.
Importantly, if you desire to vote by mail you must apply to do so, which can be done at the Nebraska Secretary of State website: www.sos.nebraska.gov. The last day to request a mail-in ballot is May 1.
For those who are not registered to vote, please do so soon at the website above.
Evangelize. Elections are a great opportunity to evangelize on two key fronts, among others.
First, elections offer the opportunity to share with people what you believe and why you believe it. It’s not every day that a family member, friend, or colleague might ask for your opinion on any number of political issues. These moments provide a chance to elaborate on the living faith that Jesus Christ has placed within our hearts—what a gift to see this moment and use it for the glory of God!
Second, elections are a great time to promote our moral responsibility to build up the common good through charitable civic discourse and participation in the electoral process. Christ calls us to love and respect the dignity of each person, which is at the heart of civilized discourse on tough issues—spread that message. As well, do not hesitate to provide a civics lesson from time to time about the beauty of our voting process and why we should each participate in it.
And, of course, for a little bit of homework as good evangelists, spread the message about mail-in ballots, voter registration, and the www.NebraskaCatholicVoter.com website!