As the local election campaigns roll out there is a real urge in me to complain, to moan and whine. I think about the annoyance of all the posters, flyers and ads. I find that I’m very quick to complain about the political climate of my state but not so quick to take the time to pray and make a positive impact.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 is titled “Pray for All People” or an “Instruction on Prayer” going on to urge us to present our supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings for all people and specifically notes kings and all who are in high positions (ESV). The Passion Translation version urges us to pray for every political leader and representative explaining that when we do we can “live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts.” Going on to state that “it is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them.”
This has spurred on my passion to pray for my leaders but also the following research has reminded me about the privilege of voting:
According to the AEC Tasmanian women aged over 21 and who were British Subjects were eligible to vote in 1903.
The Conversation article on Women’s Votes let me know that Saudi Arabia granted women the ability to vote in 2015. It also advised me that although Pakistani women were given the ability to vote in 1956 the turn out is as little as 3% of voters due to community and religious leaders discouraging women from voting.
Grazia declares that in 2015 50 women in Zanzibar were told by their husband to not vote and because they voted they were divorced by their husbands. Also that women in Papa New Guinea are discouraged from voting; only 7 women have been elected since 1975; and the “lack of female representation only deepens the problems of violence against women and poor employment opportunities, further perpetuating the cycle of political inactivity.”
Martha Knight comments on quora.com that she is unable to vote “because I am legally blind, a non-driver, and not close to a place where I can get an acceptable voter ID with my photo, and my state legislature passed a voter ID law.”
ABC News states that it wasn’t until 1962 that Indigenous people had the ability to vote in federal elections.
Global Citizen observes that in Russia voters are so disheartened with the electoral process that only 47.8% of the population voted.
I’m know that there is so much more that I could research but the main point is that people have fought hard to give everyone the right and ability to vote. I am so blessed to live in country where I can vote without the worry of my husband telling me not to; I am so blessed to have church and community leaders who encourage everyone to vote; I am blessed to have the choice, freedom and ability to vote.
Local elections are taking place right now and I urge you to take the time to research and make an informed choice.
Many blessings, Keona