*This article was originally published 10/30/2012 at A Little R & R*

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I voted yesterday.  And as I prepared my scanner to send my vote via email, these thoughts came to mind.

I try to stay away from politics on my blog, but I don't consider this as much political as a civic matter.

Please consider the following as we approach November 6:  

1. A write in is not making a statement.  By voting, we do so with the hope that the one we vote for will win (otherwise, what is the point).  In order for a write-in to win, enough people would have to vote for that same person.  The odds of that happening are slim-to-none.  A write in is equal to a no-vote (point #3)

2. As much as I'd love for a 3rd party to take office (since in  my estimation there is little difference between Democrats and Republicans, and there is a whole lot of corruption in both camps),  that is unlikely to happen any time soon - not in this election anyhow.  Voting 3rd party may seem admirable, but it is a vote for an unlikely candidate.

3. To stay home and not vote at all is irresponsible.  It is a sad neglect of your civic duty and constitutional right. (tweet that) For those who feel they cannot vote because no candidate is a born-again Christian I would say: you are not voting for your pastor.  You are a voting for a president who will make decisions that affect your personal life, the life of your loved ones and neighbors, the lives of all citizens of the United States and people all across the globe.  While it would be wonderful that such a man be a Christian, it is of little consequence in the whole scheme of things.

Being a Christian does not mean you have good economic sense, foreign relations, or a good understanding of how to run one of the most influential countries on earth.  I'd sooner vote for an unbeliever who will lead our country wisely than a Christian who is unprepared and inexperienced. (tweet that)

By refusing to vote you relinquish your right to complain when you disapprove.  If you wish to have a say, have a say now by casting your ballot!

4. Please, please, please do not vote based on color of skin.  Ever. 

5. Please do your homework (you still have a week!). Look at the likely candidates, examine their political and moral policies, study their past voting record, and listen to their current platform.  Then, choose the one that most closely resembles your own 

Please remember that you will not agree with anyone 100% of the time.  Goodness!  I don't even agree with my husband 100% of the time! Please do not expect that. 

6. Please take time and pray for the candidates and our nation.  (tweet that) We ought always to lift our nation's leaders in prayer.  They carry a great burden of responsibility - one far greater than we could ever fathom.

7. Finally, when going to the polls next week do not forget that elections have consequences. Voting is a grave matter, one not to be taken lightly.  Vote carefully.  Vote wisely.  But please, please

(tweet that)

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