In the 2020 Election, Michigan voters will cast their ballot for President of the United States, one of Michigan’s two U.S. Senate seats, two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court, two seats on the Michigan State Board of Education, all 14 seats in the Michigan congressional delegation, and the 110-member Michigan House of Representatives, in addition to local races and issues. As a part of understanding and participating in our country’s electoral process, Catholics are called to the vocation of faith-filled citizenship.
Catholics Care, Catholics Vote: Faithful Citizenship
As Catholics, we are members of a community of faith with a long tradition of teaching and action on human life and dignity, marriage and family, justice and peace, care for creation, and the common good. We’re encouraged to examine the pertinent issues, and make choices that are most in line with this tradition of teaching and action. As Americans, we are also blessed with religious liberty which safeguards our right to bring our principles and moral convictions into the public arena. These Constitutional freedoms need to be both exercised and protected.
The Church’s obligation to participate in shaping the moral character of society is a requirement of our faith (Source, Feb. 2020 digital edition, #9). Catholics are called to engage in the political process, guided by a well-formed conscience. To aid us in this process, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops provides a teaching document on the political responsibility of Catholics called Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship (en Español).
This document represents the U.S. bishops’ guidance for Catholics in the exercise of their rights and duties as participants in our country’s democracy. Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship doesn’t instruct Catholics to endorse specific candidates or issues, but instead is intended as a teaching guide. The bishops further explain that the document on faithful citizenship “does not offer a voters’ guide, scorecard of issues or direction on how to vote,” but rather, “applies Catholic moral principles to a range of important issues.”
Videos to inspire Catholics to prayer and action in political life (USCCB YouTube, February 2020)
2020 Election Resources:
Steps to Prepare for the 2020 Election:
- Check your voter registration status or register to vote
- Study and reflect on Catholic social teaching
- Review your ballot and voting choices
- Take the time to pray and ask for God’s direction
- Vote absentee or in-person on Tuesday, November 3
USCCB (the public policy voice for the Catholic Church on national issues)
Listen to episodes of the USCCB’s “First Freedom” podcast
Conscience and the Catholic Voter | What does it mean to form my conscience?
More Faithful Citizenship resources
As election day nears, let the Spirit be your guide (Bishop Walkowiak, October 2016)
Civilize It: Dignity Beyond the Debate
A divided country. Fights at the dinner table. Political vitriol. What does it mean to love our neighbors in the midst of such a climate? The U.S. bishops have responded to that question with Civilize It, a campaign that invites Catholics to model civility, love for neighbor, and respectful dialogue in the 2020 campaign season. The year-long campaign began Nov. 3, 2019.
Take the pledge to #CivilizeIt with civility, clarity, and compassion this election year. Commit to dignity beyond the debate. Visit https://grdiocese.org/civilize-it/ to learn more and take the pledge.
Michigan Voter Information:
To view sample ballots, or to check your registration status and polling location, visit https://mvic.sos.state.mi.us/.
Absentee Voting – Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
If you haven’t already received one, you can apply to receive an absentee ballot on the state’s website here. It’s possible that an absentee ballot won’t arrive in the mail on time if requested too close to the election. Contact your local clerk’s office to determine what options you have for voting on or before Nov. 3.
Additional Resources from: