AFA Journal Tim Wildmon

AFA voter guide analyzes candidates

by Tim Wildmon, AFA president

The Founding Fathers considered voting a sacred responsibility. Voting is a privilege, a freedom and an opportunity that millions in other parts of the world can only dream about. Yet, many Americans strangely choose not to vote. Less than half of those eligible to vote actually do so in any given election. In fact, out of 60 million evangelical Christians in America, nearly half failed to vote in recent elections.

Are there critical issues that should unite Christian voters on November 6? The answer is a resounding “yes” when we consider the vital issues of our day – issues such as constitutional free speech rights, free enterprise, national defense and Judeo-Christian values including the sanctity of life and one-man-one-woman marriage. And then there is the extremely important issue of appointing federal judges (who are appointed for life), including Supreme Court justices, who are nominated by the president alone.

As a Christian voter, how do I know who to vote for? As a model, I like what I’ve read about how Dr. Tony Evans, acclaimed black pastor of racially diverse Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, evaluates candidates by making three columns listing the positions of Democratic candidates, Republican candidates and God’s word. He then votes for the candidate most aligned to God’s positions.

If you lack the time or resources to look up all of the necessary information to wisely determine candidates’ values on critical issues, I have good news for you. We at American Family Association Action in collaboration with our partners at Heritage Alliance have done a lot of the work for you by providing a voter guide at that includes comprehensive candidate research.

For the upcoming general election, we cover federal races in all 50 states on the presidential and congressional levels. For some states, the voter guide also covers candidates vying for state-wide office.

While the AFA Action voter guide does not endorse specific candidates, panels of traditional values adherents assign grades on how confident they are that the candidates will be conservative on economic and social issues. Panelists were selected after a Leadership Survey and a check of references that demonstrated conservative credentials and belief in limited constitutional government, free enterprise, strong national defense and traditional Judeo-Christian values such as the sanctity of life and marriage.

After evaluating the data, panelists assigned a grade indicating what kind of voting record that candidate, if elected, would likely receive from a multi-issue conservative organization that grades on economic and social issues.

Unless a candidate already has a legislative voting record, this is purely subjective. That is why the source data is provided so voters can more easily make their own evaluations.

Sources of information considered the most important measure of conservative principles in governance are listed in descending order:
• Legislative voting records if the candidate has recently held office
• Financial contributions by the candidate to legislators with voting records
• Record vote ratings for legislators to whom donors to the candidate have also contributed
• Vote ratings of federal legislators from 16 conservative and liberal organizations
• Candidate Survey on issues, role of government, background and beliefs – less important because it represents promises rather than demonstrated action. However, no candidate can receive an A without answering the survey.
• Statements on the candidates’ websites.

I urge you to visit today, evaluate the candidates and share this valuable tool with your family and friends. Then, vote your values on November 6. We have simplified how this voter guide will pull up your specific candidate information when you enter your address. Also on the website, sign up for a free daily email reminder to pray, which includes a key official’s name, picture and brief bio.