Elections give people a chance to make decisions about how their country is run. Holding free and fair elections is the most important ingredient in making any country a democracy.
If we fail to vote, we surrender our right to voice our opinion on the government actions that follow. Nor should we spend our time criticising, but praying.
Let us pray that at the time of elections:
• voters will give thoughtful and, hopefully, prayerful consideration as to how they will vote.
• they will not ignore their responsibilities and the privilege of being able to cast a vote.
• candidates of God's choice will be the people's choice. Remember God often chooses someone that would not naturally be considered.
• there will be no unwelcome incidents during voting.
• for good weather on election day so that people will not be deterred from voting.
• we do not forget to thank God that elections are open and free.
One day will we be asked what we did with our stewardship in relation to voting. Luke 16:3 - So he called him and said to him, “What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship.”
Some Facts regarding the History of voting in Britain
In early19th-century Britain, very few people had the right to vote. A survey conducted in 1780 revealed that the electorate in England and Wales consisted of just 214,000 people - less than 3% of the total population of approximately 8 million. In Scotland the electorate was even smaller: in 1831 a mere 4,500 men, out of a population of more than 2.6 million people, were entitled to vote in parliamentary elections.
Gradually, after several reforms, the changes made in the British political system resulted in an increase in the number of voters. In the 19th Century - unlike much of continental Europe - reform was introduced without revolution.
These reforms together with the action taken by suffragettes means that you can register to vote if you are 16 years old or over and a British citizen, or an Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen who is resident in the UK.
General elections in Britain are made up of 650 individual elections that take place on a single day, across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A similar number of voters live in each area of the country marked out as one of the Britain's 650 'constituencies'. Every eligible resident gets to go out and vote for one of the would-be representatives, called candidates. The candidate with the most votes in each area wins a place, or 'seat', in the House of Commons.
Wherever you are, votes are valuable and are your way of giving your opinion in the democratic process.
Let us not fail to fulfil our responsibilities.