We believe in obeying the law and being subject to government leaders. What a gift it is to have a say in which laws we must uphold and who governs us in this remarkable country.
Several LDS elected officials in Arizona, representing both major parties, consider different aspects of voting and serving according to our own conscience and interests.
Mesa Mayor John Giles (R) says, “The LDS community has a pretty good record of high voter turnout, but I think we need to remind ourselves that it’s important to do our homework and be informed voters.”
“Our democracy relies on the wisdom and resolve of its citizens to hold our leaders accountable and set the course for the future,” says U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R). “I encourage all eligible voters to exercise that privilege.”
Gilbert Town Council member Jenn Daniels (R) adds that it’s important to vote for more than just a presidential candidate. Voters can support or oppose local candidates and initiatives. “This is the government closest to the people, and in most cases, where your vote has the most influence.”
“Some people get annoyed and stomp their feet, but they don’t do much to help the election process,” says Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “The fastest, easiest venue for somebody to get engaged is by helping a specific candidate.”
Volunteers can assist in ways such as making phone calls, offering financial donations, or by simply displaying yard signs.
Gilbert Mayor John Lewis (R) says, “Even if not yet 18, youth can be involved with campaigns. I encourage them to do so.” The mayor himself enjoyed being part of a campaign at age 17.
Many good citizens want to make a significant difference in their communities, but can’t muster up any interest in politics beyond voting. Former Arizona State Senator Dr. Edward Ableser (D) has a suggestion: “People can volunteer with various service organizations.”
You can be involved with the legislative process from your own home! The Right To Speak system found at www.azleg.gov allows citizens to give state legislators personal opinions about specific bills online.
However you serve, include voting. Mayor Lewis adds that “The habit of voting blesses the whole community.” Make it a family tradition.
“As party lines become more polarized, our general public has become more complacent about having their voice heard,” says Tempe School Board member Bishop Evan Rogers (D). “We need to exercise our freedom of speech now more than ever.”
U.S. Congressman Matt Salmon (R) says of those with views different than his, “As long as I know a person is acting on what they believe is the best for our country, I have nothing but respect for that person.”
Let’s recall these words of Thomas Jefferson, “God who gave us life gave us liberty,” and those of Samuel Adams: “If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.”
Arizona upcoming elections
May 17 – Special Election
August 30 – Primary Election
November 8 – General Election
For election information, see www.arizona.vote.