On Election Day, our country will make critical decisions about the types of leaders we will have for years to come. If you have not been doing so, it is time to begin looking more carefully at the candidates who will be running.
To make the right decision when deciding on the candidates whom you will support, it is essential that you look carefully at the positions of the candidates in the race. This step in the process is critical in fulfilling your responsibilities as a faithful citizen, as you must participate in the political process with a fully informed conscience. This includes knowing the positions of the candidates.
You can find this information in several places, such as newspapers, television news, voter guides, and on the internet. Find detailed candidate information and ratings for the races in your state at...
Please see Fr. Frank’s broadcast that explains exactly where to find various voter guides.
You can also look up what candidates and ballot measures will be on the ballot in your state by going to Ballotpedia at this link: Look up Your Ballot!
If these sources fail, you can always contact the candidate's campaign to make an inquiry about his or her position. If possible, this should be done well in advance of the election and should include a request for a response in writing. The reason for this is that, especially in local campaigns, phones can be answered by people who think they know more about the candidate than they actually do. Once you find sources of this information, be sure to review them carefully.
Frequently politicians make statements like, "I have always been personally pro-life," or, "I would never encourage a woman to have an abortion." Rather than offering comfort to pro-life voters, statements like these should raise red flags, as they are typically followed by, "but I would never impose my personal beliefs on anybody else," or some similar statement. Even in cases in which these words do not follow, they are often implied. In such cases, be sure to look for a clearer statement of the candidate's position, again, in writing if possible.
And remember, the key question is not simply what the candidate believes. Ask what the candidate will do
to restore protection to the unborn.
You should also look at a candidate's voting record. This is extremely easy with members of Congress as you can simply contact any one of a number of national organizations that track votes as part of their regular activity. They will be able to inform you how your Congressman and Senator voted on the bills that have come before them. You can often obtain similar information about state candidates from pro-life organizations within your state. See voting records at https://www.congress.gov/roll-call-votes.
At this link you can find the rating that the National Right to Life Committee gives to each member of Congress based on his or her votes on matters related to pro-life (for instance, a Senator who votes to support every pro-life initiative has a 100% pro-life voting record, etc.). And by clicking on the link to the bill number at the top of the columns, you can get detailed information about that pro-life bill and the vote that was taken on it. https://www.votervoice.net/NRLC/Scorecard
On this page you can see what Planned Parenthood thinks of particular members of Congress based on how they vote on abortion-related matters. https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/congressional-scorecard.
- Pay attention to what individuals or groups have endorsed, promoted, volunteered for or contributed to the campaign of a candidate. This says a lot about what the candidate stands for. You will know a person by his or her friends.
- Finally, remember that elections not only put candidates into power, but they put parties into power, too. In voting for a candidate, you should know the positions of the candidate and also the positions of the party to which he/she belongs.
If you have further questions about how you should evaluate candidates, please contact our office at Tel. 321-500-1000 or email Vote@PriestsforLife.org.
-- Fr. Frank Pavone
State limits on contributions to candidates
Federal limits on contributions to candidates
Comparison of the most recent Republican and Democratic Party Platforms (2020): [In English and Spanish]
Legal letter qualifying the comparison above for c-3 distribution
See how the Democrat Party Platform has abandoned moral principles over the years.
Timeline of Democratic Party National Platform Language
2020 Republican Platform (Reaffirmed the 2016 Platform)
2020 Democratic Platform
The Democrats Abandon Catholics by Cardinal Timothy Dolan [Los demócratas abandonan a los católicos]
Remarks of Donald Trump to the Faith and Freedom Conference, June 10, 2016, Washington, DC