2020 Elections

We commit ourselves to ongoing education of ourselves and others in areas crucial to our life and ministry.
-IHM Assembly 1987 on Education

The Issue

“In the Catholic Tradition, responsible citizenship is a virtue, and participation in political life is a moral obligation,” write the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship. The bishops urge citizens “to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest.”

In his 2019 Message for the World Day of Peace, Pope Francis wrote, “Every election and re-election, and every stage of public life, is an opportunity to return to the original points of reference that inspire justice and law. One thing is certain: good politics is at the service of peace. It respects and promotes fundamental human rights, which are at the same time mutual obligations, enabling a bond of trust and gratitude to be forged between present and future generations.”

In the lead-up to Election 2020, the IHM Justice, Peace and Sustainability Office has compiled the following resources in order to help voters:

  • View the elections through the lens of social justice, economic justice, ecological integrity, democracy, peace and nonviolence;
  • Understand the impact of money in politics and critically analyze campaign ads and statements;
  • Reflect upon the political process through their own of lived experience and that of others; and
  • Become informed and engaged participants in the democratic process.

Reflections on the 2020 Election

In Order to Form A More Perfect Union …
Mary Ellen Sheehan, IHM, STD

Living Hope and Steadfast Prayer and Action
Elizabeth Walters, IHM

Economic Issues For the 2020 Election Campaign
Amata Miller, IHM

Prayers

Prayer For The Elections
As we consider our consciences ahead of the election, this prayer seeks discernment in service to the common good.

Prayer for Understanding and Integrity in the Voting Process
Pax Christi Anti-Racism Team

Voter Guides

Climate Change

2020 Elections: Democratic Candidates Climate Race
The stage is set for climate change to feature prominently in the upcoming presidential election. It’s easy to do quick tests on pledges and positions. But how do the candidates really stack up against one another?

Change the Climate 2020
This website, created by the League of Conservation Voters, aims to track and publicize what the candidates are saying and doing about climate change while campaigning for president.

A Great Lakes Platform 2020
With a significant harmful algal bloom forecast for Lake Erie, widespread toxic PFAS contamination surfacing around the region, and ongoing lead contamination in Flint, Mich., the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition is calling on 2020 presidential candidates to support a Great Lakes platform for clean drinking water.

General

Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2015
This recently revised statement urges Catholics to be involved in public life and to use the values of their faith to shape their political choices. It does not tell Catholics who to vote for, but rather to make choices that promote the common good. See “Bishops pass ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ some call for new document” for discussion about the most recent revisions.

Researching Candidates

Ballotpedia – Sample Ballot Lookup Tool
Ballotpedia
Enter your address to generate an interactive sample ballot that lists all candidates and proposals that will appear on your ballot. 

BallotReady.org
Know what you’re voting for by researching every race and referendum on the ballot.

Vote411.org
The League of Women Voters
You can see the races on your ballot, compare candidates’ positions side-by-side and print out a “ballot” indicating your preferences as a reminder and take it with you to the polls on Election Day.

Analysis of Campaign Ads

The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker’s Guide to Manipulated Video
“The Internet is increasingly populated with false and misleading videos that are spread by politicians, advocacy groups and others and viewed by millions,” said Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of The Fact Checker. “Building on the context and analysis we provide in our written and video fact checks, we want this system of labeling videos to become the standard for journalists to help people be more informed as they navigate the information landscape.”

FactCheck.org
This site monitors the factual accuracy of what is said by major United States political players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases.

Flackcheck.org
The political literacy companion site to the award-winning FactCheck.org, the site provides resources designed to help viewers recognize flaws in arguments in general and political ads in particular. Video resources point out deception and incivility in political rhetoric.

Michigan Truth Squad
Michigan Truth Squad analyzes and cries “foul” on misleading and negative TV and web campaign ads for state races.

PolitiFact 
PolitiFact is a fact-checking website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials and others who speak up in American politics.

Resources on Campaign Finance

Michigan Campaign Finance Network
Michigan Campaign Finance Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to shine the brightest light possible on the role of money in Michigan politics.

Move to Amend
Move to Amend seeks to amend the Constitution in order to end corporate personhood and restore democracy back to the elections process.

OpenSecrets.org
Nonpartisan, independent and nonprofit, the Center for Responsive Politics is the nation’s premier research group tracking money in U.S. politics and its effect on elections and public policy.

The Story of Citizens United
This short animated video by Story of Stuff creator Annie Leonard explores the history of corporate political spending, the appropriate roles of citizens and for-profit corporations in a democracy and the impact the Citizens United Supreme Court decision is having on our political process.