Have you noticed the flurry of campaign flyers hitting your mailbox this week? Some would chalk it up to last-minute campaigning, but I think there’s something bigger at play. As we discussed last week, most of the major races appear to be very tight. Now we have proof. A Lee newspaper poll just out shows conservatives ahead in nearly every race, but the spreads are thin, sometimes within the margin of error of the poll. That means everyone and his brother is doubling-down and spending more money on advertising. It also means there’s a huge opportunity for conservatives to run the table for the first time in decades. Every single race from the Governor to the Supreme Court to the Office of Public Instruction is in play, and the results all hinge on voter turnout. Proverbs 29:2 says, “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

We’ve heard plenty of groaning over the past decade. It’s time now for a little rejoicing. What Montana looks like for the next four years all hinges on who turns out to vote. Will Montana have more or less religious freedom? That depends on who votes. Will gun laws be stricter or more lenient? It depends on who votes. Will the lives of the unborn and the elderly be cherished and protected? Once again, it depends on who votes. And the big one for everyone, regardless of your religious beliefs: Will we continue spending like there’s no tomorrow? Because if we do, there will, indeed, be no tomorrow, at least for our children and grandchildren. What this generation has done fiscally is shameful. As a nation, we, in effect, maxed out our credit cards, so we took out new ones in our children’s names and maxed out those as well. We did the same to our grandchildren. Now we’re working on our great grandchildren. We know deep down in the pit of our stomachs, that the level of debt is unserviceable. And we need leaders with enough backbone to cut up the credit cards. The party’s over.  It’s time to make the tough decisions, and we start at the ballot box. We’re leaving our children with a mountain of debt. Let’s not leave them with spineless leaders unwilling to address the problem, as well.

The choice should be fairly easy. Whether your main issue is life or religious freedom or the second amendment or fiscal responsibility, the choices are clear. There are very few races this election cycle where the candidates are not polar opposites. Forget what they say about themselves. Look who’s endorsing them. All across Montana, absentee ballots have arrived and are sitting on kitchen tables waiting to be filled out. Let’s start there. One little secret is when you return your mail-in ballot, peace and quiet returns to your mailbox. That’s because the campaigns monitor the returned ballots so that they don’t waste money by sending flyers to people who have already voted. Sorry, we can’t do anything about your TV set, but take heart: It will all be over soon.

The question is will we be rejoicing or groaning? In 2012, 40 million Christians sat on the sidelines and let others choose our leaders. Yes, God ultimately chooses the leaders, but under our system of government, we have a role to play, as well. Our children and grandchildren are counting on us. Let’s not let them down. Return your mail-in ballot today.