I believe how an individual votes is a matter of conscience, but I believe the outcome of any election is God’s will — sometimes for reasons we may never understand. Yet, there are guidelines in the Bible to help us when voting for our leaders:
First, the Old Testament (Moses, I believe) offers these guidelines to follow when selecting leaders: (1) Our chosen leaders should be wise (Deuteronomy 1:13); (2) Our chosen leaders should be experienced (Deuteronomy 1:13); (3) Our chosen leaders should be understanding (Deuteronomy 1:13); (4) Our chosen leaders should be fair at all times, even to foreigners (Deuteronomy 1:16); (5) Our chosen leaders should, when rendering decisions, never favor someone because that person is rich (Deuteronomy 1:17); (6) Our chosen leaders should, when rendering decisions, be equally fair to “great” people and “small people” alike (Deuteronomy 1:17); and, (7) Our chosen leaders should act in a manner that represents God’s laws and, when doing so, they should not fear others’ displeasure (Deuteronomy 1:17).
Second, the New Testament offers guidance for prioritizing God’s laws — the Ten Commandments. Jesus’ guidance adds perspective to the importance we should place on issues represented by the candidates: “One of the teachers of religion who was standing there listening to the discussion realized that Jesus had answered well. So he asked, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ Jesus replied, ‘The one that says, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only God. And you must love him with all your heart and soul and mind and strength.’ ‘The second is: ‘You must love others as much as yourself.’ No others are greater than these.’” (Mark 12:28-31)
Third, Jesus offers guidelines that can help us evaluate our candidates to ensure they are who they say they are: “Beware of false teachers who come as distinguished sheep, but are wolves and will tear you apart. You can detect them by the way they act, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit. You need never confuse grapevines with thorn bushes or figs with thistles. Different kinds of fruit trees can quickly be identified by examining their fruit. A variety that produces delicious fruit never produces an inedible kind. And a tree producing an inedible kind can’t produce what is good.” (Matthew 15-18)
Finally, our leaders may be chosen by us, but they are determined by God — sometimes for reasons we don’t understand. We can vote, but we cannot compel an outcome that is contrary to God’s will. Nor should we want to, for who are we to question God? Many Christians who vote their conscience will see their candidate elected, while other Christians voting their consciences will see their candidate fail. In other words, we should pray for guidance and vote our conscience — and trust that whatever the outcome, God’s will has been done.