While some registered voters remain undecided, either impeded by Mitt Romney's Mormon faith or President Barack Obama's troubling social policies, one coalition of Catholic clergy is hoping its free phone app will help Christians decide how to vote based on the issues come November.
The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy has made available for Android, Windows and iPhone devices what it says is the first free non-partisan voting guide for Catholics. Its Catholic Voting Guide by Little i Apps LLC was created to help users "cast a responsible vote using a well-formed conscience based on Catholic moral principles."
"With Election Day soon approaching, it is imperative that the lay faithful take their right to vote seriously. Living in a democratic republic has many blessings, rights and privileges that are essentially connected to civic duties and obligations," said CCC President Fr. John Trigilio, Jr. "Making a prudent decision in the voting booth requires a well formed conscience and a reasonable knowledge of the issues at stake."
The voter app highlights six categories tagged as "vital concerns" for voters: Right to Life, Religious Liberty (and Freedom of Religion), Sanctity of Marriage, Private Property, Access to Necessary Goods, and War.
"This Voting Guide is totally non-partisan. It neither favors nor disavows any political party or candidate. What it does is present Gospel values and moral principles of the Natural Moral Law to enable the Catholic voter to evaluate any candidate, issue or pending legislation. The clergy's job is not to tell people who to vote for, rather, it is their obligation and sacred duty to teach them how to vote properly, i.e., responsibly and conscientiously," added Trigilio.
The CCC's Catholic Voter Guide comes on the heels of similar election-based apps, such as the American Family Association's (AFA) Action Voter Guide, which is described as the "most distinctive and comprehensive presentation of information on candidates available at one location for values voters."
"The guide was developed from a group of panelists selected for their conservative credentials and belief in constitutional government, free enterprise, strong national defense, and traditional Judeo-Christian values, such as the sanctity of life and marriage," the nonprofit pro-family organization explains.
While the Catholic Voter Guide has gained seven positive reviews since its Oct. 9 release and has been downloaded between 100-500 times, the AFA's Action Voter Guide has been downloaded 50-100 times since its Oct. 4 release.
In regards to where registered voters stand on the candidates, GOP presidential contender and social conservative Mitt Romney has attracted the support of Protestant pastors, despite concerns over his Mormon faith.
The poll, conducted by LifeWay Research Sept. 26-Oct. 3, found that 57 percent of Protestant pastors have no problem voting for Romney, although many evangelical Christians view Mormonism as a theological cult. Seventeen percent, on the other hand, said they will vote for Obama, who is also Christian but more liberal on social issues, come Nov. 6. LifeWay Research noted that 22 percent of respondents had not yet decided on a candidate.
A Pew Research Center poll revealed last month that when it comes to Catholic voters, President Obama enjoys their support, holding a 54-39 percent lead over Romney.