Do Amish People Vote? [Are They Democrats or Republicans?]

The Amish have a fascinating culture that many non-Amish people respect. While Amish people live in the United States, they are distinct from most Americans in several ways. Their lives, including their appearance, work, and families, are interesting and unique. One question that many people ask about the Amish is whether or not they vote in local and federal elections.

Some Amish people vote though the percentage that does is small. The Amish generally avoid involvement in politics, but their traditions don’t forbid them from being part of a political party or voting. Amish people tend to have a conservative worldview.

This article will explain why some Amish people vote, their political stance, and whether or not their votes are valuable to politicians. Keep reading to learn more.

Also see Do Amish Pay Taxes? to learn more.

Amish buggy
Why is the percentage of Amish voters so low? See below

What Percentage of Amish People Vote?

Only about 7% of Amish people vote. Traditionally, men and women in the tradition avoid politics, including voting in elections. However, for those that do vote, their Christian convictions tend to drive their participation in the democratic process.

As of 2020, 31 U.S. states have significant Amish populations, with an estimated number of 344,670 Amish residents. Pennsylvania has the largest population of Amish people in the U.S., at approximately 81,500. Ohio is a close second at 78,200. Indiana is third at 59,305. [1]

In Pennsylvania, during the 2016 elections, out of the 15,055 Amish people eligible to vote in the state, only 2,052 registered. And of those, only 1,016 participated in the voting process.

The highest turnout of Amish voters by percentage was in 2004, when about 13% of registered Amish voters participated in the elections and voted for George W. Bush, as they are typically Republican by registration and conviction.

The seeming apathy of the Amish people stems from personal preference, though the church leaders discourage their followers from getting too involved in politics.

Generally, the Amish people will not share flyers, erect signs depicting a politician’s face, or visibly champion their cause. This is because they don’t want a false idol or graven image, as both elements are strongly frowned upon in their faith.

The voter identification requirements also discourage many Amish people from being interested in the political process. Having their photographs taken directly conflicts with their code of conduct, and the stress of circumventing this process means only a few Amish people have shown interest over the years.

Many Amish people consider voting a worldly activity. Their spiritual convictions, as well as the voter registration requirements typically deter them from going to the polls, leaving a small minority to participate in the electoral process.

Also see How Do Mennonite Women Dress? to learn more.

Amish buggy
Are Amish left-wing or right-wing? See below

Are Amish People Conservative or Liberal?

The Amish people are conservative. The need to preserve tradition while prioritizing individual freedom and human dignity highlight their culture’s conservative values.

Though the Amish people are divided into various communities and observe different practices, they are grounded in traditional Christian precepts that represent conservative values. 

They are more likely to have conservative views that promote their ideas in the following areas: 

  • Church
  • Traditional values
  • Abortion rights
  • Low taxes
  • Free markets
  • Deregulation
  • Privatization
  • Arm-carrying
  • Same-sex marriage [2]

The Amish believe in a simple lifestyle and try to be as self-sufficient as possible through subsistence farming and producing sellable products. 

To the Amish people, staying separate from the world includes not accepting aid from the government or using public grids. They hold traditional ideals that are family and community-centered and tend to avoid things that can cause division, strife, or classism among them.

They prefer to hold on to their traditional institutions and practices, hence their preference for mostly conservative positions.

Also see Do Amish Women Shave? to learn more.

Amish farmer
Do politicians consider Amish voters? See below

Is the Amish Vote Important to Politicians?

The votes of Amish people are important to politicians despite their small number compared to the rest of the country. Many politicians have tried to court the secluded sect to gain their votes during elections, meaning they know the Amish votes can help them win elections.

Pennsylvania and Ohio, the states with the highest populations of Amish people, are fiercely contested swing states that usually determine the winning contender between Republicans and Democrats in presidential elections.

U.S politicians such as George W. Bush, Donald Trump, and William Griest are said to have courted the Amish people for their votes in elections. The efforts made by these politicians to appeal to the few hundred thousand Amish people sprinkled throughout the country is a testament to the importance of Amish votes to politicians.

Though the Amish community doesn’t seem large enough to strongly sway the election result, they are primarily situated in states that constitute the “swing states.” For example, in recent years in Pennsylvania, presidential elections have been decided by less than 100,000 votes in the state.

Ensuring that unregistered conservatives, such as the Amish people, go to the polls to vote is essential to those who challenge incumbents. This may be why Democrats and Republicans have spent much of the past four years convincing the Amish people that casting a vote is essential. 

One of the significant efforts toward improving voting among Amish people is the creation of the Amish Political Action Committee.

The Amish Political Action Committee

The Amish are more likely to vote for individual and religious rights rather than government policies if they choose to vote at all. To appeal to this concern, people started the Amish Political Action Committee.

This committee exists to encourage more electoral participation from the Amish people by improving Amish voter registration and turnout during elections. The creation of this political action committee solely to reach out to the Amish people shows the importance of their votes to politicians.

The committee utilizes media channels such as newspaper ads and billboards throughout communities with a significant Amish presence. They take this approach since Amish people are not on social media platforms, nor do they watch television. 

However, given the results of the 2020 U.S presidential elections, the committee’s effectiveness may be debatable.

Also see Mennonite vs Amish: Comparison to learn more.

[1] Source
[2] Source

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see his About page for details.

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