By Stephen Kingsley, pastor, Craigmont, Idaho
When considering statements about things that are said to have happened, contradiction is a simple logical test for truth. Say you strike up a conversation with a man you meet at the coffee shop and he says, “I was in Chicago yesterday at noon.” But then a moment later he says, “I was in L.A. yesterday at noon.” You raise your eyebrows and start looking for an exit. One of his statements might be true, but one is certainly false. Not only that, his integrity is so diminished, you’re not likely to trust anything else he says.
Now what if this same truth-tester is applied to the Bible’s most important story? Dan Barker is the co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In his 1992 book, Losing Faith in Faith (FFRF, Inc.), he challenged Christians to assemble the various resurrection accounts in the Bible together as one consistent narrative. I was personally confronted with this in April of 2003 when a skeptic in a nearby university town published his own abbreviated version of Barker's “Easter Challenge” in the Letters to the Editor section of our regional paper. Barker and Nielsen’s ultimate hope is the de-conversion of Christians, or at the very least a de-spiriting of our Evangelical zeal. However, their challenge has had the opposite effect on this small town pastor—I am more persuaded than ever. Although I am not a scholar, I will add this claim too: I have succeeded in answering their challenge. This article contains a foundational piece of my argument.
The resurrection of Jesus is central to Christ, and Christ is central to Christianity. If indeed the details of the first century records surrounding the great claim Christianity is founded upon are contradictory, their reliability is tarnished. The thrust of this article is to introduce the reader to a unique way of reconciling what seems to be the most difficult problem concerning what happened on Easter morning. It is fair to examine the accounts of the post-resurrection appearances for contradiction, but given their importance, the charge of contradiction should not be leveled against these witnesses unless it can be proved with certainty. The prosecution has made its case. I’m writing to offer mine.
It should be clearly noted what Barker is and is not asking for. Had his challenge limited a solver to a juxtaposition of the texts—laying them out side-by-side—and explaining the conflicts, it would be impossible to champion. Here is why. When each account is read as its own complete telling of the story, our natural assumptions are imposed upon the intended meaning of each writer’s timeline. The clearest example of this is found in Luke’s Gospel, near the end of chapter 24. Jesus appeared to the disciples on the afternoon of Easter, something no critic disputes. However, following the record of his speech to the group, in vs. 50 and 51, Luke writes, “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven.” If a rule were invented that required Luke’s narrative to be considered as its own complete story, as if it were indivisible and encased in steel, we would be bound to conclude that the ascension of Jesus happened on the afternoon of Easter, immediately after his appearance to the group. That puts Luke’s record in absolute contradiction to Acts 1, which states that Jesus appeared to the disciples over a forty-day period and then ascended to heaven. Nevertheless, on this point and numerous others contradiction can only stand as long as a rule of indivisibility might be imposed. Were such constraints enforced it would be a violation to add the data from the accounts together to form a complete picture. There really is no such rule—not here or in any learning situation. It is only natural to gather information in pieces and make adjustments in our understanding as knowledge is added to knowledge, but critics, eager to prove contradiction in the Bible, would love to make this rule a requirement. This impossibly high standard, they might suggest is justified when it comes to the Bible because it is held to be divinely inspired. Even if inspired, it is yet of human speech with all its natural limitations and cultural norms.
Considered together, it is easily observed that the literary method of the Gospel writers was to list events according their interests without noting the passing of time in-between. Here, the writer of Luke jumped from the Easter afternoon group appearance of Jesus to his ascension forty days into the future. It is evident then that his interest was not when it happened, but that it did. It is dishonest to insist that Luke’s failure to specify when the ascension happened is equal to his having begun vs. 50 with the words, “And that same day …” He did not. The same weakness exists in trying to argue that because Matthew only mentions one resurrection appearance of Jesus to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee that it is equal to his having used words to the effect of: “Jesus only appeared to the disciples once ….” Likewise, with trying to argue that because Paul failed to list the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene, the other women, or the two men on the road to Emmaus in his list in 1 Corinthians 15:3–8 that this is equal to his having used the word “first” with his listing of the appearance of Jesus to Peter as the first one on his list. He did not. If he had, contradiction would be proved, case closed, and we would be left to deal with whatever that may be taken to mean. You can argue that the word “first” is implied, but contradiction is too serious an issue concerning something so important to allow the accusation to stand as valid where it cannot be proved.
When specifying the conditions of his Easter Challenge in his book Losing Faith in Faith (1992 FFRF, Inc.), Barker places no restrictions which would limit the matter to one of a mere comparison of the accounts. It is as if he is saying: “Even if I allow you the greatest possible liberties, you still can not produce a successful answer.” His challenge is generous in its fairness. He writes:
The conditions of the challenge are simple and reasonable. In each of the four Gospels, begin at Easter morning and read to the end of the book— Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24 and John 20–21. Also, read Acts 1:3–12 and Paul's tiny version of the story in I Corinthians 15:3–8. These 165 verses can be read in a few moments. Then, without omitting a single detail from these separate accounts, write a simple, chronological narrative of the events between the resurrection and the ascension: what happened first, second, and so on; who said what, when; and where these things happened. (Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith, 1992 FFRF Inc., “Leave No Stone Unturned,” p. 178.)
The method Barker requires takes us beyond wrestling with the assumptions we might be prone to impose upon the timeline of each account when read separately. We are to take all the data from all the accounts, all 165 verses, and bring it all together into one list—“a simple chronological narrative.” Beyond being fair, it is the only legitimate test for contradiction that could bypass suppositions about the intent of the writers and get down to the actual details, the exact words and specific phrases the five writers used in their compositions.
Dan calls himself “your friendly neighborhood atheist,” and having worked on answering his challenge for several years, his fairness in issuing the Easter Challenge is something I’ve come to appreciate. Having answered his challenge, I sent him my solution in February of 2008, fourteen months ago as I am writing now (April 2009). He has not yet dealt with whether the pieces logically fit (in his judgment) as I put them together. I hope he’ll judge fairly according to the rules he made, but I’m not sure. He was promising to get around to a serious response, but in his latest e-mail he said that he had read enough of my book to see I had done such great damage to the intended meaning of the text that he was not so excited as to make answering me a priority. When he does respond, I can hope he will deal with the one issue his challenge concerns, the “single chronological narrative” he asked for with all the details of all the events woven together consistently.
While the previous example about the ascension of Jesus in Luke and Acts can be resolved with simple addition, there are more difficult contradiction issues to confront in the resurrection accounts. In this article, I will deal with what many would consider the most troublesome—the problem of Mary Magdalene. The resurrection is the subject of the Easter story, but Mary Magdalene is the protagonist and tracking her footprints through the breadth of the story is challenging. At the heart of the difficulty is the difference between John’s account and the Synoptics.
The conflicts begin to pile up in classic harmonies when John’s account of Mary is taken to somehow coincide with the other records of what the women did on Easter morning. Under this common view, the women begin their trip towards the tomb together at “as it began to dawn” (Mt. 28:1) and “early … while it was still dark (Jn. 20:1).” The angel descends and rolls away the stone (Mt. 28:2–4) and by the time the full group of women arrive at sunrise (Mk. 16:1–4 and Lk. 24:1,2) they find the stone missing. So far, no real problem presents itself. However, it is at this point where the accounts diverge into two different stories. In nearly all exegesis through history the explanation is that Mary left the other women (either upon seeing the missing stone or having entered the tomb) and ran to tell Peter the alarming news that Jesus’ body was missing (Jn. 20:2). With this, John’s storyline contains a lengthy and detailed record of Mary’s solo adventure apart from the other women. Meanwhile, per Matthew, Mark and Luke the women encounter the angel(s) in the tomb, run from the tomb, etc.
At the very least, we’re confronted with the trouble of trying to excuse all three Synoptic writers for strongly implying Mary’s presence with the other women, when clearly, under the model commonly presented in telling the story, she fled the scene after they arrived at the tomb. Nevertheless, if we are to believe Matthew (as we should), Mary is clearly implicated as being present and accounted for in all he describes. This includes her listening to the angel’s speech, running from the tomb with great joy to go tell the disciples, and even seeing Jesus with the other women and holding him by the feet as they worshipped him. We cannot simply strip her from Matthew’s account unless we are willing to say his portrayal is inaccurate and his reporting careless. This problem pleads for a solution.
When the details are compared in each Gospel the standard sunrise Easter story clashes like our family cat pouncing on the keyboard of the piano. The complexity is not the problem; it is the difficulty of saying with certainty what exactly happened. And if there is any single place in the Bible we could wish for clarity, it is here. Among Christian scholars, the problem has been labeled as “notorious” and for many, impossible to reconcile. It does not leave the accounts absent of historical relevance, but casts a shadow nevertheless upon the reliability of the biblical record of what really happened on Easter, the day Christianity was born.
I would like to propose a new approach to the problem and a different model, one that appears to be unique to others and offers what may be a simple solution that is more fully developed in my book The Easter Answer. Rather than dealing with a tight knot of activities piled atop one another at the site of the tomb shortly after sunrise, reasons exist to support the view that John’s narrative of Mary Magdalene’s experiences (without the other women) happened before sunrise. Then, afterwards she later met up with the other women and went along as a full participant in their famous Easter sunrise epiphany. It requires the allowance of gaps of times between some of the events and a careful re-thinking of both temporal phrases supplied by the writer of Matthew in 28:1.
The premise of The Easter Answer is that the resurrection event described in Matthew 28:2–4 happened between midnight and 3:00 a.m. on Easter morning. This position can be reasonably supported in Scripture from several angles. The exact time is not so important as is the fact that if the removal of the stone (indicative of the resurrection) by the angel happened earlier than is commonly held, it allows for John's accounting of Mary's Easter experience to commence, quite naturally, at the time he plainly describes in 20:1: “Now on the first day of the week [Easter Sunday] Mary Magdalene came early to the tomb, while it was still dark, and saw the stone already taken away from the tomb.” Commonly, “while it was still dark” is bent towards sunrise. A common explanation might go like this: “Well it wasn’t really dark, but still somewhat dark when the women began their trip to the tomb. It was likely a long walk and it was more dark than light when they started out. By the time they arrived it was just after sunrise.” But notice John 20:1 is quite explicit in that it does not say Mary was starting her trip, but rather “came early to the tomb, while it was still dark ….” Let’s start here with a fresh view and consider that John means exactly what he says, that Mary was alone and came to the tomb early in the morning when there was no evidence of daylight in the sky. For the sake of discussion, let’s assign our modern timekeeping to the plainest meaning of the writer’s words and assign her arrival at the tomb at 4:00 a.m. and place sunrise at 6:00 a.m. This 4:00 a.m. guess is consistent with John’s temporal phrase in 20:1. The next step is to examine the other Gospels for agreement.
Initially, Matthew 28:1 seems to present a formidable obstacle to this view. Quite plainly it seems to state the women (Mary Magdalene and the other Mary) “came to see” the tomb just before daylight on Sunday morning. This is followed by vss. 2–4 which describe the angel’s appearance and his rolling away of the stone. We could try to solve this problem by rearranging the sequencing, moving vs. 1 below vss. 2–4 so that it follows the angel’s rolling away of the stone. However, such a move would invalidate the case we are trying to make in favor of the accounts. Such a maneuver is unnecessary anyway once we dig deeper into the temporal phrases of vs. 1. Here it is from the Updated NASB of 1995:
(Mt. 28:1) Now after the Sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the grave.
We are going to take a careful look at the two back-to-back temporal phrases in verse one. First things first: “after the Sabbath,“ and then the second: “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.“ A review of various English translations reveals a problem with the first phrase. It is translated two very different ways. When I first began studying this, I started with my personal favorite, the King James Version. Here is how it begins the verse:
(Mt. 28:1 KJV) In the end of the Sabbath....
“In the end of the Sabbath” has a decidedly different meaning than the “after the Sabbath” from in the U-NASB. The Jewish Sabbath ended then with the setting of the sun; then “the first day of the week,” began. This is yet true for orthodox Jews. Rabbis teach that the switch from one 24-hour day to the next happens as soon as three stars can be counted in the evening sky. This is especially true for observant Jews marking the beginning and ending of the Sabbath day. “Sabbath” is a Jewish term and must be reckoned accordingly and the phrase “in the end of the Sabbath” must be taken to mean the closing moments of the Sabbath day, just before the sun dropped below the horizon.
If we reach far back into ancient English Bible translations, this first phrase in Mt. 28:1 was supplied as “in the evening of the Sabbath” by Wycliffe and in the Cloverdale Bible. There are others to consider. For example in the 1901 American Standard Version the first phrase is translated:
(Mt. 28:1 ASV) Now late on the Sabbath day....
The original source material for the NASB was the ASV. It is not too surprising then that when the NASB first hit the market in 1971 it too supplied the first temporal phrase of Mt. 28:1 as “Now late on the Sabbath....” However, by the time the Updated-NASB was published in 1995 the translation was changed to “Now after the Sabbath….” This is also how the first phrase appears in the New King James Version and the New International Version. Which is right, “late on the Sabbath” or “after the Sabbath?” One certainly indicates the described event happened before sunset on the Sabbath, and the other some time after it ended.
At issue for translators in Mt. 28:1 is the Greek opse, used here as a preposition with the genitive. Upon discovering the translators of the NASB had changed opse here from “late” to “after” I wrote to the owners of the copyright, the Lockman Foundation, and asked its editorial board why the decision was made. I received permission to quote their answer and put it in my book. They say translators were attempting to find reasons to justify the change so that the phrase would be consistent with the other Gospel accounts. It is obvious then they were looking at the description made by Mark and Luke of the trip by the women to the tomb at sunrise, and trying to find a legitimate way from the Greek to make Matthew agree. This is understandable, and even commendable if such a change is warranted. In Mark 11:19 and 13:35, and in the Septuagint in Genesis 24:11 opse is used to indicate evening. According to the Lockman Foundation, Greek Lexicons allow it to be translated “after” when used as a preposition, but there is no evidence in Greek literature that this appeared until the second century. What is clear from their comment is there was nothing that required the change.
Clearly, deciding how opse should be translated in Mt. 28:1 is difficult. Given the lack of certainty, it is reasonable to allow exegetical considerations and the statements of other Gospel writers to influence the decision. “Late on the Sabbath” does not fit with Mark 16 and Luke 24 (the women arriving at the tomb after sunrise Sunday morning), but what if “late,” “in the end,” or “evening” is the right translation after all? What if Matthew really was writing about a different trip by the Marys “to see” the tomb just before the Sabbath ended; a similar kind of trip, but one distinctly independent and specifically unrelated to the trip at sunrise described by Mark and Luke?
As for the Aramaic, Murdock (1851) translated the first phrase: “And in the close [evening] of the Sabbath …” Lamsa (1940) has: “In the evening of the Sabbath …” And Murdock’s revised NT reads: “And in the evening of the Sabbath as it was dusk …”
Let’s now take a look at the second phrase and see if it is of any help in deciding between “late on the Sabbath” or “after the Sabbath” in the first phrase. In nearly all English Bibles, it reads the same: “as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week.” A casual reading certainly seems to be referencing Sunday morning just before sunrise. This is the meaning usually granted the phrase, but is that what it is really saying?
The five words, “as it began to dawn,” are from the Greek word epiphosko. In Mt. 28:1 as an active participle, it is epiphoskouse. The etymology of epiphosko is easily discerned: epi—upon, phosko—light, quite literally, “upon-light.” Knowing this, it is easy to see why translators chose “as it began to dawn.” The word “dawn” seems an excellent choice here, and it is, but do not jump to the conclusion that “just before daylight” is its required meaning. Amazingly, while epiphosko could easily be used of the approach of daylight in the morning, it turns out to be quite similar to our use of the word “dawn.” We use “dawn” for the rise of any new thing; even an idea as in “it dawned on me.” We speak of “the dawn of history,” or “the dawn of a new era.” None of these common uses for dawn have anything to do with the rising of the sun in the sky. In the only other use of epiphosko in the New Testament, like our use of the word “dawn” it is used idiomatically concerning the arrival of a new period of time, a 24-hour day. It appears in a temporal phrase in Luke 23:54. Here the writer is narrating the scene of two men hastily burying the body of Jesus. Since the Sabbath was approaching, it was important that they finished the job before sunset. Luke carefully indicates the day and time as follows:
(Luke 23:54) And it was the day of the Preparation [Friday] and the Sabbath drew on.
“Drew on” above is the Greek epiphosko, the same word translated “as it began to dawn” in Mt. 28:1. In Lk. 23:54 other translations provide it as “drew near.” Darby has it as “was coming on.” In Luke the subject of the verb epiphosko is the Sabbath. In Mt. 28:1 the subject of epiphosko is “the first day of the week [Sunday].” Both are important temporal phrases. In Luke the action being indicated is that the Sabbath was about to begin, which we know to be at sunset. What do we do then with Matthew? It seems consistent to allow it to influence its subject (the first day of the week) in the same way. “As it began to dawn” is quite appropriate. The 24-hour day, the new day, was beginning to “dawn” with the setting of the sun.
One other point is worth noting. Knowing the day ended at sunset, if the second temporal phrase of Mt. 28:1 was really a description of the moments just prior to daylight in the sky Sunday morning, it would not say “dawn toward the first day of the week,” it would say “dawn on the first day of the week.”
Still unconvinced? Let me tip the scales further by pointing out that the women’s purpose in going to the tomb at sunrise on Easter morning as described by Mark and Luke was to complete the task of spicing the body of Jesus. However, Matthew makes no mention of spices. He describes their purpose as “to see the grave.” A minor distinction, but worth noting.
So clearly, from the Greek text we have ample reason to see the two back-to-back temporal phrases of Mt. 28:1 as standing in agreement with one another in depicting, that near the end of the weekly Sabbath, the two Marys went “to see” the tomb, just before the beginning of the new 24 hour day, the “first day of the week,” was about to “dawn” with the setting of the sun.
Assigning that meaning to the timing of the trip by the Marys to see the tomb Sabbath evening, Matthew’s style emerges as overtly choppy in manner of reporting in the first several verses of the chapter 28. Comparing his account to the others, the arrangement is complex, but it can be shown he supplied no detail that cannot be suited to the facts of the other texts. In verses five through seven, Matthew records the speech of the angel to the women, but this can easily be shown to be the identical speech (with a few added words) spoken by the angel as recorded in Mark’s account (Mk. 16:6.7). It’s complicated, but the details from both accounts compliment one another concerning this angelic being with the appearance of a young man. At some point (Matthew doesn’t say when) he rolled away the stone and sat on it; but by the time the women entered the tomb after sunrise, he was seen (likely less fearsome in appearance) sitting on the right side (Mk. 16:5) where the body of Jesus had laid. Any supposed conflict resolves with a recognition that several hours passed between Matthew 28:1 (just before sunset Sabbath evening) and the actual delivery of the angel’s speech to the women. Mark confirms the speech as identical to Matthew’s and that both Marys were present (with other women by that time) to hear it. Matthew’s facts may be seen as true, and so can Mark’s. Both compliment, confirm, and complete one another. There is no unbearable contradiction here, only the melody of orchestrated harmony.
What was the writer of Matthew’s Gospel trying to accomplish with such a specific double-duty description of the day and time in 28:1? He is establishing an important fact—at the end of the Sabbath the women looked upon the tomb and without any reaction from them at that time we may safely infer that they found everything as expected. In 28:1, Matthew establishes the watchful concern of the women, certifies to us that they knew where the tomb was located; that they could make their way to it and identify it; and that it was sealed as the Sabbath day ended. In this way, in one verse, the writer dressed the stage for history’s most important day and the event that has affected the world as none other, the resurrection of Jesus.
As an aside, it is worth noting here that there are some Bible-studying groups around that, discerning the strong possibility that Mt. 28:1 depicts the closing moments of the Sabbath, take the position the resurrection happened then, as the two Marys walked to the tomb that evening. This theory breaks down for several reasons:
1) There is no tradition to support such a claim
2) Mark 16:9 plainly states, “Jesus was risen early the first day of the week.”
3) Proponents of the Saturday afternoon resurrection theory believe Jesus died and was buried on Wednesday afternoon, but that does not square with the reckoning of the Emmaus witnesses who said: “Besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass (Lk. 24:21).” Had Jesus been crucified on Wednesday, by the common reckoning of that day the witnesses would have said it was the fifth day since these things (the crucifixion of Jesus), not the third.
If it may be granted from what we know about Mt. 28:1 that Mary Magdalene visited the tomb (with the other Mary) and looked upon it at say 5:45 on the evening of the Sabbath just prior to sunset (6:00 p.m.), and from Jn. 20:1 that she returned to find the stone missing at 4:00 a.m. the next morning (Easter Sunday), when then did the angel of Mt. 28:2–4 make his earth-quaking entrance and bright showing? Matthew does not specify when this happened, only that it did. Granting that Mary found it open by 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning, there is more data to consider. Mark 16:9 plainly states: “Jesus was risen early the first day of the week….” and this can be taken to have happened just before the angel rolled away the stone. Jewish reckoning allows that part of a day could count for a full day. Jesus died on Friday afternoon, was dead from about 3:00 p.m. until sunset (enough of the day to count as a whole), and in the grave the full 24 hours of the Sabbath, and rose “the third day.” (See: Mt. 16:21, Mt. 17:23, Mt. 20:19, Mt. 27:64, Mk. 9:31, Mk. 10:34, Lk. 9:22, Lk. 13:32, Lk. 18:33, Lk. 24:7, Lk. 24: 46, Jn. 2:1, Acts 10:40, Acts 27:19, and 1 Co. 15:4). Pinning the angels’ rolling away of the stone to the resurrection event between midnight and 3:00 a.m. covers “early the first day of the week” of Mk. 16:9 and puts the event far enough into the first day of the week (Easter Sunday) to easily qualify for reckoning it as a day, i.e., “the third day.” If we are looking for the story to make the best sense possible (and why not?), it’s reasonable to allow that the Mt. 28:2–4 event happened long enough before Mary came to the tomb (proposed as 4:00 a.m.) for the soldiers to regain consciousness (having passed-out for fear of the angel) and to flee the scene. That too makes for a more plausible picture than if Matthew 28 is read as its own independent complete story. Doing so requires seeing the two women bravely walking through the midst of the fallen soldiers and up to the angel sitting on the rock he had just rolled away. Breaking Matthew’s narrative into pieces and weaving it in with the others, makes much more sense.
From the model I’m proposing, Mary Magdalene’s action-packed Easter morning began with her alarming discovery of the stone missing from the tomb when she came to it on Easter morning “early … while it was still dark (20:1).” Then, all that John records of her down through vs. 18 (and confirmed in Mark 16:9–11) may easily be seen as happening before sunrise, before she joined the other women and made the journey with spices to the tomb, arriving after the sun had risen. There are other questions to be raised here and other complications to sort through, but, for now, suffice it to say that, by carefully noting the temporal phrases from the text, the greatest difficulty of the Easter story may be unraveled. The tight knot of complications under the traditional model with so many things happening among the women just after sunrise can be stretched out over a long period of time. From this beginning, it is possible, using the same approach, to ultimately bring all 165 verses from all five writers together and demonstrate the consistency that has always been there.
In closing, we would do well to remember that the ancients had no modern timekeeping devices, no easy way to measure hours or communicate the passing of time. Given our strictly regimented schedules, deadlines, and expectations for punctuality, it is difficult to imagine life without the modern 24 hour clock. However, such was their world and the writers dealt with it as best they could. As previously stated and reasonably observed, the writers listed the events that occurred to them (or that the Holy Spirit inspired) while jumping from one to a distant other without favoring the reader with any simple means of knowing such a leap through time was being made. As moderns, we expect more. We can easily criticize their style and express our disappointment, but is that really fair? Regardless of our bias, it seems our task is to honestly evaluate their words and try to understand their best meaning. Clearly, each writer gave us a partial report and each lacks specificity. The overall arrangement is extremely complex and puzzle-like. Personally, I find the complexity far more compelling and of stronger evidential value than if it was all quite simple and boring. The tension felt as the accounts seem to clash with one another when merely compared, finds resolution as they are carefully brought together into one narrative. I hope you find it as amazing as I do.
For more on reconciling the resurrection accounts visit www.easteranswer.com. The “Solve It Yourself” page provides more help for Bible students, including a free PDF file with a chart from the book that lists all the resurrection appearances of Jesus, including times and Scripture references. “The Easter Answer” book is 81 pages. To see what readers of the book are saying about its success or failure in answering Barker’s “Easter Challenge” see the page titled “Cast Your Vote.”