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Notes on Balloting for Episcopal Office Nominee

Miscellaneous Item

 

 

The Peninsula-Delaware Conference

June 2012

 

Votes Re: Balloting to Select an Annual Conference Nominee for Election to Episcopal Office

 

The Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church will meet in Charleston, WVA from July 17-20 to elect 3 new bishops along with conducting other business. Any United Methodist elder in full connection is eligible for election. Annual Conference and various groups related to the UMC may nominate persons for the election process.

 

Episcopal Nomination process for the Peninsula-Delaware Conference is recorded in Rule 31 of the Conference Rules of Order. The following notes are intended to help with the balloting process.

 

Balloting Times

Balloting Times are at the Discretion of the Bishop. There are no more than 3 ballots taken as a part of our process.

 

The First Ballot

The Rev Dr. Sandra Steiner Ball is the nominee chosen by the Peninsula-Delaware General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegation and formally recommended to this conference session for consideration. Her number on the ballot form will be announced as 001. Persons voting for her must shade in the appropriate space on the ballot. Voting persons must use a No. 2 pencil or black or blue ink pen on the ballot for this purpose. Any clergy person who is an ordained United Methodist elder in full connection is eligible to receive write-in votes. There is space at the bottom of the ballot to clearly print the clergy name. (When a name is written in, it is also necessary to shade the 'oval' space in that area of the ballot to the right of the words "FOR WRITE-IN VOTE MARK THIS OVAL"). We will be voting for only one person, either the formal nominee or a write-in candidate. If persons so choose, they are permitted to cast a blank ballot as a valid ballot. Instruction will be provided about "valid" blank ballots. When a person is named on not less than two thirds of the valid ballots cast, that person shall be considered to be an Episcopal nominee of our Annual Conference.

 

The votes will be tallied and the results, when ready, will be announced by the Bishop. If someone receives two thirds or more of the ballots cast, he/she becomes an endorsed nominee of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference.

 

The Second Ballot

Whether or not someone receives the required two thirds or more of the ballots cast on the first ballot, a second ballot will be taken. Write-in names from the first ballot will be assigned numbers on the second ballot. The names of such persons, their assigned ballot number, and the number of votes they received on the first ballot will be displayed on the screen and, during the second ballot, and will remain on the screen to facilitate voting. Once again, write-in names and valid blank ballots will be permitted.

 

A Third Ballot

A third ballot may be taken unless there is a motion to discontinue balloting.

 

Eligibility to Vote

Clergy: all clergy, including full member elders and deacons, associate members, provisional members, full-time and part-time local pastors are eligible to vote. Laity: all lay members and equalization lay members are also eligible to vote.

 

Distribution of Ballots

Ballots will be distributed and collected by the ballot team members at the direction of the Bishop. The session may receive other instructions by the Bishop or Secretary. Prayer will be offered.

 

RULE 31: SELECTION BY THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF NOMINEES FOR EPISCOPAL OFFICE

page 273 of the Conference Journal

 

The following Process will be used for determining an Annual Conference endorsement of nominee(s) for Episcopal Office:

 

The General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation shall have the privilege of placing nominees before the annual conference.  In the case where the Delegation recommends a nominee(s) the Annual Conference shall move to a ballot where the nominee(s) shall be assigned a balloting number. Others shall be considered nominees who receive write-in votes on the first ballot and will be assigned balloting numbers on the next ballot.  No other formal nominations shall be in order.  The members of the annual conference shall have the right to vote in favor of one of these or to vote a blank ballot.

 

When a person is named on not less than two thirds of the valid ballots cast, that person shall be considered to be an Episcopal nominee of the annual conference.  Ballots will continue until at least two ballots have been taken, and there is a motion to discontinue balloting, or the third ballot has been taken, and there has been no nomination.  If no person has been named on two thirds of the ballots cast on any of the first three ballots taken, then no person shall be considered to have been nominated by the Annual conference. 

 

In the case where the Delegation’s report does not bring forth a recommendation for a nominee for Episcopal endorsement by the Annual Conference, the Annual Conference shall move to a ballot where the Annual Conference will vote yes or no to accept the Delegations report. If two thirds of the valid ballots cast, uphold the Delegation’s report that will end the balloting and the election process for nominees for Episcopal Endorsement, including motions for nominations from the floor of the Annual Conference. If the Delegation’s report does not received two thirds support of the valid ballots cast, then the Annual Conference will move to the second ballot, which will be a write in ballot. Those persons who receive votes on this second ballot will be assigned balloting numbers for the third and final ballot.  No other formal nominations shall be in order.  The members of the annual conference shall have the right to vote in favor of one of these or to vote a blank ballot.

 

When a person is named on not less than two thirds of the valid ballots cast, that person shall be considered to be an Episcopal nominee of the annual conference.  If no person has been named on two thirds of the ballots cast on any of the ballots taken, then no person shall be considered to have been nominated by the Annual conference. 

 

Only the person(s) selected in the foregoing manner shall be deemed the nominee(s) of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference, but this procedure shall not prevent the possibility of a member of the conference becoming a candidate for the episcopacy otherwise.

 

 

Peninsula-Delaware Conference 2012 Session Guidelines for Ballot team (including Ushers)

  1. When a ballot is about to be taken, the ballot team will move to their places in preparation for receiving the ballots for distribution.

  2. The Head Usher, Fred Duncan, and assistants - will meet at the foot of the steps on the left side of the platform (left when facing the platform from the audience's viewpoint).

  3. William Westbrook will have a supply of blank ballots. He will distribute quantities to Fred who in turn will distribute them to the ballot team members.

  4. The ballot team will distribute the ballots to all eligible persons who are as follows: all categories of clergy except student pastors; lay member and equalization layperson; but not reserve lay members (unless seated in place of the lay member), spouses or visitors. Voting persons may be asked to stand where they are in order to receive their ballots.

  5. Unused undistributed ballots must be turned back in to William Westbrook.

  6. The Bishop will instruct the voting persons to enter the number given to that ballot so that it is a valid ballot. Other instructions may be provided as needed.

  7. Voters will shade the space corresponding to the number (001) assigned to the formal nominee, Sandra Steiner Ball, or they may write in the name of some other person of their choice; in such a case, they will also need to shade in the oval space in the area of the ballot for write-in names.

  8. Once the Bishop observes that persons have completed their voting, voters may then be asked to stand for their ballots to be collected.

  9. The members of the ballot team collect the ballots. They hand them to Fred Duncan or William Westbrook.

  10. Fred Duncan and William Westbrook are responsible for taking the ballots back to the counting room to be tallied.

  11. In the counting room, some persons are designated to work with Bill Westbrook on the electronic tabulating of the ballots. Other persons are available for the manual counting of those ballots with write-in votes.

  12. Once the totals are determined, William Westbrook will take the results to the Bishop's table on the stage for announcement to the conference session.

  13. The Bishop informs the session of the results.