By James H. Heine
Along with other changes approved by the 2010 Synod convention, the way the Synod elects its president is new for 2013. This year, the congregations’ voting delegates to their 2012 district conventions will elect the president of the Synod before the convention starts July 20.
In the former system of voting, nominations for president were made by member congregations of the Synod. Each congregation of the Synod could nominate two ordained ministers from the Synod’s clergy roster. Ballots for these nominations were provided by the secretary of the Synod and were returned to the secretary according to the manner established in the Bylaws of the Synod.
The five ordained ministers receiving the highest number of nominations and consenting to serve became the candidates for the office of president. If a candidate could not serve, the ordained minister with the next highest number of nominations joined the list.
The results of the nominating process were published in the Convention Workbook, along with appropriate biographical information about the five candidates.
At the convention, the assembly had the right to alter the candidate slate by the method outlined in the Bylaws of the Synod.
The convention elected, by majority vote, the president of the Synod. If no candidate received a majority of votes on the first ballot, the candidate with the least number of votes was eliminated, and another vote was held. This process continued until one candidate received a majority of votes. The candidate became the president of the Synod.
In the new system, nominations for president are made by member congregations of the Synod. Each congregation of the Synod nominates two ordained ministers from the Synod’s clergy roster. The secretary of the Synod provides a secure and verifiable method by which congregations submit nominations.
The nominations process is completed no later than five months before the opening date of the convention.
The three ordained ministers who receive the highest number of nominations and consent to serve become the candidates for the office of president. If a candidate cannot serve, the ordained minister with the next highest number of nominations joins the list. Once the list is established, there is no opportunity for additional nominations.
A Synod Bylaw stipulates that the results of the nominating process are posted on the Synod’s website and published in the Convention Workbook, along with appropriate biographical information about the candidates. (To read a story about the nominees for LCMS president, click here.)
Four weeks before the start of the Synod convention, the secretary of the Synod provides a secure and verifiable method by which a congregation’s two voting delegates to the congregation’s district convention the year before may vote for a candidate for president. The names of such delegates are confirmed by the district secretary. Synod Bylaws allow for a process by which substitute delegates may be named if the original delegates are no longer members of the congregation or otherwise unavailable.
If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the candidate with the least number of votes is dropped from the ballot, and a second vote takes place.
Two weeks before the start of the convention, the secretary announces the results of the election. The candidate receiving the majority of votes becomes the president-elect of the Synod.
For an article about changes in the procedures for electing Synod vice-presidents, see the April 2013 “Witness, Mercy, Life Together” Reporter insert.