Voting delegates shall consist of one pastor and one layman from each electoral circuit.
(a) An electoral circuit shall consist either of one or two adjacent visitation circuits, as shall be determined by the district board of directors on the basis of the following requirements: each pair of delegates shall represent from 7 to 20 member congregations, involving an aggregate confirmed membership ranging from 1,500 to 10,000.
(b) Exceptions to these requirements may be made only by the President of the Synod upon request of a district board of directors.
Elections of voting delegates shall take place in accordance with established policy and procedure.
(a) Each electoral circuit shall meet at the call of the circuit visitor(s) to elect its delegates not later than nine months prior to the opening day of the convention. When in-person meetings are burdensome (e.g., geographically large circuits), a circuit may select another manner of meeting (e.g., e-meeting technologies) that is suitable and made available to all participants, taking into consideration the need to provide for an open and fair exchange of ideas and secure, private, and confidential voting.
(b) Each electoral circuit may adopt procedures and methods that will insure efficiency and accuracy, including the use of mechanical, electronic, or other methods of casting, recording, or tabulating votes.
(c) The privilege of voting shall be exercised by one pastor and one layperson from each member congregation of the circuit, both of whom shall have been selected in the manner prescribed by the congregation. Multiple parishes shall be entitled to a lay vote from each member congregation.
(d) All pastors who are not advisory members under Article V B of the Constitution shall be eligible for election.
(1) Each voter may write in the names of two pastors on the initial ballot. The three pastors (or more, in case of a tie vote) who receive the highest number of votes in this preliminary ballot shall be placed on the next ballot.
(2) Each voter shall now vote for only one candidate. Balloting shall continue with the lowest candidate being removed from each succeeding ballot until one pastor shall have received a simple majority of all votes cast, whereupon he shall be declared the pastoral delegate.
(3) The congregation or congregations served by the elected pastoral delegate shall be removed from consideration for supplying any other voting delegate or alternate for that particular convention.
(e) Prior to the meeting of the electoral circuit, each congregation may nominate one layperson, either from its congregation or from the circuit. These names must be submitted to the circuit visitor prior to the day of the circuit meeting and shall constitute the slate of candidates. All congregational nominees, except those who have been eliminated through the election of the pastoral delegate, shall be eligible for election.
(1) Each voter may write in the name of two of the remaining lay nominees on the initial ballot. The three laypersons (or more, in case of a tie vote) who received the highest number of votes in this preliminary ballot shall be placed on the next ballot.
(2) Each voter shall now vote for only one candidate. Balloting shall continue with the lowest candidate being removed from each succeeding ballot until one layperson shall have received a simple majority of all votes cast, whereupon he/she shall be declared the lay delegate.
(3) The congregation from which the lay delegate has been elected shall then be removed from consideration for supplying any alternates to that particular convention.
(f) All other pastors who received votes in the initial write-in ballot, except those who were eliminated through the election of the lay delegate, shall be eligible for election as the alternate.
(1) Each voter shall now vote for only one candidate.
(2) Balloting shall continue with the lowest candidate being removed from each succeeding ballot until one pastor shall have received a simple majority of all votes cast, whereupon he shall be declared the alternate pastoral delegate.
(3) The congregation or congregations served by him shall be removed from consideration for supplying the remaining lay alternate.
(g) All lay nominees except those who have been disqualified through the procedures listed above shall be eligible for election as the alternate lay delegate. The election of the alternate shall follow the same procedure as in paragraph (f) above.
(h) All four persons elected shall come from four different member congregations.
(i) The visitor(s) shall report the results of the election to the secretary of the district in writing immediately after said election.
(j) If neither the delegate nor the alternate (pastoral or lay) can serve, the vacancy shall be filled by the district president in consultation with the respective circuit visitor(s).
Voting delegates shall serve a three-year term beginning with the convention, shall function as advisory members of the circuit forum, shall serve as resource persons in the circuit, and shall assist in the dissemination and implementation of resolutions of the Synod in the circuit.
(a) Delegates are responsible to the circuits they represent and shall attempt to discover the sentiment of the members thereof.
(b) Congregations shall not require their delegates to vote in accordance with specific instructions, but every delegate shall be permitted to vote according to his or her own conviction.
(c) Delegates are expected to be faithful in attendance at all sessions of the convention. All duly elected voting delegates shall attend all sessions regularly until the close of the convention. Delegates who arrive late or leave early or who do not attend at all shall present a written excuse.
(d) Delegates shall report the actions of the Synod to their circuits after each convention, preferably appearing before each of the congregations they represent.
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Nonvoting Advisory Delegates
Advisory members of the Synod shall attend district conventions, but they shall not be elected by any congregation or by any group of congregations as lay delegates to a national convention of the Synod.
Each district shall select one advisory delegate for every 60 advisory ordained ministers and specific ministry pastors, and one advisory delegate for every 60 commissioned ministers on the roster of the Synod. Fractional groupings shall be disregarded except that each district shall be entitled to at least one advisory delegate in each category.
(a) Selection of district advisory delegates to conventions of the Synod shall be made by the respective groups meeting at the call of the district secretary either during the district convention or at official district conferences of ordained and/or commissioned ministers.
(b) Such selections must be completed at least nine months prior to the opening day of the convention.
(c) Individuals who are eligible for selection in any category under Bylaw 3.1.4 shall not be counted in determining the number of advisory delegates from each district, shall not be eligible to be selected as delegates from the groups defined in this bylaw, and shall not participate in the election process.
All district voting and nonvoting advisory delegates and representatives and their alternates shall be certified before attending a convention of the Synod.
(a) The names and addresses of all voting and nonvoting advisory delegates and representatives and their alternates shall be forwarded by the district secretary before the announced registration deadline to the Secretary of the Synod on registration forms provided by the latter.
(b) This procedure shall constitute certification.
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Other Advisory Representatives
Officers of the Synod, including district presidents, and representatives of the Synod’s boards, commissions, educational institutions, mission areas, chaplains and district boards of directors shall also serve as advisory representatives to the convention of the Synod.
Each elected and appointed board and commission of the Synod shall be represented at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Each board or commission shall be represented by its chairman or another board or commission member and by its principal staff person.
(b) Standing exceptions shall be the Board of Directors, the Commission on Constitutional Matters, the Commission on Handbook, and the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, who may be represented by as many of their membership as they deem necessary.
(c) Other exceptions must have the approval of the Board of Directors of the Synod prior to each convention.
Each educational institution of the Synod shall be represented at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Educational institutions of the Synod shall be represented by one board member in addition to the district president, by their presidents, and by one faculty member for every 30 faculty members who are members of the Synod.
(b) Fractional groupings shall be disregarded.
Each foreign mission area, as defined and established from time to time by the Board for International Mission, shall be represented at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Foreign mission areas shall not exceed 10 in number and may be represented by an advisory representative from within the mission area who is on home leave at the time of the convention and will return to the mission area represented.
(b) These representatives shall be elected by the Board for International Mission in consultation with the field authority for each field and shared with the missionaries at least nine months in advance of a convention of the Synod, provided, however, that each said mission area shall be entitled to a representative, even though there may be no other than terminating missionaries on home leave at convention time.
Chaplains in each branch of the Armed Forces of the United States may be represented at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Chaplains may be represented by active-duty chaplains stationed stateside.
(b) Representatives shall be approved by the Board for International Mission at least nine months before the convention of the Synod.
Each district board of directors shall be represented at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Each district board of directors is entitled to send one representative from the district board of directors and one from the district executive staff other than the district president.
(b) If the district has no executive staff, it may select two members of its board of directors.
Each district may be represented by two youth representatives at conventions of the Synod.
(a) Youth representatives may be selected as a district may specify.
(b) They may speak at the request of a floor committee and with the permission of the chair.
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