Nominations and Elections Bylaws
For all elections requiring regional representation, the Board of Directors of the Synod and the Council of Presidents acting jointly shall designate five geographic regions.
(a) Regions shall be designated 24 months prior to conventions of the Synod and shall take into consideration geographical and number-of-congregations information in the interest of fair representation.
(b) For purposes of regional elections, individuals will be considered a part of the geographical region where their congregational membership is held. Canadian congregations will be placed as a whole into the region which the Board of Directors and the Council of Presidents deem appropriate.
(c) This information shall be shared immediately with all districts of the Synod.
Nominations of President and First Vice-President
Nominations for the offices of President and First Vice-President shall be made by the member congregations of the Synod.
(a) Each member congregation shall be entitled to nominate from the clergy roster of the Synod two ordained ministers as candidates for president and two ordained ministers as candidates for First Vice-President.
(b) The Secretary of the Synod shall provide a secure and verifiable method that will offer opportunity to every congregation of the Synod to submit nominations. He shall, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Synod, obtain the assistance necessary to accomplish this task.
(c) The nominating process shall be completed not later than five months prior to the opening date of the convention.
(d) The Secretary of the Synod may engage, with the approval of the Board of Directors, an external auditing firm to tabulate the nominations and shall report in the Convention Workbook the names and tallies of all ordained ministers who have received nominating votes.
Elections of President and First Vice-President
The candidates for the office of President shall be the three ordained ministers who received the highest number of votes in the nominating process and who consent to serve if elected. The candidates for the office of First Vice-President shall be the 20 ordained ministers receiving the highest number of votes in the nominating process. No opportunity shall be provided for additional nominations.
(a) The Secretary of the Synod shall notify each candidate and shall secure his approval in writing within 10 days after receiving the results of the ballots for the inclusion of his name on the ballot.
(b) In the event of the death, declination, or unavailability of any candidate, the nominee having the next highest number of votes shall become a candidate. In the event of a tie for the final candidate position, all names involved in the tie shall be included as candidates.
The Secretary of the Synod shall publish in the Convention Workbook and post on the Synod Website brief biographies of the three candidates for President and the 20 candidates for First Vice-President. This report shall contain such pertinent information as age, residence, number of years in the Synod, present position, offices previously held in a district or the Synod, year of ordination, former pastorates, involvement in community, government, or interchurch affairs, and any other specific experience and qualification for the office. Opportunity to provide a personal statement shall be offered to each candidate for publication in an official periodical, this statement also to be posted on the Synod’s Website.
Election of President
The Secretary of the Synod, using lists of delegates in attendance at the prior year's district conventions as submitted by the secretaries of the districts, shall compile and maintain the voters list for the election of the President of the Synod in coordination with the secretaries of the districts. This list and any of its parts shall not be disseminated.
(a) This list shall include two voting delegates from each congregation in attendance at the previous district conventions who remain members of the congregations they represented.
(b) If one or both delegates are unavailable, congregations shall be provided opportunity to select substitute voters.
Four weeks prior to the national convention, the Secretary of the Synod shall provide, via a secure and verifiable method, opportunity for two voting delegates from each congregation in attendance at the previous district conventions (or substitute voters selected according to Bylaw 188.8.131.52 [b]) to vote for one of the candidates for President. The Secretary shall, with the approval of the Board of Directors of the Synod, obtain the assistance necessary to accomplish this task. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be retained on the ballot, and another vote shall be taken in the same manner.
Following the completion of the election and at least two weeks prior to the convention, the Secretary shall notify the candidates of the results of the ballot(s). He shall thereafter also make the results to the public. The candidate receiving a majority of the votes cast shall be declared elected.
Election of First Vice-President
Prior to all remaining elections, the convention shall elect the First Vice-President.
(a) The President-elect shall select from the list of 20 nominees for the Office of First Vice-President five nominees who have consented to serve if elected, at least two of whom shall be taken from the top five nominees.
(b) Balloting will proceed with the candidate receiving the smallest number of votes eliminated from consideration until one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, who shall be declared elected.
Nominations and Elections of Regional Vice-Presidents
After the results of the first-vice-presidential election have been announced, the convention shall elect five regional vice-presidents according to the following nominations and elections process. (This shall also be the process used for all other regional elections.)
(a) Each member congregation of a region (including any non-geographic-district congregations in that region) shall be given opportunity to nominate for regional vice-president two ministers of religion—ordained from the clergy roster of the Synod with residence in its designated region.
(b) The Secretary of the Synod shall receive such nominations (signed by the president and secretary of the nominating congregation).
(c) The names of the five ministers of religion—ordained residing within the boundaries of each geographic region who receive the most nominating votes shall form the slate from which the Synod convention shall select by majority vote each regional vice-president.
(d) No opportunity shall be provided for additional nominations from the floor of the convention.
(e) Voting delegates to the national convention shall be entitled to vote for one of the candidates from each region. If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes shall be retained on the ballot.
(f) Balloting shall continue with the candidate receiving the least number of votes eliminated until one candidate from each region has received a majority of the votes cast.
(g) A final ballot shall be used to determine the ranking of the five regional vice-presidents in line of succession.
Learn more about the regional representation of LCMS districts.View Map