Nominations and Elections Bylaws

Nominations and Elections of President and First Vice-President

3.12.2        

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.

3.12.2.1     

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.

3.12.2.2     

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.

3.12.2.3     

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.

3.12.2.4

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 3.12.2.3 [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.

3.12.2.5

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.

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3.12.2.6

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 and all other regional positions

3.12.1        

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.

3.12.2.7      

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. 

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Nominations and Elections of Officer, Board and Commission Positions

3.12.3.4

The Secretary of the Synod shall handle the preliminary work for the Committee for Convention Nominations.

(a) He shall begin to solicit names of nominees from the agencies and officers of the Synod at least 24 months prior to the convention.

(b) Approximately 24 months before a regular meeting of the Synod in convention, he shall solicit from those agencies with positions to be filled descriptions of criteria for qualified candidates to serve in those positions.

(c) With such criteria in view, the Secretary shall issue the first call for nominations through a publication of the Synod and on the Synod Website 18 months before the convention, soliciting names from the agencies and officers of the Synod and the congregational and individual members of the Synod, along with lay persons of the congregations of the Synod.

(d) All incumbents eligible for reelection shall be considered to be nominees.

(e) The qualifications of each nominee shall be submitted together with the names on forms made available on the Synod’s Website.

(f) All suggested names and information for consideration by the Committee for Convention Nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Synod no later than nine months prior to the convention of the Synod.

(g) The Secretary shall present the names and information gathered to the Committee for Convention Nominations at its first meeting.

3.12.3.6

The Committee for Convention Nominations shall select candidates for all elective offices, boards, and commissions except President, First Vice-President, and elective positions requiring regional nominations (Bylaws 3.12.2.7; 3.3.4.1; 3.8.2.2; 3.8.3.2).

(a) At least two candidates and at least one alternate shall be selected for each position.

(b) The committee shall determine its complete list of candidates and alternates, obtain the consent of the persons it proposes to select as candidates, and transmit its final report at least five months prior to the convention to the Secretary of the Synod, who shall post the list on the Synod’s Website and provide for its publication in a pre-convention issue of an official periodical of the Synod and in the Convention Workbook.

(c) The committee's report shall list the qualifications of various positions used in the solicitation of nominees and contain pertinent information concerning each candidate, such as occupation or profession, district affiliation, residence, specific experience, number of years as a member of an LCMS congregation, present position, offices previously held in a congregation, district or the Synod, and qualifications for the office in question, and, if the candidate so desires, also a brief personal statement.

3.12.3.7

The chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations shall submit the committee's report in person to the convention at one of its earliest sessions.

(a) The convention may amend the slate by nominations from the floor.

(b) Floor nominations shall be brought individually before the convention for approval before being added to the ballot. No floor nominations shall be accepted which would preclude, by virtue of election limitations of such office, election of any pending nominee already on the slate of candidates received from the Committee for Convention Nominations without disclosing such potential effect immediately to the convention.

(c) Such floor nominations may only be made from the list of names which have previously been offered to the Committee for Convention Nominations prior to the final deadline for the submission of nominations, unless the convention shall otherwise order by a simple majority vote. The President of Concordia University System (or a designee) and the Secretary of the Synod (or a designee) shall verify that all floor nominees to serve as a member of a Concordia University System board of regents possess qualifications as stated in Bylaw 3.10.5.2.7. The Chief Administrative Officer of the Synod (or a designee) and the Secretary of the Synod (or a designee) shall review and verify that all floor nominees to serve as a member of the Concordia University System Board of Directors possess qualifications as stated in Bylaw 3.6.6.3.

(d) If the convention approves the receipt of such additional nominations, any delegate making such a nomination shall have secured prior written consent of the candidate being nominated and shall immediately submit it to the chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations along with required pertinent information concerning the nominee as detailed in Bylaw 3.12.3.6 (c).

(e) Whenever possible, chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations shall have on hand at the convention a reserve list of nominees, approved by the committee, for use if required.

(f) Whenever possible, the Committee for Convention Nominations should be informed in advance if any new board or commission is likely to be established at a convention of the Synod, so that it may have a slate of candidates in readiness.

3.12.4.2

The President shall determine and announce a period of time during the convention for the election of the members of all elective boards and commissions.

(a) After the election of the First Vice-President and the other vice-presidents in that order, the election by ballot of the Secretary shall next be conducted.

(b) The election by ballot of the members of the Board of Directors shall next follow. Each category (ordained, commissioned, and lay) shall be elected separately, the order of the elections to be rotated to allow each category to be the first elected at every third convention, as monitored by the Secretary of the Synod.

(c) The election by ballot of the members of all elective boards and commissions shall next follow.

(d) A majority of all votes cast shall be required for election to all elective offices and elective board positions. Candidates receiving a majority on the first ballot shall be declared elected.

(e) Except in the elections of the First Vice-President, regional vice-presidents, and regional board members, when a second or succeeding ballot is required for a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes and all candidates receiving less than 15 percent of the votes cast shall be dropped from the ballot, unless fewer than two candidates receive 15 percent or more of the votes cast, in which case the three highest candidates shall constitute the ballot.

(f) The tally of the votes cast for each candidate shall be announced after each ballot in all elections.

(g) A person elected to an office requiring a background check shall not assume office until an appropriate background check has been completed. If a person is elected and subsequently fails to pass a required background check, the office will be deemed vacant and will be filled according to Bylaw 3.2.5.

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Committee for Convention Nominations

3.12.3

The Committee for Convention Nominations is to be regarded as an ad hoc convention committee, to which limitations on holding multiple offices do not apply.

3.12.3.1

In preparation for a convention of the Synod, one-half of the districts shall elect through their regular election procedures at the district convention one member to the Committee for Convention Nominations and an alternate:

  • Atlantic
  • California-Nevada-Hawaii
  • Central Illinois
  • Florida-Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa West
  • Minnesota South
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • North Wisconsin
  • Northern Illinois
  • Northwest
  • Oklahoma
  • SELC
  • South Dakota
  • Southern
  • Wyoming

3.12.3.2

In preparation for the following convention, the remaining districts shall elect in the same manner:

  • Eastern
  • English
  • Iowa East
  • Kansas
  • Michigan
  • Mid-South
  • Minnesota North
  • Montana
  • New England
  • New Jersey
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Rocky Mountain
  • South Wisconsin
  • Southeastern
  • Pacific Southwest
  • Southern Illinois
  • Texas

3.12.3.3

One-half of the electing districts shall be designated by the Secretary of the Synod to elect a professional church worker and the other half a layperson, with roles reversed every six years.

3.12.3.4

The Secretary of the Synod shall handle the preliminary work for the Committee for Convention Nominations.

(a) He shall begin to solicit names of nominees from the agencies and officers of the Synod at least 24 months prior to the convention.

(b) Approximately 24 months before a regular meeting of the Synod in convention, he shall solicit from those agencies with positions to be filled descriptions of criteria for qualified candidates to serve in those positions.

(c) With such criteria in view, the Secretary shall issue the first call for nominations through a publication of the Synod and on the Synod Website 18 months before the convention, soliciting names from the agencies and officers of the Synod and the congregational and individual members of the Synod, along with lay persons of the congregations of the Synod.

(d) All incumbents eligible for reelection shall be considered to be nominees.

(e) The qualifications of each nominee shall be submitted together with the names on forms made available on the Synod’s Website.

(f) All suggested names and information for consideration by the Committee for Convention Nominations shall be submitted to the Secretary of the Synod no later than nine months prior to the convention of the Synod.

(g) The Secretary shall present the names and information gathered to the Committee for Convention Nominations at its first meeting.

3.12.3.5

The first meeting of the Committee for Convention Nominations shall be at the call of the Secretary of the Synod at least six months prior to the convention of the Synod.

(a) The Secretary shall not serve as a member of the committee, but he shall convene the initial meeting of the committee and be available, upon call, for consultation.

(b) The committee shall elect its own chairman, vice-chairman, and secretary and shall organize its work in whatever way it deems necessary.

(c) The committee shall inform itself as to the duties and requirements of each position to be filled and thereby be guided in its selection of candidates from the list of nominees gathered by the nominations process.

(d) In the case of boards of directors of synodwide corporate entities, the committee shall consult with the governing boards of each synodwide corporate entity, through their chief executive, to receive input for the committee’s consideration.

(e) In the case of the boards of regents of educational institutions of the Synod, the committee shall consult with the President of the Synod or the Board of Directors of Concordia University System and receive their input for the committee's consideration. The President of Concordia University System (or a designee) and the Secretary of the Synod (or a designee) shall review and verity that nominees are qualified as stated in Bylaw 3.10.5.2.7.

(f) The committee for convention nominations shall establish and maintain a procedure to generate and publish in advance of the convention a list of names from all who have been nominated for Synod boards and commissions who meet the qualifications (Bylaws 3.10.5.2.7 and 3.6.6.3) to serve on a Concordia University System board of regents or the Concordia University System Board of Directors.

3.12.3.6

The Committee for Convention Nominations shall select candidates for all elective offices, boards, and commissions except President, First Vice-President, and elective positions requiring regional nominations (Bylaws 3.12.2.7; 3.3.4.1; 3.8.2.2; 3.8.3.2).

(a) At least two candidates and at least one alternate shall be selected for each position.

(b) The committee shall determine its complete list of candidates and alternates, obtain the consent of the persons it proposes to select as candidates, and transmit its final report at least five months prior to the convention to the Secretary of the Synod, who shall post the list on the Synod’s Website and provide for its publication in a pre-convention issue of an official periodical of the Synod and in the Convention Workbook.

(c) The committee's report shall list the qualifications of various positions used in the solicitation of nominees and contain pertinent information concerning each candidate, such as occupation or profession, district affiliation, residence, specific experience, number of years as a member of an LCMS congregation, present position, offices previously held in a congregation, district or the Synod, and qualifications for the office in question, and, if the candidate so desires, also a brief personal statement.

3.12.3.7

The chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations shall submit the committee's report in person to the convention at one of its earliest sessions.

(a) The convention may amend the slate by nominations from the floor.

(b) Floor nominations shall be brought individually before the convention for approval before being added to the ballot. No floor nominations shall be accepted which would preclude, by virtue of election limitations of such office, election of any pending nominee already on the slate of candidates received from the Committee for Convention Nominations without disclosing such potential effect immediately to the convention.

(c) Such floor nominations may only be made from the list of names which have previously been offered to the Committee for Convention Nominations prior to the final deadline for the submission of nominations, unless the convention shall otherwise order by a simple majority vote. The President of Concordia University System (or a designee) and the Secretary of the Synod (or a designee) shall verify that all floor nominees to serve as a member of a Concordia University System board of regents possess qualifications as stated in Bylaw 3.10.5.2.7. The Chief Administrative Officer of the Synod (or a designee) and the Secretary of the Synod (or a designee) shall review and verify that all floor nominees to serve as a member of the Concordia University System Board of Directors possess qualifications as stated in Bylaw 3.6.6.3.

(d) If the convention approves the receipt of such additional nominations, any delegate making such a nomination shall have secured prior written consent of the candidate being nominated and shall immediately submit it to the chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations along with required pertinent information concerning the nominee as detailed in Bylaw 3.12.3.6 (c).

(e) Whenever possible, chairman of the Committee for Convention Nominations shall have on hand at the convention a reserve list of nominees, approved by the committee, for use if required.

(f) Whenever possible, the Committee for Convention Nominations should be informed in advance if any new board or commission is likely to be established at a convention of the Synod, so that it may have a slate of candidates in readiness.

3.12.3.8

The Committee for Convention Nominations, in consultation with officials of the Synod, shall maintain a description of the desirable expertise required for each elected position and shall transmit this information together with suggestions for improvement of procedures to the next committee through the Secretary of the Synod.

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Committee on Elections

3.12.4

Prior to the convention of the Synod, the President shall appoint a Committee on Elections, which shall make the necessary arrangements for the elections, shall be responsible for the preparation and distribution of ballots, and shall supervise the elections and the tabulation of the votes.

(a) The President shall designate a chairman for the committee.

(b) The Secretary of the Synod shall provide the chairman with a current manual of suggested election procedures.

(c) The committee shall be empowered to 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.

(d) All ballots in each election shall be preserved by the chairman of the committee until the close of the convention and shall then be destroyed.

3.12.4.1

The names and district affiliation of the candidates in all elections—at least two for each position—shall be placed on the election ballot in alphabetical order. All names shall be listed without any distinctive mark, except where regional representation is a preference or requirement of the Synod.

3.12.4.2

The President shall determine and announce a period of time during the convention for the election of the members of all elective boards and commissions.

(a) After the election of the First Vice-President and the other vice-presidents in that order, the election by ballot of the Secretary shall next be conducted.

(b) The election by ballot of the members of the Board of Directors shall next follow. Each category (ordained, commissioned, and lay) shall be elected separately, the order of the elections to be rotated to allow each category to be the first elected at every third convention, as monitored by the Secretary of the Synod.

(c) The election by ballot of the members of all elective boards and commissions shall next follow.

(d) A majority of all votes cast shall be required for election to all elective offices and elective board positions. Candidates receiving a majority on the first ballot shall be declared elected.

(e) Except in the elections of the First Vice-President, regional vice-presidents, and regional board members, when a second or succeeding ballot is required for a majority, the candidate receiving the fewest votes and all candidates receiving less than 15 percent of the votes cast shall be dropped from the ballot, unless fewer than two candidates receive 15 percent or more of the votes cast, in which case the three highest candidates shall constitute the ballot.

(f) The tally of the votes cast for each candidate shall be announced after each ballot in all elections.

(g) A person elected to an office requiring a background check shall not assume office until an appropriate background check has been completed. If a person is elected and subsequently fails to pass a required background check, the office will be deemed vacant and will be filled according to Bylaw 3.2.5.

3.12.4.3

The Committee on Elections shall report the official results of each election to the convention and shall file a written report of the tabulation of votes of each election, certified by the chairman and at least one other member of the committee, with the convention chairman and the Secretary of the Synod.

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