Governance — 2019-2023

Elections

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod


The elections of the President and Vice-Presidents, as well as Secretary and elected members of the boards and commissions of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, take place as described in Bylaws 3.12.2.1–8 and 3.12.4–3.12.4.3.

For information on preceding nomination processes, see webpages for LCMS President and Vice-President nominations and LCMS Secretary, Board, and Commission nominations.

Information on the candidates for each of the following positions is published in the Biographical Synopses and Statements of Nominees, which is published at the same time as the Convention Workbook, no later than 12 weeks prior to the opening of the convention (Bylaw 3.1.8 [b]). The LCMS Reporter also publishes candidates’ responses to a questionnaire and their personal statements. (Bylaw 3.12.2.2)

 

 

President



Voter Registration

Each congregation or parish (i.e., the number of congregations regularly cared for by one pastor or pastor[s], see Bylaw 2.5.5) of the Synod is entitled to register one of its called and installed pastors and one of its lay members to vote, in advance of the convention and from a slate of five candidates determined by the prior nomination process, for President of the Synod. (Bylaw 3.12.2.3).

Presidential voter registration is governed by Bylaw 3.12.2.3 and takes place as described in detail in Step 4A in the Member Congregation’s Guide to Convention Participation.

 

Vote

Six weeks prior to the national convention, the Secretary of the Synod provides, through an impartial, online election contractor, the opportunity for two voting delegates from each congregation or multi-congregation parish, as determined according to Bylaw 3.12.2.3, to vote for one of the candidates for President.

The process of nomination for President and the means by which the slates of candidates are assembled is described on the President and Vice-Presidents Nominations page.

If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, a second or succeeding ballots are 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 only one candidate receives 15 percent or more of the votes cast, in which case the three highest candidates shall constitute the ballot, and another vote shall be taken in the same manner. (Bylaw 3.12.2.4)

Detailed information, including the dates of the vote and potential runoff elections, for the upcoming convention are available in Step 4A in the Member Congregation’s Guide to Convention Participation.

 

Results

Results of each electronic ballot will be known almost immediately and will be announced on lcms.org/convention/national.

Run-off elections take place if no one candidate receives a majority of the votes cast. Voters will be notified by email of a need for subsequent ballots and will continue to vote using the same participation information received by mail during the week prior to the first ballot.

When an election of a President has occurred by majority vote, and at least two weeks prior to the convention, the Secretary of the Synod will notify the candidates of the result of the ballot(s) and thereafter make the result known to the public. Generally this takes place within days following the close of the election.

 

 

Vice-Presidents


The election of the First Vice-President and regional vice-presidents of the Synod (who are ranked in the line of succession to the Presidency) takes place at the convention, as outlined in Bylaws 3.12.2.1–2, 6–7. Election is by the delegates of the member congregations assembled.

The candidates for First Vice-President are the 20 ordained ministers receiving the highest number of votes in the nominating process (Bylaw 3.12.2.1) and consenting to serve if elected. No opportunity is provided for floor nominations.

Prior to all other elections, other than that of the President, which takes place before the convention, the convention elects the First Vice-President from a slate of five candidates selected by the President-elect from among these 20 ordained ministers, with two of the five required to have been among the top five nominees (Bylaw 3.12.2.6).

The candidates for regional vice-president in each region are the five eligible ordained ministers within that region who receive the most nominating votes and consent to serve if elected. No opportunity is provided for floor nominations.

The election of the regional vice-presidents follows the election of the First Vice-President at the convention. (Bylaw 3.12.2.7 [c–f])

The process of nomination for these positions and the means by which the slates of candidates are assembled is described in further detail on the President and Vice-President Nominations page.

 

Secretary and Members of Boards and Commissions


The election of the Secretary of the Synod and of other elected members of Synod Boards and Commissions takes place at the convention, as outlined in Bylaws 3.12.4.1–2 and 3.12.2.8. Election is by the delegates of the member congregations assembled.

Candidates for these positions are selected in advance of the convention by the Committee for Convention Nominations (Bylaw 3.12.3) from among incumbents and new nominees submitted by agencies, officers, congregational and individual members of the Synod, and laypersons of congregations of the Synod. Opportunity is provided for floor nomination at the convention.

The process of nomination for these positions and the means by which the slates of candidates are assembled is described in detail on the Officer, Boards, and Commissions Nominations page.

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