Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What rules govern who may be voting members at the Synod Assembly?
A: Sections 7.21 to 7.34 of the Synod Constitution provides a somewhat complex formula for who may be voting members to the Assembly, both for laypersons and leaders on the roster of the Synod.
Q: When are the voting members of the Synod Assembly qualified?
A: The voting members of the Synod Assembly are qualified at the time of registration at the check-in desk at the Synod Assembly. Mailing in the registration form or submitting it online before to the Assembly does not constitute qualification for voting membership. Those persons who have registered at the check-in desk, and meet the requirements and formula of the Synod Constitution will be qualified as voting members of the Assembly.
Q: What rules govern laypersons to qualify as voting members of the Synod Assembly?
A: The following qualification rules apply to laypersons:
1. Laypersons must comprise at least 60% of the voting members of the Assembly (S7.21).
2. Laypersons must be elected by a congregation of the Synod (S7.24.02) and be a voting member of a congregation of the Synod (S7.25).
3. The number of laypersons to be elected by a congregation is dependent upon the number of baptized members of that congregation (S7.21c and S7.21.A97).
4. Laypersons who are associates in ministry, deaconesses of the ELCA and diaconal ministers, under call and on the roster of the Synod, are voting members of the Assembly as a matter of right and are in addition to the members elected by the congregation identified in #3 above (S7.21b).
5. Laypersons who are Synod council members are voting members of the Assembly as a matter of right and are in addition to the members elected by the congregation identified in #3 above (S7.27).
6. While not mandatory, the lay representation from congregations should be 50% male and 50% female (S7.21c).
Q: What rules govern leaders on the roster of the Synod to qualify as voting members of the Synod Assembly?
A: The following qualification rules apply to leaders on the roster of the Synod:
1. Rostered leaders, either under call or retired, must comprise no more than 40% of the voting members of the Assembly (S7.21).
2. All rostered ministers under call and who have registered are voting members of the Assembly as a matter of right (S7.21.a).
3. Rostered leaders who are retired may be granted voting privileges so long as all rostered leaders, both under call and retired, do not comprise more than 40% of the voting members of the Assembly (S7.21 and S7.22).
Q: If 60% of the voting members are not laypersons at the time of registration, can a leader on the roster of the Synod and under call be denied the right to be a voting member to meet the 60/40 ratio requirement?
A: No. Rostered leaders under call are voting members as a matter of right (S7.21.a). It is imperative that congregations elect sufficient laypersons to meet the 60% requirement.
Q: How will retired and on leave clergy on the roster of the Synod be granted voting privileges?
• If you are a retired or on leave from call rostered leader currently serving as an interim or stated supply in one of the Southern Ohio Synod congregations, you are entitled to voice and vote at the Assembly consistent with *C9.07 of the Model Constitution for Congregations. You should register for the Assembly as a clergy voting member.
• If you are retired or on leave and are not serving as an interim or stated supply in a Southern Ohio Synod congregation or are only supplying on Sunday through Sr. Sally Burk, then you need to petition the Bishop IN WRITING requesting the privilege of vote at this Assembly. This can be done by either regular mail or email (BishopSDillahunt@southernohiosynod.org). The granting of voting privileges will then be based upon satisfying the 60%/40% makeup of voting members to the assembly. Please register for assembly as a non-voting member by May 21, 2014. Your request to vote will not be considered until you are registered. Do not send payment with your registration, whether registering online or on paper, until you know your voting status. If you are granted voting privileges, your voting status will be changed and you will be responsible for the ‘Voting Member’ registration fee. If not, you will be responsible for the ‘Non-voting Member’ registration fee.
Q: What are the rules governing proxy and absentee voting?
A: Proxy and absentee voting are not permitted (S7.31). No one may vote for someone else by any means including the electronic voting device or a paper ballot. Voting members must personally turn in their electronic voting device when they leave the Assembly. Anyone found to be voting for another, as well as the person they are acting as proxy for, will lose their voting privileges and be ejected from the Assembly.
None at this time.