Process to Elect the 11th Bishop of Indianapolis
Following the Eucharist on Friday, 28 October 2016, all lay delegates from our forty-eight parishes and all active and retired clergy canonically resident in the Diocese of Indianapolis will cast their vote to elect the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis.
What do I need to do to vote in the Election?
If you are a “delegate” to Diocesan Convention and not an “alternate” then you are able to cast a vote for the next bishop of the diocese. If you are an active clergyperson or a retired clergyperson canonically resident in the Diocese of Indianapolis, then you are eligible to vote for the next bishop of the diocese. All individuals voting must be credentialed prior to the election process beginning on Friday.
How do I get credentialed?
On Friday morning beginning at 8am, you will need to go to the Sheraton to vote for diocesan positions prior to Eucharist at 9am. Once you are finished voting for diocesan positions (not including the Bishop Election), please proceed to Christ Church Cathedral for credentialing. In the Parish Hall downstairs, there will be three tellers who will validate your name badge which permits you to vote in the election and they will issue you your voting device. Each voting device is unique by serial number and is tied to your name and voting order (clergy vs. laity). This will continue from 8-8:45am and begin again following the Eucharist until 11:00am.
What if I need to leave the Cathedral prior to the beginning of voting?
The entire cathedral space will be deemed “voting space” for the purposes of movement and use of the facilities by those eligible to vote in the election. Should a need arise to leave the cathedral, you will need to return your voting device to the Tellers and they will inactivate your voting record until you return to the cathedral and are re-credentialed by a Teller.
There will be an emergency contact number that can be utilized to relay a message to a voting delegate during the Election.
How will the ballots work?
At 11:00am ET, the Standing Committee with Bishop Waynick as the Presiding Officer of the Election, will convene those electors gathered in the nave of Christ Church Cathedral to begin the election for the 11th Bishop. We will have a short training on voting with the devices to ensure votes are being registered by delegates and replace any faulty devices.
As soon as possible after 11am, we will hold a period of two minutes silence and then the ballot will appear on the screen. Electors will have a 5 minute window to cast their ballot using the voting device that is tied to their voting order by serial number. It is important to remember that you can change your vote as many times as you would like during that 5 minute window, but when the timer (displayed on the screen in the nave) runs out, it will register your vote as the last button pressed. Using this process helps to ensure that no voting records by individual will be compiled. This is to ensure anonymity in the process.
When do we know results of each ballot?
After the 5 minute voting window has elapsed, the Tellers of the Election will pull the tabulated results and relay them to the five candidate shepherds. The shepherds will then call each candidate and discuss with them the results and whether she/he chooses to continue on in the process. There is up to 15 minutes allowed for this personal discernment. Once we have responses from all candidates (approximately 10 minutes before the hour), we will then relay the results to the gathered household in the nave as well as report the results to those gathered at the Sheraton hotel and post them to the diocesan website and social media outlets. With the exception of the first ballot, a period of discernment amongst the household will last for fifteen minutes for those voting in the election. After the first ballot, lunch will be served in the nave and undercroft at Christ Church Cathedral. Also, water will be available throughout the day.
How long will it take to elect a Bishop?
Each round of balloting will take approximately 45-50 minutes if the maximum discernment time is used. Since this process is a sacred process, we are called to listen to the stirrings of the Holy Spirit throughout the day and to embrace the process and allow it to move us, rather than us try to control it. Because each diocese is different, we can not say it will occur in a certain period of time. Recent elections in other dioceses have ranged from two ballots on a single day to more than a day of voting.
What are our rules for election?
To be elected the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis, a candidate must receive 50% plus one vote in each order (laity and clergy) to be elected bishop. We will start with five candidates on the ballot. If a candidate receives less than 10% of the vote in both orders on the ballot, he or she will automatically be removed from subsequent ballots. A candidate receiving 51% of the vote in one order and only one vote in the other would be permitted to continue to the next ballot. Additionally, they would not be eliminated from consideration. However, they would not be elected bishop at that point. The entire household would re-vote among the remaining candidates on the next ballot because the “50% plus one” threshold in both orders must be achieved on the same ballot.
What about the ban on phones during the Election?
This question has received a significant amount of interest at the pre-convention deanery meetings. Simply put, there will be no enforceable ban on phones/tablets/etc during the election process.
To successfully do this would require the logging and checking in of numerous devices prior to the election beginning. Neither the Transition Committee nor Christ Church Cathedral wants to assume the liability of holding these devices during the election. We are asking the household to consider the holy process we will be undertaking that day as we elect the next bishop of this diocese.
We ask that all gathered and voting in the election to exercise restraint and responsible use of technology during this sacred event in the life of the Church. If you or your delegation want to post a comment or picture as the election is beginning or during the waiting for results time (when there will be music/meditation/discernment occurring), we just ask that you use appropriate discretion.
Technology has changed and continues to change at a rapid pace. Part of the integration of technology and social media into the life of church, calls us all to pay attention to those times when it is appropriate and those times when the mystery and sacredness of an event calls for a restrained presence and use of social media until its completion.
Since you will have your phones with you, in the event of an emergency you would be able to be immediately notified and proceed accordingly.
This Q&A has been prepared by the Subcommittee on Elections of the Transition Committee.
The election process and phone policy are available in pdf form: