Eastern PA Annual Conference calls for special session to re-elect GC2016 delegation


The Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference (EPAC) announced today an “adjourned session” of the annual conference for the purpose of electing their delegation to the 2016 General Conference. While the conference conducted elections at their May 2015 meeting, conference secretary Lloyd Speer announced that voting discrepancies, due in part to the electronic voting system, had invalidated the election and that a new one would have to be held.

In a statement released on the EPAC website, Speer wrote:

The voting process for 2016 General Conference delegates at the 2015 Annual Conference ran into problems with wifi connectivity, causing several ballots to be retaken. Subsequent analysis of the voting reports by the conference showed discrepancies with the presentations of ballot results displayed during the voting process. These discrepancies involved the total number of voters listed on the subsequent reports not matching those displayed, and discrepancies in the total number of votes cast in each ballot.  Upon further examination it was discovered that these discrepancies were caused by cross-voting (clergy voting for laity, and laity voting for clergy).  Under voting and over voting were also discovered which should not have been permitted.  There is also a possibility that issues with wifi connectivity may not have allowed all votes cast to be recorded.

Thus, while the delegation that was chosen may represent the intent of the body despite the discrepancies, the election results cannot be certified because of the discrepancies.  Since the Book of Discipline requires that the election of General Conference delegates be “fair and open” (paragraph 13.2), we will need to hold a new election at the 2015 Adjourned Session.

Speer announced that the new election will be held on November 14, 2015 at the Macungie campus of Bethany UMC. The statement also included a question and answer document, which can be downloaded by clicking here.

UMReporter Staff

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