I’ve been reading and re-reading Canon 4 to get my head into the election procedure – its the first time I’ve been part of an Episcopal Election, and I find the whole thing fascinating and a little exciting. Its also an immense priviledge to be part of the process, and to be partly responsible for choosing the person to lead this diocese for the next decade or so. Please do continue to pray for the candidates, and for us electors as we pray and prepare to meet this weekend.
On Saturday, the day of the election itself, we will gather in the cathedral, be duly ticked off on the roll of voters, there will be opportunity for discussion (or politiking and flagwaving …). At some point the Convenor (the Primus) will call for a vote – to be done in houses (clergy and laity) – a majority in each house can “win” the election on the first vote – the result will be declared by the Convenor. If no clear majority in both houses, there may be further discussion, and a 2nd vote can be called by the convenor. For the first 2 votes, we are voting for one candidate to win Abstentions do not count, but we do have the right to mark our ballot paper “None” if we feel that none of the candidates are called.
If there is still no clear majority in both houses, a third vote will take place without further discussion. On the third vote, the candidates are placed in order of preference. if there is no “first preference” majority, the candidate with the least “first preference” votes will be eliminated, and those votes redistributed according to their 2nd preference. If there is still no clear majority, synod will adjurn for 30-90 mins, and then reconvene for another vote, using the same system as the third. If there is still no majority in both houses, the election will be declared void.
A void election means the process begins again – a new Mandate is issued by the primus within 7 days, and a new preparatory comittee appointed, to look at nominations and invite potential candidates for interview.