How To Register to Vote
Nominations and Elections
LCMS National Convention • July 20-25, 2019 • Tampa, Florida
Presidential Election Voter Registration
At the 2016 convention, Bylaws 22.214.171.124–4 were amended to change how the Synod presidential voter list is formed. Previously, it had been composed of the list of district convention delegates; going forward, it will be assembled by direct communication of the Office of the Secretary with congregations or multi-congregation parishes, each of which will have the opportunity to designate a lay and (if not vacant) pastoral voter.
The Secretary of the Synod shall compile and maintain the voters list for the election of the President of the Synod. This list and any of its parts shall not be disseminated.
This voters list shall include:
1) The pastor of each member congregation or multi-congregation parish
2) A layperson from the congregation or parish
The congregation will be responsible to present to the Secretary of the Synod 90 days prior to the election a proper credentials form provided by the Secretary, signed by two of the congregation’s officers. If a congregation or parish has more than one pastor eligible to vote, the congregation shall designate on the credentials form which pastor will cast a vote on behalf of the congregation.
If one or both delegates are unavailable, congregations shall be provided opportunity to select substitute voters up to a deadline designated by the Secretary.
For the 2019 election, presidential election voter registrations will be accepted for the period beginning Oct. 25, 2018, through March 24, 2019. (March 24, 2019, is the 90-day prior deadline referred to in Bylaw 126.96.36.199.)
Voters List Maintenance Forms
During the time that the Presidential Election Voters List is created (Oct. 25, 2018, to March 24, 2019) until the list is used (four weeks prior to the Synod convention), maintaining the accuracy and reliability of the list will be extremely important. The deadline set for the voter registration changes is June 15, 2017 (seven days before the election).
Substitute Voter Form — Because substitute voters may be selected by congregations when voters are no longer available, a Substitute Voter Form is being provided to report all official substitutions.
The submission of a printed copy of the form that provides all requested information, including the signatures of two congregation officers, must be mailed to the LCMS Office of the Secretary at the address provided at the bottom of the form for all such substitutions.
Voter Update Form — Because voters’ email, mailing, and residential addresses can change in a year’s time, a Voter Update Form is being provided to facilitate such contact information changes.
A printed copy of this form that provides the changed information and includes the voter’s signature must be mailed to the Synod’s Rosters Statistics & Research Department at the address provided at the bottom of the form for all such changes.
Presidential Election Voter Information
When it is nearly time for the voters to cast their votes for the LCMS President, a special postcard will be sent to all voters via U.S. mail on or about June 7, 2019, to alert them to an envelope that will be sent from Election-America on or about June 10, 2019, via U.S. mail.
Four weeks prior (June 22) to the national convention, the Secretary of the Synod shall provide, via a secure and verifiable method, opportunity for two voting delegates from each congregation as determined according to Bylaw 188.8.131.52 to vote for one of the candidates for President.
It is important to understand that the 2016 convention amended Bylaws 184.108.40.206–4 to change how the Synod presidential voter list is formed. Previously, it had been composed of the list of district convention delegates; going forward, it will be assembled by direct communication of the Office of the Secretary with congregations or multi-congregation parishes, each of which will have the opportunity to designate a lay and (if not vacant) pastoral voter.
Therefore, the President voting delegate, who will vote for President, may or may not be the same individual:
Who attended your district’s convention; or
Who was selected by the electoral circuit to be the delegate to the national LCMS 2019 Convention
If no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, another vote will take place in the same manner and at least two weeks (June 29) prior to convention.