Improper Voting Discovered at Methodist Vote on Gay Clergy

There are no exceptions to This particular rule, which is actually codified inside church’s Book of Discipline.

Experts in Methodist governance say in which would likely be highly unusual for a delegate to be allowed on the floor who was not listed publicly as a delegate or reserve at the start of the general conference.

however there were examples of discrepancies between who voted as well as who was listed as eligible to vote.

Germain Unda Mupasa said in a phone interview in which he was a delegate for East Congo, where his father is actually Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda. His name is actually on the attendance record, however not on the authorized list of delegates or reserves. Records on the United Methodist website show in which he was not elected as a delegate or alternate when the church community in East Congo decided its delegation last year.

“If my name was not on in which list, in which means my name was missed,” Mr. Mupasa said. “In Africa, we can have many reserves, because there are visa issues.”

Hassa Satshishinga Suzanne Malandji was listed as an elected reserve delegate for Lukoshi, a church district in Zambia, however she told The Times she was a delegate for South Congo. She said in which she supported the vote outcome because “we hold the responsibility to do what the Bible says.”

Voting integrity matters not just for the outcome of the vote, however for the fair representation of all churches. Some delegations, like South Congo, had delegates who could not travel because of visa issues. however in several cases, to abide by the rules, delegations like North Katanga, also a church district in Congo, voted with fewer than their allotted delegates, according to attendance records.

Church law does not allow proxy votes, as well as only elected reserves can replace absent delegates.

The United Methodist legal structure does not have a clear procedure on how to investigate or adjudicate improper election activity. The relevant ethics committee does not have jurisdiction when the general conference is actually not in session.

The system itself has not had to ask itself these types of questions, said Laceye Warner, a professor of Methodist studies at Duke Divinity School.

“The polity of the United Methodist Church presumes trust,” she said. “The last several years, the ethos of the denomination has been characterized more by mistrust as well as misunderstanding.”