Watch Annual Conference LIVE May 29-June 1
- Be a virtual guest and view the soaring worship and dedicated work of this Oklahoma gathering as it unfolds in Oklahoma City at St. Luke's and Oklahoma City University.
- Prepare and donate emergency supplies to Oklahoma VIM's annual "Kit Drive" during the conference, for worldwide use. Find kit assembly instructions on the UMCOR website.
- Give to the Annual Conference Offering, which will support ministry at Cookson Hills Center (Oklahoma), Bolivia, and Liberia.
- Enter your best shot of an Oklahoma bridge in the photo contest based on the Annual Conference theme: "The Plan: a Bridge to the Future."
Delegate elections take place Monday (Last of a series)
By Joseph Harris, Annual Conference Secretary
All voting is scheduled for Monday, May 30, to elect Oklahoma Conference’s delegates to the 2012 General/Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church.
At the OCU Freede Center, the first ballot vote will take place early in the afternoon business session, which opens at 2 p.m. After the supper break, balloting will resume, at 6:30 p.m.
The evening business session is solely dedicated to the elections.
Digital voting machines will be used, providing almost instant results. Handheld voting devices were used at the 2007 Annual Conference. The newer, upgraded machines use small cards, similar to the memory cards used in digital cameras.
For General Conference, nine clergy and nine lay delegates will be elected. An additional nine clergy and nine laity will be chosen to complete the Jurisdictional Conference delegation. Also, four clergy and four lay alternates will be elected. The full delegation will total 44 people.
Voting cards and machines:
Each Annual Conference delegate will receive a voting card at registration. Each person is responsible for securing his/her card.
All voting machines will be distributed within the Freede Center arena and will remain there. One voting machine will be shared by two voters: one clergyperson and one layperson.
The district superintendents and district tellers will respond to any equipment problems, including requests to replace lost cards.
Voting cards are collected on Wednesday.
Practice online now or hands-on May 30:
An instructional video, titled "Voting Device Demo," is available now at www.OurChurchVideos.com/okumc. All Annual Conference delegates are encouraged to view it before attending the conference.
At Annual Conference, voluntary voting practice will be offered between noon and 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 30, in the Freede Center.
Voters will be seated by districts. A seating chart is posted online; follow the link titled "Information for Annual Conference" on the homepage: www.okumc.org.
Clergy and laity will sit in pairs, to share voting machines. Following the instructions of the Annual Conference secretary and the bishop, voters will alternate using the machines.
Lay voters choose the lay delegates, and clergy voters choose the clergy representatives. Each nominee will be assigned a three-digit number.
Voting will be on a slate basis, as in past years. (On the first ballot, for example, laity will vote for nine lay nominees, and clergy will vote for nine clergy names.)
You must vote correctly on each full slate or your entire ballot will be invalid for that round. (On the first ballot, for example, the voter must enter nine eligible three-digit numbers. If you enter only eight numbers, or an ineligible number, such action will invalidate your entire ballot.)
This list will contain the names of those nominees who receive five or more votes—up to 60 clergy and up to 60 laity. This handout will be a useful reference for subsequent balloting.
Materials about write-in lay nominees will not be distributed unless authorized by Craig Stinson.
Tellers and district superintendents have been trained and are prepared to assist with your questions about any voting issues that may occur.
A church’s Alternate Annual Conference Delegate must get authorization and a separate voting card to be activated as a voter. The alternate must get authorization from that district’s superintendent and then go to the registration desk to get the card.
Voting on other matters:
The elections are important but do not comprise all the action of the Annual Conference. The digital voting equipment also will be useful throughout the meeting to enhance the efficiency of decision-making on other business.
Prior to the meeting, Annual Conference delegates will receive mailed copies of the Pre-Conference Workbook, containing reports of ministry by the Oklahoma Conference’s committees, agencies, institutions, and other related entities. The resource also will be online.
Annual Conference participants are encouraged to review all advance materials, to prepare fully in mind as well as heart, for this major yearly gathering of Oklahoma United Methodists.