For the umpteenth time, the Executive Committee had a motion referral that asked for an examination and approval of a form of remote voting for the SBC Annual Meeting.
Yawn, here we go again.
You have to register and be approved as a messenger, receive your ballots to be optically scanned (a technology at least as old as I am), get your physical self into the convention hall at the time a vote is taken, cast your paper ballot and await the results. No phone votes. No votes from the hallways. No proxy votes. No remote votes from associational offices.
You spend the money to get to the SBCAM and that’s the only way you get to vote. Gripe all you want. it’s your Southern Baptist birthright, but you ain’t getting a vote counted unless you get your lazy, and if a pastor, likely obese self to the convention hall.
So, last year one Nate Magloughlin from Texas made a motion asking the Executive Committee to “explore a way to enable IMB and NAMB missionaries
who live outside of the USA to vote via proxy at SBC annual meetings…”
The EC explored. They declined. Here’s what was reported out in the SBC 2022 Book of Reports:
The SBC Executive Committee reports that after significant review it declines to recommend the opportunity for remote participation in the
annual meeting for the following reasons:
• there being no known model for web-based constituent participation in any similarly sized, deliberative body, nor even in any state Baptist convention, it would be an inappropriate prioritization to divert missions’ offerings to fund and undertake the study and implementation of such technology as it would likely be substantial;
• the dependability of technology is susceptible to interruption or failure which could significantly and negatively impact the meeting, its actions, the trust of the Convention’s constituents, and the relationships of the parties involved and affected;
• the simplicity of conducting business at a single site is preferable to the complexity of doing so via innumerable off-site computer configurations;
• the Convention has a continuing interest in positively affecting various regions of America with as great a physical presence of Southern Baptists as possible during the Convention’s annual meetings and ancillary events such as Crossover;
• the present “public” method of casting ballots involves some level of “in-person” and “eye-witness” assurance that ballots have been received and cast only by qualified messengers, and is therefore preferable to any other system that would permit an individual to receive and/or cast a ballot privately and electronically from a remote location without accountability;
• ministry and service opportunities and resources are now well-conveyed by high exhibitor participation, which would decline if attendance were to become less concentrated; and
• fostering and strengthening relationships with and between various affinity groups that schedule their meetings to coincide with the Convention’s annual meeting is best accomplished by encouraging the physical presence of messengers.
The executive summary of the EC’s reasons are: no one does it this way, certainly no organization with the size of the SBCAM. It would be expensive even if it could be done. One site is simple to administer. Multiple voting sites would be complex, actually I would add impossible. It’s good to get folks to actually attend the annual meeting. You can witness the votes under the present system. If voting was remote and electronic, no one would see the votes and, let’s get honest, Southern Baptists would happily cheat to get their guy in. Finally, it’s great to have all these affinity group confabs in conjunction with the annual meeting.
The EC didn’t mention last fall’s fiasco of the zoom meetings and voting. Not pretty. Multiply that by thousands.
Quit yer whining. Scrape up the money and get to Anaheim.
The only way you can vote for the formidable, affable, and erudite Bart Barber is to scrape up the money and go.
I’m not scraping up the funds; thus, I get no vote, just a platform for an opinion. Here it is.
Remote voting: RIP
For the first time in years, I may be doing something profitable during the convention – volunteering at a VBS.