Western Jurisdiction Bishop’s Election

Clergy and church leaders have described the recent Western Jurisdiction’s bishop election using various statements:

o It was a landslide
o Garnered every vote
o There was overwhelming support
o Received more votes than any other jurisdictional candidate

Although some of the statements are ‘technically’ true, they do not accurately reflect the election as it unfolded.

Originally there were 9 nominees for the Western Jurisdiction bishop opening. As the balloting progressed many candidates received fewer and fewer votes and dropped out.

Only three candidates remained starting with the 13th ballot.

The votes received by each candidate remained essentially unchanged on the 14th, 15th, and 16th ballots. At this point in the voting it appeared no candidate would be able to garner a sufficient number of delegate votes to complete the election.

After a 21 minute break in the voting process, two of the candidates withdrew their names. When the final vote was taken, 88 delegates voted for the one remaining candidate, Karen Oliveto, and 12 delegates abstained from voting.

Was it a landslide? Was there overwhelming support? The definition of landslide: an election in which the winner gets a much greater number of votes than the loser(s). In this instance there was only one candidate on the ballot.

Garnered every vote? Technically this is true because every vote cast went to her. Unfortunately, 12% of the voters abstained.

Received a larger percentage of votes than any other jurisdictional bishop candidate: As a point of reference, the bishops elected in the four other jurisdictions received sufficient votes even though multiple candidates were on the ballot.

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