Delegates voted on Sunday to not use electronic voting at the General Conference (GC) session after repeated tests of the system failed to yield accurate results.
General Conference president Ted N.C. Wilson took to the stage after lunch on Sunday to lead delegates in a final test of the e-vote system.
“I would encourage everyone who has this device to use it,” he said.
Delegates were asked to stand and hold up their voting devices for a physical count. Then they were asked to stand and press “1” or “2” on their devices for an electronic count.
Wilson said the variance in the count was significantly larger than the 51 votes—or 2 percent of all delegates—that the General Conference’s Steering Committee had agreed earlier in the day would be acceptable.
A vote was called for using voting cards to abandon the e-vote system. The motion passed.
GC officers gave assurances that a secret vote via a paper ballot system would be used on key issues, including the Wednesday discussion of whether divisions will be allowed to authorize ordination for women in their territories.
“We will not ask you to vote on sensitive items by asking you to hold up your card,” Wilson said.
He also told delegates that each of their votes was a “sacred responsibility.”
“You are to vote on your own conscience between you and God,” he said.