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ELCA Conducts Instant, Electronic Elections


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) was holding their 2013 Churchwide Assembly and was searching for an electronic voting solution that also had a microphone queuing and speaker identification system. They were referred to Lumi by a fellow faith-based organization that had used Lumi’s election services for many years. The ELCA needed to conduct over 80 motion votes and seven elections with approximately 1,000 voting members, as well as identify voting members who were for or against specific motions, and allow them to voice their opinions.


Lumi provided 1,000 voting handsets and its Election software which allowed the voting members to vote from their seats. For the seven elections, they conducted an initial nomination process via Scantron ballots, as all 1,000 voting members were eligible for election. Then the Lumi interactive producer on-site entered the top five candidates into the electronic system, and the voting members entered their vote into their handset. The top three advanced to the next round, and then the top two, until there was a winner who received over fifty percent of the vote. When the motion votes took place, if discussion was allowed on the motion, voting members could join a queue to speak by walking up to the nearest microphone stand, inserting their smartcard (which uniquely identifies them) into an IML Connector and selecting which position they would like to speak on behalf of – ‘for’ or ‘against’ the motion. The chairman could then view the list of those wishing to speak from each standpoint on his monitor and call out who he would like to hear from next. Lumi worked with the ELCA to customize its queuing system to meet their needs and display the name of the voting member speaking on the video screen in almost real time.


Overall, the ELCA was pleased with how Lumi’s solutions preformed throughout the assembly. The electronic voting was very reliable and effective. And when coupled with the way the IML Connectors ran the speaker queue at the microphone stands (which greatly helping to decrease the amount of time needed to log someone into the queue) the speed of the voting and speaking process was improved. Eliminating much of the waiting time for voting members to enter the queue and speak was central to the event running smoothly and Lumi’s technology succeeded in making it happen.