Due to the upcoming General Conference Session (GCS) being both in-person and virtual, Seventh-day Adventist Church leaders are making sure every delegate for the upcoming meeting is comfortable using the online electronic voting system ElectionBuddy.
Over the course of the three days, Hensley Moorooven, undersecretary for the Adventist World Church, together with his colleagues from the Office of General Council, the General Conference Auditing Service, and the Information Technology Services, met with delegates from all 13 divisions, the 3 attached unions, and the General Conference during 13 virtual meetings aimed to train and answer questions regarding the electronic voting at the upcoming GCS.
Moorooven told delegates the meetings had two objectives. “We don’t want our delegates to first meet ElectionBuddy on Monday morning at GC Session,” said Moorooven. “We want you to be very familiar with it now.” The second reason, Moorooven mentioned was that those tasked with helping delegates with the ElectionBuddy technology during GC Session also have the opportunity to see and understand how the system works.
Since the COVID 19 pandemic, Adventist Church leaders have been tasked with finding a system that allows for online voting to be secure and to provide anonymity to the delegates.
“We wanted to ensure that we selected a voting platform that was secure, stable, easy to use, and it maintained our election integrity and the votes remained anonymous,” said Josue Pierre from the Office of General Council. “We looked and found ElectionBuddy maintained everything we were looking for. They had a wide base of customers. They served many non-profits and universities who successfully ran their own elections.”
On Monday, before GC Session, every delegate will receive an email with their own, private voting credentials that will allow them to log into ElectionBuddy each day. No one else will be able to submit a vote with that same login. The platform has audit trails,” says Dan Herzel of the General Conference Auditing Service . “We can verify after the fact that each voter is a valid voter and has voted only once.”
That being said, the system will still remain anonymous. “The system is always set at the default of anonymous voting,” said Pierre. “No one can see how you voted. Not your fellow delegates, not administrators. None of us are able to determine how a voter has voted on a specific issue.”