Following Candidating Week (April 24-May 1), members of First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee will have the opportunity on May 1 to vote to call the Candidate to be the new Senior Minister. Voting will take place that day in the Common Room, with the Board of Trustees overseeing the process. Your vote is essential to calling the Candidate. First Church bylaws require a congregational vote of 85% to call a candidate, while the UUA recommends a vote of at least 90%. Candidates often require a percentage even greater than that, to ensure a good working relationship with a congregation.
The list of eligible voting members will be posted in the main hallway of the church beginning April 10, and will remain available through May 1. If you have questions about your eligibility, please contact Membership Development Coordinator Cheri Taylor at cheri.taylor[at]uumilwaukee[dot]org.
Voting Day – Sunday, May 1
On voting day, the polls will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Following each service (10:15 to 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.), there will be a “Conversations About the Call” meeting in the sanctuary to convey specifics of the voting procedure, and provide members the opportunity to discuss matters relevant to the calling of the senior minister. Members are highly encouraged to be present for the May 1 service, and vote in-person that day. There are circumstances, however, that may make this impossible. For those situations, voting by absentee ballot is available.
Childcare will be available for 45 minutes after each service (10:15-11:00 a.m. and 12:15-1:00 p.m.) on May 1 so that parents have time to attend the “Conversations About the Call” meetings after each service and to vote. Parents should sign up for childcare at the Member Services Table during Coffee Hour on Sundays, call the church office or fill out the form online.
The Board urges you, if at all possible, to hear the Candidate preach on April 24 or May 1 and attend one of the Meet & Greets during Candidating Week before voting!
1) Request a Ballot
Absentee ballots must be requested by filling out a ballot request form, which will be available starting April 10. Absentee ballot request forms and absentee ballot packets will be available during Coffee Hour on April 10 and 17, and from the office during regular office hours (Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.). The absentee ballot request can be obtained here or received via email or mail by contacting Tracy Smith or Mary Behler. Each person must request his or her own absentee ballot by filling out and signing the request form.
Before voting by absentee ballot, members are strongly encouraged to listen to the sermon podcast that will be available a day or two after the April 24 service.
2) Receive a Ballot
Absentee ballot packets will be available starting April 10. To receive an absentee ballot packet, members can present their signed request form: at the church office during office hours listed above, by mail, or to the designated Board of Trustees member at the Member Services Table during Coffee Hours on April 17. Absentee ballots will not be available electronically.
3) To Vote Using the Absentee Ballot
Follow the instructions you will find in your absentee ballot packet. Absentee ballots must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 29. Absentee ballots may be returned to the church office in person (Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.), by mail, or to the designated Board of Trustees member at the Member Services Table during Coffee Hours on April 24.
Ballots will be counted after the voting closes. The results will be available on the website and through email notification as soon as possible after the senior minister candidate is properly notified and accepts or declines the call.