Steve Hinkle's picture

UMC Under Investigation for Voter Irregularities

The United Methodist Church recently voted to tighten restrictions on LGBTQ rights within the church. While many local churches are ignoring the results of the vote, but it still stands that the UMC now has restrictions for LGBTQ clergy and congregations. However, recently it has been discovered that some ineligible delegates obtained voting credentials, according to Newsweek.

Because of that, the UMC is now investigating voting Irregularities within the church. During the conference when the votes were cast there was (ostensibly) extra security to ensure that only delegates and their reserves could access the voting area. However, there were at least four unauthorized people who voted. It definitely seems like whenever voter fraud occurs it favors a certain side...

Gary W. Graves, the secretary of the General Conference said that only a small amount of ineligible voters voted and that the UMC takes the "integrity of the legislative process very seriously."

According to the NewYorkTimes, the irregularities raised questions within the church about the process that led to the decision which divided members within the church, with some people wishing to break off and create their own churches that are gay friendly. I'm not a religious man, but it has been my understanding that the Methodist has been one of the more progressive denominations so it's not surprising that some rejected the decision.

The number of ineligible voters who voted isn't great enough to reverse the decision but it could affect Petition 90066, which was passed 402-400. The Petition would allow churches to leave the denomination but keep church property.

Sadly the number of ineligible voters won't be enough to reverse the decision, but it's nice to know that they got caught which will hopefully create a more careful environment in terms of voting. I do wonder what will become of the Methodist church, though. 


h/t: Newsweek, New York Times