New Hybrid Voting Policy

We have two upcoming FUUSN meetings, one on June 2, 2024 to vote on calling Rev. Debra and Rev. Joel jointly as our new co-ministers, and the annual meeting on June 9, 2024.  Both will be hybrid; this message explains how voting will work.

Our bylaws require three things for calling a minister: (i) a written ballot, (ii) cast by a member, (iii) who is present at the meeting – no proxy voting or advance voting is permitted. Massachusetts law has some specific requirements as to what constitutes “written” for electronic communications. We have tried to come up with a process that is as simple as possible while still meeting these requirements.

Here’s the short version:
  • If you attend in person, voting will be the same as it has been – by show of hands for most issues, or by paper ballot if needed.  All are welcome to participate in the discussion, but only members can vote.
  • If you attend via Zoom, voting will be by a show of hands for most issues. Where a written ballot is needed, you will vote by responding to an email that you will receive when the vote is called. Again, all are welcome to participate in the discussion, but only members can vote.
Here’s what will look different:
  • Everyone will check in to the meeting, whether in person or on zoom. If there is to be a written ballot, members attending in person will be given a paper ballot and members on Zoom will have their email address collected.
  • For a written ballot, in-person attendees will use their paper ballot, but remote attendees will receive an email from a dedicated FUUSN address (something like The email will give the wording of the vote, and remote attendees will vote by replying to the email with the word “yes” or “no.” Each member attending remotely will get their own email, and only the member to whom it is addressed can vote by replying to that email.
A few things for remote attendees to plan for now:
  • If you share an email address with someone else, and you are both members and want to vote, then you will need to give the Zoom attendants two different email addresses when you check inEach email address will only be able to vote once.
  • You will be watching the meeting on Zoom, but you will also need to be able to access your email to vote as a written ballot. This means that you will need to have a device (phone, computer, etc.) with you that you can receive and reply to email on. If you are also using the same device to view the Zoom meeting, you will have to switch to another window to read and reply to the email, then come back to the Zoom meeting.  If you are not using the same device to view the Zoom meeting, you will need to be sure that you have both devices with you (one for Zoom and one for email).
  • If you believe you will not be able to vote in this manner, please contact one of us, and we will work with you to try to come up with an alternative method of voting that still satisfies the three requirements set forth above.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Here’s a cute puppy picture as your reward!

Two sleeping puppies wrapped in a white fluffy towel.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of us with any questions:

Susan Bartlett, Ops Council
Gordon Moriarty, Bylaws Committee
Barbara Schmitt, Moderator