BRATTLEBORO -- Six area Baha’is from Brattleboro and West Dummerston, attended their District Convention on Oct. 6. The convention was held at the Upper Valley Senior Center in Lebanon, N.H. A total of 67 people from Vermont and Western New Hampshire attended. Their purpose was to elect a delegate to the National Baha’i Convention, in April. At the National Convention, held in Wilmette, Ill., delegates from all over the country will elect the members of the National Spiritual Assembly, which is the nine-member governing body of the national Baha’i community.
In Baha’i elections, there is no electioneering and there are no nominations. Instead, any Baha’i in good standing who is 21 or older can be elected. After prayer and meditation, each member writes the name, in secret, of the person he or she feels is best qualified to serve. Tellers collect the ballots and count the votes. Whoever gets the highest number of votes is elected.
If there is a tie between two people, and one of them is a member of a minority group, that person is elected. The purposes of this are to encourage minority participation and to maximize diversity.
The person who was elected to represent the members of this District is Paul Smith of Colchester.
The Baha’i Faith was founded in Iran in the middle of the 19th century. Baha’is believe that Baha’u’llah, the Prophet-Founder, is the Promised One foretold by all religions. His Teachings revolve around the theme of unity: Unity of God, unity religion and unity of humanity. The social teachings of the Faith include an Administrative Order, which is a system of governance, based on spiritual principles, that reflect the growing maturity of societal institutions. The Baha’i electoral process is an integral part of this system.
For more information about the Baha’i Faith, visit the national website, www.bahai.us, or call 802-254-2115.