Originally billed as a way to increase efficiency and voter anonymity, this summer’s General Conference Session in San Antonio was to mark the first time that all delegate voting would take place electronically. However, this week a group of renegade Adventist hackers announced plans to rig the new voting technology.
“The rules are simple. Outbid your competition and we’ll ensure the vote goes your way,” said an anonymously-authored message from the collective called Hackventist. “The ‘votes’ will be tallied instantly and your desired results will be displayed in a bar chart on a screen.”
While no official response has yet come from the GC, sources close to the discussions claim that the hacker threat has produced two main camps of thought on how to proceed:
One camp supports reverting to the antiquated card counting system despite historical complaints that holding up and then tallying yellow delegate cards is slow and increases pressure on candidates to vote the same as their local leaders. The other side, led by Oregon Conference officials who swear by the electronic voting system that they already use, favors ignoring Hackventist’s threats.
“Either way, there is now a cloud of doubt hovering over GC voting on the election of officials and other important agenda items,” lamented GC Undersecretary Bill Fix who had led the charge to arm San Antonio’s nearly 2,600 delegates with the new technology.
Sources say that a “third way” has been proposed by senior GC officials: Due to the fragility of any man-made voting technology, GC leaders of VP status or above have volunteered to serve in their positions another term. Given the complexity of the voting complications, the officials are unanimous in their willingness to shoulder the responsibility of appointing leaders for lesser roles while making the call on tough voting issues such as Women’s Ordination.
Sevvy is a writer at the anonymously-authored humor and satire blog BarelyAdventist.com.