Unit Conventions 175 B.E.
Participating in the Bahá’í electoral process is a duty and sacred responsibility enjoined on every believer:
One of the distinguishing features of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is the Bahá’í Administrative Order, the nucleus and pattern of the future World Order He has promised. A fundamental aspect of the endeavours of the friends to upraise that Order is the election by believers in locations across the globe of their delegates to the National Convention, occasions which also allow for discussions regarding local and national affairs. These delegates, in turn, will “fulfil the functions of an enlightened, consultative and co-operative body that will enrich the experience, enhance the prestige, support the authority, and assist the deliberations of the National Spiritual Assembly.” In addition, it is they, as Shoghi Effendi explained, who have the great privilege and delicate task “to elect such national representatives as would by their record of service ennoble and enrich the annals of the Cause”. It behooves each National Assembly, then, to do everything possible to assist the friends to become conscious of their vital obligation and to facilitate the participation of the greatest number in the election of the delegates.
-Written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice, 4 August 2016
While there should be no mention of personalities in connection with Bahá’í elections, it is quite appropriate for believers to discuss the requirements and qualifications for membership in the institution to be elected. Shoghi Effendi offers clear guidance on this point: “I feel that reference to personalities before the election would give rise to misunderstanding and differences. What the friends should do is to get thoroughly acquainted with one another, to exchange views, to mix freely and discuss among themselves the requirements and qualifications for such a membership without reference or application, however indirect, to particular individuals.” Among the “necessary qualities” specified by the Guardian are those “of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience”. With a heightened awareness of the functions to be performed by the elected body, the believer can properly assess those for whom a vote should be cast. From among the pool of those whom the elector believes to be qualified to serve, selection should be made with due consideration given to such other factors as age distribution, diversity, and gender. The elector should make his choice after careful thought over an extended period before the actual election.
-Universal House of Justice, 25 March 2007
On the election day, the friends must whole-heartedly participate in the elections, in unity and amity, turning their hearts to God, detached from all things but Him, seeking His guidance and supplicating His aid and bounty.