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Section Banner: General Assembly: The yearly meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Frequently Asked Questions from General Assembly Delegates

How do I register for General Assembly (GA) as a delegate?

All delegates must register for GA in order to participate and vote on business items. Off-site delegates follow a separate registration process.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) does not need to know the names of the on-site delegates your congregation selects before they arrive at GA. Registration for GA is the same process for on-site delegates as it is for non-delegates. All on-site delegates must register and pick up their GA name badges before reporting to the delegate credentialing station at GA. Delegates must present their GA name badge together with a signed credential card at the delegate credentialing station in order to be issued a delegate ribbon and card to vote on GA business in plenary.

How do I prepare as a delegate?

  • Familiarize yourself with the business items on the Agenda. Discuss agenda items with your congregation.
  • Learn how to effectively speak in plenary by reviewing the Plenary Participation Guide.
  • Learn about candidates in the 2013 election.

How do I get a credential card?

Obtain a delegate credential card from your congregation. Credentials are mailed to certified congregations in late February.

How do I turn in my credential card for voting materials?

On-site delegates—First pick up your name badge and bring your credential card signed by a minister or officer to the credentialing kiosks to receive your delegate voting card and delegate ribbon.

Off-site delegates—You will need your credential card signed by a minister or officer in order to register as an off-site delegate. You will receive your login credentials via email prior to GA.

What if I lose my credential card before GA?

If you need a replacement before June 10, contact the GA office at or (617) 948-4209.

You may request a replacement from the UUA Secretary at GA.

How do I cast my vote in the UUA election?

On-site Voting—Attached to a delegate’s credential card is a ballot stub. When the polls are open during GA you will turn in this stub to obtain a paper ballot. Carefully follow the instructions printed on the ballot.

Absentee Voting—Certified congregations were mailed an absentee ballot for every delegate/vote to which they are entitled. To vote absentee, obtain a ballot from your congregation. Carefully follow the instructions printed on the ballot. Mail in the absentee ballot using the return address envelope provided. In order for your vote to be counted, you must include with the ballot a signed ballot stub. This stub is attached to the credential card that you were issued. Off-site delegates must vote absentee. Electronic voting is not permitted in the elections.

Is my congregation certified?

Most (not all) Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations are certified. Check to see if your congregation is certified.

How many delegates does my congregation have?

All certified congregations have one member delegate for every 50 members (or fraction thereof), with a minimum of two delegates.

The following religious professionals serving/affiliated with certified congregations may also be delegates:

  • Ministers in preliminary or final fellowship with the Association and employed by certified congregations (including extension and interim ministers);
  • Emeritus/a ministers
  • Community ministers who maintain active involvement and affiliation with the congregation
  • Directors of religious education having achieved Credentialed Religious Education—Master Level status and employed in the congregation.

More about how delegates are determined.

What is an alternate delegate?

An alternate is a member of the congregation designated to replace a member delegate at GA, if necessary or desired. This may be decided before or during GA. The alternate presents both an alternate card and the original delegate's credential card or badge at GA. An off-site delegate may not serve as an alternate delegate.

How many alternate delegates does my congregation have?

A congregation may have the same number of alternate member delegates as it has member delegates. Alternates may replace delegates as necessary before or during GA.

How are delegates selected?

Every congregation decides how to select member delegates. All delegates must be voting members of the congregation.

Can we send Youth delegates?

There is no special category for "youth" delegates, but youth may be delegates so long as they are members of the congregation.

Can our congregation instruct delegates how to vote?

The relationship between a congregation and its delegates is determined by the congregation, not the UUA. There are no guidelines in the UUA Bylaws governing individual congregations. So, if a congregation wants to instruct its delegates, it can.

What if my congregation never gets the credentials mailing or loses it?

Delegate credentials are mailed in late February. Please make sure they never arrived or were really lost (and not misplaced) before contacting the GA office by June 10 at or (617) 948-4209.

For more information contact

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Tuesday, January 29, 2013.

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