Elections of the leaders who serve the members and congregations of the Association are at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist fifth principle and our commitment to the democratic process.
Policies governing UUA elections have recently been updated.
UUA Elections FAQ
- When Are UUA Elections Held?
- Elections for members of the UUA Board of Trustees and elected boards, committees, and commissions are held at GA every year, although the majority fall in odd-numbered years. The next regular election for UUA President will take place in June 2023, for a six-year term. The next election for UUA Moderator will take place in June 2025, also for a six-year term.
- Who Can Vote, and How?
- Delegates vote. Certified congregations are entitled to one member delegate for every 50 members (or fraction thereof), with a minimum of two member delegates per congregation. In addition, religious professionals (mentioned above) who are serving/affiliated with certified congregations may also serve as delegates.
- What if None of the Positions Are Contested?
- In general, if none of the open positions have more than one candidate, the election takes place automatically at GA and there is no need to cast ballots. For the 2023 election for UUA President, the UUA Board of Trustees announced in its November 15, 2022 statement that "the campaign process will continue regardless of the ultimate number of candidates. This includes several regional candidate forums, an online forum, and an election to take place in June 2023. More information on this process will be communicated after February 1st."
- Do I Need to Register for General Assembly to Vote in an Election?
- You do not need to register for GA to cast a vote in the election. Delegates who are not attending GA may cast a ballot. However, there is no absentee voting/proxy voting on GA business items. Delegates need to be registered and present to vote on business items.
- How Do I Know Which Positions Are Open, and How Can I Be Nominated for One?
- Candidates for all elected positions except Moderator and President are nominated by the UUA Nominating Committee. Information on what positions are due to be filled in a given year is available online as well as the Volunteer Leadership Application which you can submit if you’re interested in serving in any elected or appointed positions.
- What About Being Nominated for Moderator or President?
- The UUA Board of Trustees will nominate one or more candidates for Moderator for election at GA 2025. This includes the option of nominating two people to be elected together to serve as a Co-Moderator team.
- On November 15, 2022, the Presidential Search Committee, with both elected and Board-appointed members, nominated the Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt for UUA President for election in 2023.
- Are All UUA Volunteer Positions Elected?
- No. The Appointments Committee of the Board recruits and recommends candidates for a range of board-appointed committees, as well as board appointed members of elected committees. For all board-appointed committees, terms are for two-year periods, which can be renewed up to three times for a maximum of eight years of service. You can submit an application for an appointed committee position using the same Volunteer Leadership Application as for an elected position. You may also recommend others for elected and appointed positions. Both the Nominating Committee and Appointments Committee are committed to seeking out candidates who reflect the full diversity of our Association.
- Can I Run for an Office by Petition?
- Yes you can, as long as you are a member of a certified UUA congregation. A nomination for any elective position other than Moderator or President, for any regular or special election, may be by petition signed by not less than 50 members of certified member congregations, with no more than ten signatures of members of any one congregation counted toward the required 50. A separate petition, in form prescribed by the Secretary, shall be filed for each nomination not later than May 1 of the year of the election and not earlier than the preceding October 1. A petition for nomination to the Board of Trustees must designate the position number for which the person is being nominated. For information on how to assemble and submit a petition package, you can consult Nomination by Petition page.
- A nomination for the office of Moderator or President, for a regular or special election, may be by petition signed by no fewer than 50 certified member congregations, including at least one congregation from three of the regions of the Association. A certified member congregation may authorize the signing of a petition only by vote of its governing board or by vote at a duly called meeting of its members. Petitions for Moderator or President must be filed with the Secretary of the Association, in such form as the Secretary may prescribe, not later than February 1 of the year of the election and not earlier than the preceding March. Petition forms are available online.