The Bahá’í Community of Nanaimo

References on Bahá’í Elections

“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.”

(Letter from the Guardian, January 30, 1923: The Spiritual Character of Bahá’í Elections, p. 1)

“… Bahá’í community life thus makes it a duty for every loyal and faithful believer to become an intelligent, well-informed and responsible elector, and also gives him the opportunity of raising himself to such a station. And since the practice of nomination hinders the development of such qualities in the believer, and in addition leads to corruption and partisanship, it has to be entirely discarded in all Bahá’í elections.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance v I, p. 68)

“Let them exercise the utmost vigilance so that the elections are carried out freely, universally and by secret ballot. Any form of intrigue, deception, collusion and compulsion must be stopped and is forbidden….The strength and progress of the Bahá’í community depend upon the election of pure, faithful and active souls… Canvassing is deprecated….”

(9 April 1932 to a Local Spiritual Assembly — translated from the Persian)

“The electors … must prayerfully and devotedly and after meditation and reflection elect faithful, sincere, experienced, capable and competent souls who are worthy of membership….”

(1 July 1943 to the National Spiritual Assembly of Iran — translated from the Persian)

“If we but turn our gaze to the high qualifications of the members of Bahá’í Assemblies … we are filled with feelings of unworthiness and dismay, and would feel truly disheartened but for the comforting thought that if we rise to play nobly our part every deficiency in our lives will be more than compensated by the all-conquering spirit of His grace and power. Hence it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience….”

(From a letter dated 3 June 1925 written by Shoghi Effendi, published in “Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932”, p. 88)

“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.”

(25 March 2007 to the Bahá’ís of the World, Universal House of Justice)

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