Jamaicans participate in global Bahá’í elections
Six of the seven delegates who are members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Jamaica in Haifa for the election of the Universal House of Justice, the administrative body of the Baha'i Faith. (From left) Simin Case, Tracey Mitchell, Julian Rogers, Walter Scott, Denise Tulloch and Dorothy Whyte. Missing is Valerie O'Bryan.

Seven members of the National Spiritual Assembly of Jamaica were among some 1,250 delegates, representing 176 countries around the world, who assembled in Haifa, Israel on Saturday for the election of the Universal House of Justice, the administrative body of the Baha'i Faith.

The total number of ballots cast, including absentee ballots, surpassed 1,590, according to Baha’i World News Service, the official news source of the global Baha’i community.

Holly Woodard, a member of the International Teaching Centre who chaired the proceedings, said it marked “the highest number of assemblies ever represented and the largest gathering of participants at an international convention.”

She also touted the growth of the international Bahá’í community over the decades since “288 members of 51 national and regional spiritual assemblies gathered in the main hall of the House of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Haifa” for the first election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963.

Baha’i World News Service states that Bahá’í elections are distinctive for their lack of nominations and campaigning. It explains that the delegates to the international convention, comprising the membership of all national Bahá’í assemblies, vote by confidential ballot for the nine individuals they believe are best suited for membership on the House of Justice.

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