North American Bahá’í House of Worship, Wilmette Illinois

North American Bahá’í House of Worship, Wilmette Illinois

The Bahá’í Electoral Process: Unit Convention Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Baha'i Electoral Process Sep 12, 2023
"On the election day, the friends must wholeheartedly 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 Shoghi Effendi, dated February 27, 1923, to the Bahá’ís of the East—translated from Persian, in Compilation of Compilations, vol. 1, p. 315
Q: When does the Unit Convention take place?

A: This year's Unit Conventions occur either September 30th or October 1st. Specific information about your convention has been sent by the organizing Local Spiritual Assembly. Additionally, election material has been mailed to each eligible voter.

Q: How can I find when and where my Unit Convention is being held?

A: You can find information about your Unit Convention in several ways:

  • Visit the National Bahá’í Administrative Website (; go to "Elections" in the menu on the left side, click on "Delegate Elections/Electoral Unit Maps by Region"
  • Contact your Local Spiritual Assembly
  • Contact the Regional Baha'i Council (
Q: Who can participate in the annual unit convention elections and who can be elected as a delegate to the National Convention?

A: With regards to delegate elections at Unit Convention the following ages apply:

  • Eligible to vote: Registered Bahá’ís 18 years of age or older
  • Eligible to serve as a delegate: Registered Bahá’ís, 21 years of age or older
Why is it important for me to participate?
..[I]t is now opportune that the believers everywhere give greater attention to strengthening the process by which Assemblies, national and local, are elected. The manner of participation by all adult members of the community in these elections is a distinguishing feature of the System of Bahá’u’lláh; for it is a bounden duty that confers a high privilege upon every Bahá’í to select, as a responsible citizen of the new world being brought into existence, the composition of the institutions having authority over the functioning of the Bahá’í community.
Through their wholehearted embrace of the Bahá’í electoral process, the believers will witness, day by day, a greater contrast between the emerging institutions of the Bahá’í Administrative Order and the decaying social order around them. In this increasing distinction will be seen the promise of the glory of the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh the System destined to fulfil the highest expectations of humanity. --Universal House of Justice, 25 March 2007
Q: How do I vote?

A: Each Bahá’í in good standing may cast a vote, either in person at the Unit Convention; through the Online Balloting System (OBS) via the U.S. Bahá’í Administrative website (see video below); or absentee via U.S. mail.

How to access the Online Balloting System


How to Access the Online Balloting System

Q: What are the purposes of the annual Baha'i Unit Convention?
It is expressly recorded in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Writings that these National Assemblies must be indirectly elected by the friends; that is, the friends in every country must elect a certain number of delegates, who in their turn will elect from among all the friends in that country the members of the National Spiritual Assembly.... These secondary electors will then, either through correspondence, or preferably by gathering together, and first deliberating upon the affairs of the Cause throughout their country ..., elect from among all the friends in that country nine who will be the members of the National Spiritual Assembly. – Letter from Shoghi Effendi, dated March 12, 1923, in Bahá’í Administration, pp. 39-40
Q: What is the role of the elected delegate?

A: To elect the National Spiritual Assembly and to participate in consultation at the National Convention, "about experience unfolding within the Plan's framework for action, [where] consensus on strategies and plans emerges naturally."

Painting detail from the balcony of the Mansion of Bahji
Painting detail from the balcony of the Mansion of Bahji