Westminster Presbytery has proposed that the General Assembly (GA) take advantage of technological advances to create what they call “distance voting commissioners.” The overture argues that expense and health restrictions often keep elders, especially ruling elders, from attending GA and that technology exists to have commissioners vote on issues from a distance while watching the proceedings online.

The overture asks the Administrative Committee to investigate and report on a plan to create a distance voting commissioner (DVC); the plan would be presented to the next GA.

Teaching Elder Larry Ball, former pastor at Birdwell Heights Presbyterian Church in Kingsport, Tennessee, originated the overture. He was prompted by two men in his former congregation who independently suggested the idea. 

“Since the ratio of ruling elders to teaching elders is low,” Ball says, “I thought this might be a way to correct that problem.”

The overture has been referred to the Administrative Committee.