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Abstract:
Results of the first US Regional Baha'i Councils election, posted here because it was a "historic event."
Notes:

Results of the First Regional Bahá'í Council Election

by National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States

1997-11-23
To the American Bahá'í Community

Beloved Friends,

With profound gratitude to the Blessed Beauty and immense hope and excitement we received the news in the May 30, 1997 letter of the Universal House of Justice of "a new element of Bahá'í administration, between the local and national levels, comprising institutions of a special kind, to be designated as 'Regional Bahá'í Councils'".

This year's commemorations of the anniversary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh on November 12, 1997 were unique in history as they witnessed the transformation of our current system of Regional Committees into Regional Bahá'í Councils.

These new institutions, assigned to the four regions designated by `Abdu'l-Bahá in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, will serve as powerful instruments for diffusing the spirit of the Faith and "catering to the requirements of spiritual relationships which flow from love and unity among the friends." Their main tasks will be to devise and execute teaching and consolidation plans derived from those developed by the National Spiritual Assembly, and to create strong local Spiritual Assemblies.

With joyous hearts the National Spiritual Assembly is pleased to announce the results of the first elections held for the membership of the Regional Bahá'í Councils. The reports from across the country conveyed the spiritual character of each of these historic events for which we offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving.

Deep happiness attends the National Spiritual Assembly's presenting of the following reports of the Tellers from each of the regions:

Northeastern Region:

    There are 115 Local Spiritual Assemblies in the region and 107 hosted election meetings. A total of 995 believers were eligible to vote as members of a Local Spiritual Assembly. Of these, 716 cast their ballots at one of the meetings and 81 sent absentee ballots. A total of 797 believers voted. The following individuals comprise the first Regional Bahá'í Council for the Northeastern States: John Joyce - 113 votes William H. Smith - 86 votes, Nina Dini - 83 votes, William L. Roberts - 83 votes, Nathan Rutstein - 80 votes, Neal McBride - 75 votes, Robert P. Harris - 72 votes, Joel Nizin - 69 votes, and Rebequa Murphy - 66 votes.
Southern Region:
    There are 387 Local Spiritual Assemblies in the region and 312 hosted election meetings. A total of 3,379 believers were eligible to vote as members of a Local Spiritual Assembly. Of these 2,199 cast their ballots at one of the meetings and 277 sent absentee ballots. A total of 2,477 believers voted. The following individuals comprise the first Regional Bahá'í Council for the Southern States: Robert James, Jr. - 293, Lupita Ahangarzadeh - 269, Carole Miller - 230, Mahyar Mofidi - 204, Covey Cantville, Jr. - 185, Ahmad Mahboubi - 178, Karen Pritchard - 144, A. Jack Guillebeaux - 141, and James Sturdivant - 127.
Central Region:
    There are 200 Local Spiritual Assemblies in the region and 182 hosted election meetings. A total of 1,762 believers were eligible to vote as members of a Local Spiritual Assembly. Of these, 1,241 cast their ballots at one of the meetings and 128 sent absentee ballots. A total of 1,369 believers voted. The following individuals comprise the first Regional Bahá'í Council for the Central States: Lynn Wieties - 213, Paul Jacobi - 179, L. Caswell Ellis - 168, J.Curtis Russell - 133, Morris Taylor, Jr. - 127. June Thomas - 105, Richard Thomas - 97, Jena Khodadad - 95, and Lisa Smits - 91.
Western Region:
    There are 470 Local Spiritual Assemblies in the region and 405 hosted election meetings. A total of 4311 believers were eligible to vote as members of a Local Spiritual Assembly. Of these 2825 cast their ballots at one of the meetings and 283 sent absentee ballots. A total of 3108 believers voted. The following individuals comprise the first Regional Bahá'í Council for the Western States: Erica Toussaint - 297, Derek Cockshut - 244, Charleen Maghzi - 228, Elahe Young - 152, Shad Afsahi - 151, A. Habib Riazati - 146, Carol Brooks - 145, Shannon Javid -137, and Fereshteh Bethel - 127.
The National Spiritual Assembly in informing these dear friends of the spiritual significance of the service before them, has invited them to an orientation at the Bahá'í National Center the weekend of December 12-14, 1997. We ask that you join the National Assembly in keeping the members of the Councils in your prayers that the All-powerful Spirit steadily pour His divine blessings upon them as they endeavor to "carry forward, with increased vigor, the propagation of the Cause of God." They were encouraged, as are we all, to proceed confidently into this new stage of history with these words of `Abdu'l- Baha in our hearts: "By God, verily the Lord of Hosts is your support, the angels of heaven your assistance, the Holy Spirit your companion and the Center of the Covenant your helper. Be not idle, but active and fear not."
    NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF THE UNITED STATES
    Secretary-General
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