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695. Absentee Ballots. A member who cannot attend a pastoral vote session of the local church conference because of confining illness, required employment, or necessary out-of-town travel or seasonal residency may cast an absentee ballot subject to the following conditions:

(1) The member shall secure a standard ballot from the local church secretary, identical to the ballots to be used at the session, and submit the marked ballot prior to the session in a sealed envelope identified with the name of the absent member.
(2) The local church secretary must certify the envelope as being submitted by a member to whom the secretary has supplied a ballot, and who is eligible to cast an absentee ballot. In the event that the local church secretary is unable to certify the eligibility of the person casting an absentee ballot, the secretary may consult the vice-chair of the local board of administration to determine eligibility.
(3) Envelopes containing such absentee ballots shall be opened at the session in which the vote is taken, by the secretary in the presence of the chair, prior to the tallying of the vote, and these ballots placed without inspection with the others for counting by the tellers.