All Delegates elected at the electoral unit conventions are invited to attend the National Convention and participate in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly. If unable to attend, an elected delegate still has the duty of participating in the election of the National Spiritual Assembly through mailed ballot. The believer receiving the next highest number of votes after an elected delegate cannot attend the National Convention on behalf of a delegate who is unable to attend.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, Information for Delegates)
If, at the time of the National Convention, a delegate no longer resides in the electoral unit where elected, then the National Assembly may recognize the believer receiving the next highest number of votes as the delegate for that electoral unit. Only the National Assembly can make this decision. It is only when the National Assembly has made this decision that this believer would be invited to attend and participate in the National Convention in place of the delegate originally elected.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, Information for Delegates, 2013)
In the matter of attendance of delegates at the Conventions, the desirability of the friends being self-supporting should be pointed out by the National Assembly. If a delegate cannot pay his own expenses in attending the Convention, the local Assembly or the believers in the electoral unit from which the delegate comes should be encouraged by the National Assembly to defray such expenses, so that only when funds are unavailable from these sources, the National Assembly is approached to consider offering financial assistance.”
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 19)
It should, however, be made clear to every elected delegate... that it is a sacred responsibility and admittedly preferable to attend if possible in person the sessions of the Convention, to take an active part in all its proceedings, and to acquaint his fellow-workers on his return with the accomplishments, the decisions and the aspirations of the assembled representatives of the... believers.
(Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, Bahá’í Administration, pp. 91-92)
The Guardian believes that the fact that a certain assembly or community is not in a financial position to defray the expenses of its delegate or delegates does not constitute sufficient justification for depriving it from its sacred right of participation in the national elections and other activities of the Convention.
(Shoghi Effendi, Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 18)