Whenever I am at the stand conducting any sustaining votes, I always look around the congregation slowly and purposefully - and I pause long enough after asking the question about dissent to make it obvious that I actually am allowing for the possibility that there will be dissent. I also explicitly turn and look behind me at all the people sitting on the stand - again, to make it obvious that I am looking at each and every individual in the room at the time. Honestly, I do not expect a dissenting vote, but I believe I owe it to the spirit of the process to take my time and make the possibility of opposition real in the minds of those in attendance.
The standard wording is, “It is *proposed* that we sustain . . . All in favor . . . All opposed . . .” My vote is a sign that I am willing to sustain the *proposed* action - or not to sustain it. Any construct that limits or denies that right to object to a proposal makes it something other than a proposal.
Since we don’t believe in infallibility in the issuing of callings, and since there have been and continue to be instances where a dissenting vote has changed a calling, I have a hard time accepting a sustaining vote as anything less than a sustaining vote. I can accept the idea that we are not “electing” someone, but that doesn’t mean that my vote always should be seen as automatic or a test of my faith. If I know nothing that would disqualify a candidate for the office to which s/he is being called, I accept fully my need to accept it on faith - if as nothing more than my public statement of trust in the person who issued the call. If I know of something that would disqualify the candidate, however, I feel it is my duty to make it known to the proper person - even if that means I have to raise my hand in opposition to the calling / action.