I go back over 40 years in the OA. The voting procedure before this current unlimited voting was based on how many scouts were officially on the ballot (nominated). I could be wrong, but I remember something like: if you had 2 nominated, you had 1 vote; 3 nominated, 2 votes; 4 nominated, 2 votes; 5 nominated, 3 votes; or something like that. And is it still that a scout had to have at least a simple majority to become a candidate? Still 50% plus 1? In other words, half of the votes did NOT gain you a place as a candidate. And all of the scouts voting were supposed to be "active" scouts in their troop?
I also remember the scoutmaster (me in this case) saying that you didn't have to vote for anyone if that was your choice. I reminded them that they saw all of these nominated scouts in action, not me, and had more knowledge of a scout's honor.
Unless it has been changed, remember that the scoutmaster has to approve these scouts before their name goes on the ballot. I think it was listed as " scoutmaster's approval."
I also made sure that a scout understood what the OA was about, and he needed to approve his own nomination. I've had some scouts over the years not want their name in nomination. I've also heard of parents having to approve the scout's nomination as they knew their son's busy schedule. I never went that far.
That sounds like what the Pack in the original post did, essentially add time to the cars so that it becomes difficult for them to win. Cars still run, kids still get to see their car on the track and cheer on the races, and the only difference is that the end results will basically eliminate those cars either through disqualification or penalty time added.
Interesting that it seems to have 2 entirely different effects between Packs. Yours seems fine with it, while for @karunamom3 it caused a lot of distress.
What else I'd suggest beside what I already posted earlier here is just what I intend to do next year in my Den (and possibly Pack-wide): Make it abundantly clear that there are rules, they must be adhered to, and that there are some key things that could lead to absolute disqualification. I get feeling (from this forum and from what I observe in my own Pack) that far too many parents are aware of the rules but seem to think that they won't be enforced. This is something I want to make sure is clarified; there are rules, and ignoring them means your scout's car will be disqualified, without exception.
In the case of karunamom3, I'd make it clear that a new car must be built every year. Not a disassembled car from last year. You have to open a new kit and use those new car parts to make the car.
One of the things I'll say here that I definitely wouldn't say to the parents in my den or pack is that in reality, there's little chance we'll know if someone uses a pre-bought kit. If the parts are official BSA parts, how would we know that some guy on eBay made the car? But that doesn't mean I wouldn't still try to make people wonder if we can figure it out somehow. 😁
A parent's fear of getting their scout disqualified is often enough to keep them from doing something that is against the rules, even when they think they might be able to get away with it. As long as it is plain and clear that there are strict rules, and they will be enforced.
@shortridge you ask a very good question, I've been mulling it over for a few hours and I'm still not sure I have a clear answer.
Having done dozens of Elections I recognized the words at once and have no argument with any of them. But here are my thoughts as of right now .
In our lodge we play a rather dull video from National so that all the words are always exactly correct rather that read from a script or recite it from memory. It's a lot easier. BUT, you can see the eyes of many of the scouts glaze over about one minute in. Especially the younger ones. They're just sitting there letting the sound wash over them not paying any attention at all. Then they vote for their buddies. I believe we need to train our election teams much better so that they don't need the video crutch. They need to be able to sit down with the scouts and hold their attention while explaining what the order is what it stands for and how the election works.
In short just recite the script without sounding like you're reciting the script. I am quite aware that I'm coming at this from a ceremonies view point, but I think that's what we need we need to convey our enthusiasm and our earnestness about the order.
The other difficulty is that many of the Scouts have been instructed previously by their scoutmaster to vote for everyone on the ballot.
I have been there when the ballots are counted and certain troops, where every Scout gets at least 90% of the vote. Year after year. You may argue that perhaps that troop simply has amazingly exceptional Scouts. Sorry, I've watched them at the ordeal I've watched them at Camporees, they're not. In fact those troops tend to have the highest percentage of sash and dash in the entire District.