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How to Get Elections Right !

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It does seem like there is a lot of confusion about the election process. Who has to be present when a sanctioned election is held. How many youth may be elected, how many votes does each have to get, how to be eligible for election and the role of the Scoutmaster in the process. For an organization that has been around as long as the OA, why do these issues persist?


What could be done to assure a level, or at least a more level playing field so such errors don't occur?

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Our first problem is we're training youth to do this on a rotating basis. If we get 3 years out of a youth election team member, we're doing mighty well.


Second, we need many youth to do this. E-team is over and above unit level work. Middle and HS students have other things competing for their time. If an E-team member can do 10 units in an election cycle, he's doing mighty fine.


Third, the youth don't understand, as we do, the headaches and heartaches of "Let Every Vote...Count!" This is their introduction to that little conundrum of life.


Fourth, even we adults don't done E-Team year to year. We need to be better at this.


Fifth, we have a lodge (such as the one described a couple threads ago) where the Camp OA rep didn't follow procedures.


The fix is a combination of training and care. The training is available, the care comes from an Arrowman's heart.

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Let's not lay it all on the Arrowmen and on the OA. There are other factors involved as well:


Scoutmasters and other Unit Leaders not understanding the process. Lodges can alleviate this somewhat by sending out information on the process early. In my Lodge, we encourage the chapters to request time at a roundtable to give a presentation on the process and hold an election night sign-up. Not every roundtable commissioner is willing to give the meeting over to a 15 or 16 year old, and roundtables rarely get 100% unit participation.


Unit leaders bullying the election team - happens more than we'd like to admit.


Unit leaders trying to hold their own elections using their own rules.


Units not believing the OA can offer benefits to the unit.





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