Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
fr-john

OA ballot problem question

Recommended Posts

How can should this election problem be handled

A troop of 20 scout s has its OA elections the scoutmaster certifies 3 scouts for the election

On the night of election 12 scouts are present so a quorum is present

Of these 12 scouts 4 are new scouts.

Scout A received 11 positive votes (this scout had worked with well the new scouts when they were webelos so they know him)

Scout B receives 3 positive votes only ( this scout had worked poorly with the new scouts when they were webelos)

Scout C receive 5 positive votes - a new scout to the troop who transferred to the troop to with his school friends in the troop the new scouts did know this scout so they wanted to abstain. But they could not as the group ballot

List all the names on a single ballot so if they turned in no ballot they could not vote from the scouts that they knew. (troop master)

With the current system of how should this be handled?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that if you had 11 of the 12 Scouts turn in ballots, you would still need at least 6 votes to get elected.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

scout C would have been able to get in if the new scouts could have been able to selectly abstain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree that the rules should allow scouts to abstain on an individual candidate, they do not currently allow for that. It would complicate the ballot counting and likely be error prone.

 

I suppose the new scouts could have agreed to splitting their vote with two being responsible for a yes vote, that would have had the same effect as their abstaining.

 

Since the new scouts knew two of the candidates it was reasonable for them to vote. While a bit hard for the the transfer, it is not an unreasonable result as apart from his friends from school, the rest of the troop would likely have not voted for him anyway.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm paraphrasing the GTI, page 2-2 of the appendixes specifically, if the 4 new scouts did not vote at all, then there would be a total of 8 ballots, and 4 would be needed to get in. They would not, repeat NOT, turn in any ballots as if they turned in an unmarked one, it would be counted as a no vote, not an abstention.

 

Since they turned in ballots, as shown by the one elected scout with 11 votes, it's a done deal, only one person got elected.

 

 

Had a similar situation happen to me. New scouts didn't know anyone in the troop, except one of their brothers. They only put his name on the ballot and he got in. Funny thing was that he wasn't interested in the OA, the older scouts knew this, and didn't vote for him. But the new scouts outnumbered the older scouts and he got in. This was under the old procedures, so he was the only one elected.

 

Way the PLC handled it the next year was that the new scouts would abstain since they did not have enough time (less than a month)to know everyone eligible prior to the election. That worked out well and the new scouts understood, and the group that elected the scout from the year before were big proponents of it, since they saw what happened.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

fr-john and Fellow Arrowmen,

 

Greetings!

 

Sounds like Eagle92 nailed the answer. It is disappointing, when you see good Scouts that could be really good Arrowmen (and serve their troops, camps, and communities), and the just never get elected to become an Arrowman.

 

There seems to be a difference between how many registered, how many in attendance on troop OA election meeting, and how many ballots total are submitted. Also, there seems to be new Scouts joining that don't really any older Scouts. And finally, sometimes troops have ASM, under 21, which are Arrowmen, of which, their votes can count positively.

 

My bottom line for this response. All Scoutmasters should personally review the videos and election rules, long before the Chief and Advisor come to visit. All of the rules are posted to the OA website, www.oa-bsa.org. I think if Scoutmasters (and their ASM & Committee) fully understand the OA election process, it may assist with more positive results.

 

fr-john, Good luck with next years election!

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21_Adv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, E92, clarify for me -- if we created a ballot on which Scouts could vote For, Against or Abstain, then a Scout would simply need more For votes than Against votes? Abstain are disregarded?

 

The way it has been explained to us is that we must have a simple quorum of the troop present and Scouts must receive a simple majority of the votes. Based on that, Abstain counts against a candidate.

 

We usually try to have our OA elections in Jan. or Feb., before the new Scouts cross over, which solves the problem. When that's not possible, based on the voting rules we've been given, we explain to the new Scouts that, if the don't know a Scout well, the should vote FOR them. Of course, if the know the candidate and think he's a jerk, then they can certainly vote no. Yeah, with a lot of new guys in the troop, it skews the results toward yes votes, but I'd rather unfairly elect guys that to unfairly keep them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, E92, clarify for me -- if we created a ballot on which Scouts could vote For, Against or Abstain, then a Scout would simply need more For votes than Against votes? Abstain are disregarded?

 

The way it has been explained to us is that we must have a simple quorum of the troop present and Scouts must receive a simple majority of the votes. Based on that, Abstain counts against a candidate.

 

We usually try to have our OA elections in Jan. or Feb., before the new Scouts cross over, which solves the problem. When that's not possible, based on the voting rules we've been given, we explain to the new Scouts that, if the don't know a Scout well, the should vote FOR them. Of course, if the know the candidate and think he's a jerk, then they can certainly vote no. Yeah, with a lot of new guys in the troop, it skews the results toward yes votes, but I'd rather unfairly elect guys that to unfairly keep them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, E92, clarify for me -- if we created a ballot on which Scouts could vote For, Against or Abstain, then a Scout would simply need more For votes than Against votes? Abstain are disregarded?

 

The way it has been explained to us is that we must have a simple quorum of the troop present and Scouts must receive a simple majority of the votes. Based on that, Abstain counts against a candidate.

 

We usually try to have our OA elections in Jan. or Feb., before the new Scouts cross over, which solves the problem. When that's not possible, based on the voting rules we've been given, we explain to the new Scouts that, if the don't know a Scout well, the should vote FOR them. Of course, if the know the candidate and think he's a jerk, then they can certainly vote no. Yeah, with a lot of new guys in the troop, it skews the results toward yes votes, but I'd rather unfairly elect guys that to unfairly keep them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The election was conducted correctly. "Selective abstaining" is not a possibility, and I don't believe Eagle92 was trying to say that.

 

Twocubdad - Scouts must be listed on a simple majority of ballots cast. If a scout does not turn in a ballot, he still counts towards the quorum but not towards the number of votes needed to be elected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

2Cub,

 

Scouts cannot selectively abstain from voting from someone. They either turn in a ballot with names on it, turn in a ballot with no names on it thus voting for no one, or they do not turn in a ballot.

 

 

I'll give you a hypothetical to explain.

 

Troop has 24 registered scouts: 8 brand new scouts and 16 older scouts.

 

Troop holds an election where 15 members show up: the 8 new scouts and 7 older scouts. They have over 50% of the membership so a quorum is met.

 

If the 8 new scouts decide to abstain, as in not turn in a ballot at all, then 7 ballots are turned in. A scout would need 4 ballots to get in.

 

If the 8 brand new scouts turned in blank ballots, thinking that was abstaining, and the older scouts submit their 7 with names, NO ONE would be elected because those 8 blank ballots count as voting against. So a second vote would be needed.

 

So in a nutshell you need 50+% of the troop or team to conduct an election, and 50+% of the ballots turned in to be elected. A blank ballot does count as a no vote. No ballot submitted is an abstention.

 

To answer your question, I've never seen a ballot with ABSTAIN on it. According to the G2I, and probably other pubs as well, If a ballot had abstain on it, it WOULD count as a NO VOTE (caps for emphasis). In order to truly abstain, and not count against the Scout, an abstainer would not turn in a ballot at all.

 

Hope it helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the election team is trained and experienced, explaining the voting method in an understandable way should not be difficult. We switched to using the video this year. The main reason for this was because I as Chapter Adviser was not pleased with the ad libbing the election teams would do. There is actually a script they can learn and they just wouldn't do it. They thought getting up and shooting from the hip was sufficient. It was not. They now introduce themselves and explain what is about to happen. They present the election video for National which does a great job of explaining what the Order is, it's history, what you are looking for in a candidate and how the voting process works. I then have the election team follow up by reading part of the script to reinforce the points on the tape and then they open it up to a question and answer period. After that, they hand out the ballots, collect the ballots and go count them and prepare the report. If at the end of all of that a kid doesn't understand how to vote, then nothing will make him understand.

 

Crew21_Adv, don't get me started on SM's and elections. I have a very detailed email I send out to the SM's when we are ready to schedule elections. It walks them thru the process. Then when they do schedule a date, they get a second detailed email. It contains a list of membership qualifications, an adult nomination form, a copy of the election report so they can see what pieces of info they will need to provide to the team, a request for contact information for the boys on the ballot and a spreadsheet ballot where all they have to do is enter the names on the first one and it auto fills the rest of the ballots. When we show up for the election, half of the SM's act like they didn't realize we were coming. We've had to actually hand write ballots before and then beg, borrow and steal to get contact info for the candidates. I know they are busy people.......we are too. Is asking them to read an email and be prepared so we can get in and out of their way in an effiecient manner too much to ask?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SR540Beaver,

 

Highly agree! We hand out the election packages and rules during January Roundtable. Further we send emails with links and explain the process.

 

Maybe half of the Scoutmasters are prepared and understand the basics.

 

Not every Scouter will go online and do research. But for those willing to read these Scouter.com forums. They should be willing to go read the OA election rules from the source. And I hope the do, it would be less work and explaining by the Advisor and Chief (minutes prior to an election).

 

Scouting Forever and Venture On!

Crew21 Adv

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there was less confusion about counting the ballots for the Presidential election in Florida than in the typical OA election.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've never had a problem with the logistics of the election, or any complication with the voting rules. For the last few years we've been voting in January or February before the new Scouts cross over. I'm not aware of any Scouts abstaining from any of the elections, but there could have been.

 

The election team takes a head count to see how many Scouts we have there to vote. Then they ask us how many active Scouts we have. We hand out the ballots. The Scouts vote and give them back. The election team and Scoutmaster go to a back room and count the ballots (B) and how many votes (V) each Scout got. For each Scout, if V>0.5B then he is elected. Not too complicated.

 

(Note, for the number of active Scouts, the election team would be willing to accept a number lower than our registered number in order to account for Scouts who just aren't showing up any more, or who have moved - but I think we've always had more than half of our registered number.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...