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Jameson76

Why do you need 50% of troop there for an election??

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We were scheduled for the OA election a few weeks back.  The rules (guidelines??) seem to state you need to have 50% +1 of the registered Scouts in attendance to have the election.  Now we are a big troop with an active membership, so that night (by our math) we had about 40% - 42% of the scouts (they move around and it is hard to count). 

OA Guys start quoting paragraphs and rules about how to run an election.  Honestly we were about to tell them, fine, take off.  They wanted to come back another night, we said, hey go for it but it is a moving target.  Our thoughts were, here is an organization within the BSA that, I suppose, wants to expand it's membership, yet has arcane rules and roadblocks to adding to that membership.  We did have the election in the end.

Why is there a 50% rule, seriously what does it matter?  I was active in the OA back in the day was actually a Lodge advisor one time.  Cannot recall this rule and wonder if it is some local thing to make themselves really "important"

 

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This is a big issue in my city because we have huge troops. The big troops have figured out how to manage this. They set their date months in advance and have a fall back date. They have food as an enticement and they hold the election at the start of the meeting so that guys could vote and go. They also keep the OA announcements to five minutes then ballots are distributed. Votes are not counted until the end of the meeting so that guys who come late can still vote. My Lodge says the 50%+1 rule is in effect to have a quorum. 

Edited by Back Pack

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It's a national policy. I think the general idea is if a scout is favored by the majority of half his unit, that's a 25% of the boys registered in the unit weighing in on his election. I'm pretty sure they didn't spend a lot of time examining the properties of the multivariate binomial distribution for this one. They just figured it was a good enough number of boys to judge if the lodge was getting a decent candidate or not. Obviously, if you've screen your boys and 3/4 of ballots from 40% of the troop endorse each of them, the other half of the troop would make no difference.

We've had some "just-by-a-vote" elections. So, if we ran one with less than half the membership present and the absent majority found out that they we railroaded the results, we'd catch a lot of flack from our scouts.

We used to have elections at summer camp. I liked that. But then our boys started going to different camps. That made it tougher to get a majority, so we arranged for a meeting night. And, it's pretty much like @Back Pack's troop. We make a plan to collect ballots early and announce well in advance.

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Our troop let’s each candidate stand up and be recognized so guys know who they’re voting for. We also announce their service hours and camping night. Our SM introduced this idea and the plc kept it because it really helped make it less of a popularity contest. 

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Interesting. OA sends us a email and says "have a vote with your troop and choose the scouts you want to participate in the ordeal"

They don't even go to troop meetings unless the troop asks.

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It is national policy in the OA election guide.  We are lucky, we always seem to have at least 50% at our meetings.  But prior to our election, I message the troop about how important their presence it.   We combine it with our SPL and PL elections so that helps as well.  I like the idea of each candidate having the number of camping nights and service hours, but I think the troop members really know who is worthy and who is not.  

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4 minutes ago, ItsBrian said:

Interesting. OA sends us a email and says "have a vote with your troop and choose the scouts you want to participate in the ordeal"

They don't even go to troop meetings unless the troop asks.

Interesting, I don't think that is in accordance with the national election guide.

Question for everyone, does your troop announce the elected nominees that night or wait for tapout?   We wait for tapout. 

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14 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Question for everyone, does your troop announce the elected nominees that night or wait for tapout?   We wait for tapout. 

We wait for tap out. Only the OA rep, the spl and scoutmaster knows the result. 

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3 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

We wait for tap out. Only the OA rep, the spl and scoutmaster knows the result. 

Interesting, with the SPL?  what if he wasn't in OA yet?

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The 50% rule is a national rule. It is designed for fairness. Believe it or not, not all Scouts are trustworthy. Is it an arbitrary percentage? Probably, but the idea is that if you have half the troop you will get a somewhat representative vote. It is also to prevent small groups from dominating the process in order to ensure certain Scouts get elected and certain Scouts don't.  

The is no national rule against emailing troops to remind/urge them to request an election. In fact, National encourages  those emails go out. The OA are invited to conduct elections,  we are guest and do not show up uninvited, not to mention we want to show up when the troop is prepared.

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Just now, mashmaster said:

Interesting, with the SPL?  what if he wasn't in OA yet?

He’s the spl so he’s the guy who runs the troop. Most spls have been in OA so it wasn’t an issue when I was in the troop. He needed to know so he could plan the logistics of the tap out with our ceremony team. 

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19 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Interesting, I don't think that is in accordance with the national election guide.

Question for everyone, does your troop announce the elected nominees that night or wait for tapout?   We wait for tapout. 

Announcing immediately, doing their own Call out or waiting for a district/council Call Out ceremony is at the discretion of the Scoutmaster. As is who he informs. Most SM's share the info with their OA Rep and his Adviser, but it is his call. The OA Rep and Adviser often assist the election team, but may or may not be involved in counting the vote.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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54 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Interesting, I don't think that is in accordance with the national election guide.

Question for everyone, does your troop announce the elected nominees that night or wait for tapout?   We wait for tapout. 

We don’t even have a tapout. Heck, we barely can even have elections since most of the scouts are too “new” and are only around tenderfoot. There’s only 3 scouts that are between first class-life.

None of the 3 want to do OA. 

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1 hour ago, ItsBrian said:

We don’t even have a tapout. Heck, we barely can even have elections since most of the scouts are too “new” and are only around tenderfoot. There’s only 3 scouts that are between first class-life.

None of the 3 want to do OA. 

Our tapout is held at a district wide camporee.  It is pretty cool.

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10 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

Our tapout is held at a district wide camporee.  It is pretty cool.

Ours is three hours long and boring so we do our own. 

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