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Jameson76

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

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8 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

But the level of negativity on this board by so many toward Scouting is astounding.

I lost both of my parents when I was a teenager. Had my Scout leaders been as negative as many on this board, I wouldn't have stuck with scouting 

I wouldn't assume that scouters who are negative on this board, or grumpy at committee meetings, are acting the same way while they are interacting with the boys. The kids often have a way of bringing out the best in some people.

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7 hours ago, Oldscout448 said:

Three hours!?  That's nuts!

Good lord, how many candidates do you have?

Last year we called out about 60 scouts in 40 minutes, and we thought our ceremony  was pretty elaborate. 

As to the  50 percent rule I confess I never gave it much thought but I suppose it's there so they get a decent cross section of the troop voting a bun who is Worthy. 

Generally the OA rep and the  scoutmaster emphasized that the election is important and strongly encouraged the scouts to attend. I can only remember one troop that didn't have 50%, needed something like four more boys and they asked us to wait while they made some quick phone calls we hung around for an extra half-hour and five of them showed up so we just had the election at the end of the meeting instead of at the beginning.

On average it’s 25 units with roughly 5-10 guys per unit. My unit usually has 4-6 guys but sometimes less. The large troops usually elect everyone on their ballot so they can have up to 20. The small troops have 1-5 usually. So we can have easily 120 guys to tap out and the ceremony team takes a long time. 

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In 1974 I do not recall any elections in our troop. In a troop of 30 boys, maybe one per year were tapped out at a camporee. If you did not attend the camporee, you missed your chance. The scoutmaster identified the  candidates to the OA during the big campfire ceremony. Besides first class, one needed to be a PL for some time. At the time, maybe 10% of the unit was in OA, and none of the troop's goof-offs.

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17 hours ago, HelpfulTracks said:

The is a very good approach.

Last year I was to oversee 2 different elections in one night, with different elections teams. We scheduled one for the first half of the meeting and the other for the second half.

When I arrived, the adult OA member who had brought several of the team, talked the troop onto go ahead and holding the election. Initially, I was fine with that. But after the meeting, as I was talking to the Scoutmaster, he told me the adult leader insisted that everyone turn in a ballot because they only had a little over 50% of their troop there, otherwise they couldn't hold the election. Although the adult OA member was wrong, the SM had no idea.

So all of his brand new crossovers turned in blank ballots. Out of 7 Scouts on the ballot, 2 were elected, 2 more would have been had the election been run properly. The SM was not happy. There were proposed bylaws changes to prevent this in the future.

Same thing happened to me as Scoutmaster. Another Troop in our Council never had an election even though Scouts were eligible. Apparently the Troop had no idea how to ask for an election. Council Office, Commissioner, other OA members - have you heard of it? Our election team last year told me that the Scouts had to have one more than one-half. Twelve Scouts voted - six "ayes" and six "nays." So, we voted again. I used my phone to read of copy of the OA's election guidance and set the election straight. Now we have new Lodge Bylaws that designate only trained OA members may conduct elections.

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12 minutes ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

Same thing happened to me as Scoutmaster. Another Troop in our Council never had an election even though Scouts were eligible. Apparently the Troop had no idea how to ask for an election. Council Office, Commissioner, other OA members - have you heard of it? Our election team last year told me that the Scouts had to have one more than one-half. Twelve Scouts voted - six "ayes" and six "nays." So, we voted again. I used my phone to read of copy of the OA's election guidance and set the election straight. Now we have new Lodge Bylaws that designate only trained OA members may conduct elections.

We just had an election and a (new?) OA video discusses that if you have no opinion do not turn in a ballot and if you think no one deserves it then by all means turn in a ballot. Then the Lodge representative mentioned the options again. So, at least in our Lodge (good 'ol Uh-To-Yeh-Hut-Tee) progress is being made. (Thanks Gene!)

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We had a problem because the new scouts joined us in january right during elections so they really didn’t know anyone. The election team encouraged them not to turn in a ballot because it would make the 50% number higher than it should be. So they counted for purposes of having 50%+1 of the registered scouts there but not against the 50%+1 of the votes need to be elected. Made the most sense.  

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49 minutes ago, Back Pack said:

We had a problem because the new scouts joined us in january right during elections so they really didn’t know anyone. The election team encouraged them not to turn in a ballot because it would make the 50% number higher than it should be. So they counted for purposes of having 50%+1 of the registered scouts there but not against the 50%+1 of the votes need to be elected. Made the most sense.  

 

We had a crossover the week before OA elections. They only knew one person on the ballot, their Den Chief. Out of the six or seven eligible, the former Den Chief was the only one elected because of all the new Cross Overs.

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27 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

We had a crossover the week before OA elections. They only knew one person on the ballot, their Den Chief. Out of the six or seven eligible, the former Den Chief was the only one elected because of all the new Cross Overs.

Yup, in such cases they know at least one candidate. We actually had that happen last year. The DC was on the ballot and one of the Lodge reps told three Webelos (just crossed over and their first meeting) that they couldn't vote. Our OA Rep overheard so the youth came and got me. I told the Lodge rep these were new Scout and entitled to a ballot (he disagreed but could not find it in the rules) so we had the boys vote. Yes, they were registered with the unit so they counted.

Happy to say the DC needed those three votes and got in with just enough votes.

Also happy to say that DC is now the OA Rep and leader of our ceremony team.

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On 2/15/2018 at 6:19 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:

Pretty much. One of the challenges is that BSA changes policies and procedures so often, folks cannot keep up. Best example is the December 2016 Cub Scout advancement changes. We still have folks using the June 2015 - December 2016 advancement because that is in the book. Another example can be the various MB requirements. How many times did they change Cooking MB in a 5 year period?

Another challenge is old age, Memory goes as ya age ;) 

OK I am using my 1987 printing of the 1977 ed. of the OA HB.

The Unit Election Procedure  starts on page 48. On page 51, procedure 6 is the following

6. The election team determines the maximum  number of names a voter may list on his ballot by reading the illustrated chart [ note chart is on page 53, E94],  as follows

* Find the number of eligible for election in the first column (Note: Boys who are already members of the Order of the Arrow must not be counted as eligible) [sic, E94]

* The maximum number of names a voter may list on his ballot is given by the number immediately to the right in the second column. Example" Voters in a unit with 9 boys eligible may list no more than 5 names on their ballots.

* If there are more than 20 eligible in the unit, one-half the number eligible may be listed on each ballot. If the number eligible is uneven, round the figure upward before dividing by 2. 

 

The chart on page 53 looks something like this

                                               ELECTION CHART

Number of Boys Eligible                 Maximum Names on Ballot

1 or 2                                                   1

3 or 4                                                   2

5 or 6                                                   3

7 or 8                                                   4 

9 or 10                                                 5

11 or 12                                               6

13 or 14                                                7

15 or 16                                                8

17 or 18                                                9

19 or 20                                                10

21 or more                                            Ratio of 1 to 2 (round up if number eligible is odd.)

Regarding blank ballots according to Procedure 7 on page 52  they count. Only way to not vote and not hurt anyone was to "abstain by not turning in a ballot at all, and this will not affect the final result."

The 1990 edition of the OA Guide for Officers and Advisers repeats the above verbatim on pages 38 through 41. I think I got the book in 1993, but no later than 1995 when I became a chapter adviser.

 

I apologize, you sir are correct. I even found the 1996 memo that canceled this policy.

It appears this rule was enacted sometime after 1980 and done away with in 1996, so I still fail to see how it is responsible, in whole or part, to any perceived downfall of the OA.

Edited by HelpfulTracks

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At the time I was elected (1969); there was a quota based on the number of registered boys in the troop, not the number eligible for election.  The chart in the OA Handbook ranged from 1 elected for a troop of 5 or less, to 10 who could be elected by a troop with between 74 - 85 boys.

There was also a provision for electing Eagle Scouts that were not member, that would not count against the troop quota.

The one thing that kind of caught me by surprise, as I really did not remember this, was that you did not have to be First Class to be elected.  A boy could be elected as long as he attained the First Class rank within 6 months, and prior to induction.  (from the 1970 printing of the handbook)  In looking at my 1975 60th anniversary copy, the requirement was by then that a Scout must be First Class to be eligible for election.

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