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'Lope

SM Discretion on OA Elections

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Hi all. I need to pick your collective brains. We held our OA elections last night. Six Scouts were eligible. There were 23-24 Scouts present and 11 votes were needed for a Scout to be elected. One Scout received eight votes and therefore will not be tapped out. The Scoutmasters feel this one Scout is not only the most qualified out of the group, but also the most deserving due to his selflessness, unwavering commitment to serve, dependability, and Scout skills. He is the one Scout that would not do a "sash and dash." In past elections, it appears that a SM had the discretion to put a worthy Scout forward. Is this still the case? The OA election team indicated that this is no longer so, but failed to provide the source. If this is fact, so be it and the Scout will be placed on next year's ballot and we will use this year as a learning tool. However, we would like to know where this is stated. Thank you for any assistance that you can provide.

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The OA Guide to Unit Elections is available online; it details the process.  From your numbers, I assume either 21 or 22 ballots were turned in, so 11 votes needed to elect...if the scout didn't meet that threshold, then he was not elected.  The Guide to Unit Elections doesn't mention any other way to be elected (i.e. appointed/nominated by SM, etc.).  I don't ever remember a way to for a scout to get in the OA other than election.

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@'Lope, welcome to the forum. Do look up the guide on the O/A's website. My understanding:

Even if other requirements are met the SM may decide if a scout should or should not be a candidate for election. (Clearly, the SM did decide that this boy was worthy to be on the ballot.) But, the SM may not override the vote of the scouts.

So, yes, this is a learning tool. I've found that this usually means figuring out what younger scouts don't like about your behavior. Deciding if you want to change that behavior.  And changing accordingly.

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15 minutes ago, qwazse said:

 

... the SM may not override the vote of the scouts.

So, yes, this is a learning tool. I've found that this usually means figuring out what younger scouts don't like about your behavior. Deciding if you want to change that behavior.  And changing accordingly.

 

Spot on advice from @qwazse

I was SM for 5 years and was one of the Adult Advisors working with our Chapter's Elections Teams for 50+ elections over the years, so I saw it in my troop as well as at other troops. This happens, and is a learning opportunity for growth.

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Thank you all for the advice and links. Looks like an opportunity for all to grow. This happened last year, were a Scout missed it by a single vote, but the OA election team took his nomination based on the SMs advice. This is what started the conversation with them last night. 

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1 hour ago, 'Lope said:

Thank you all for the advice and links. Looks like an opportunity for all to grow. This happened last year, were a Scout missed it by a single vote, but the OA election team took his nomination based on the SMs advice. This is what started the conversation with them last night. 

This is what causes problems: folks ignoring the procedures and doing their own thing.

 

OA Election Team Should NEVER have added a Scout's name to the elected sheet simply because the SM recommends them. That is not how it is done. From personal experience, I know youth on an election team can get intimidated at times by adults. So my question is, where was the adult adviser to intervene on behalf of the election team?

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2 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

This is what causes problems: folks ignoring the procedures and doing their own thing.

 

OA Election Team Should NEVER have added a Scout's name to the elected sheet simply because the SM recommends them. That is not how it is done. From personal experience, I know youth on an election team can get intimidated at times by adults. So my question is, where was the adult adviser to intervene on behalf of the election team?

Yes, absolutely agree. The SM was clearly wrong last year, the election team should not have acquiesced to the request, and Adult Advisor should have been running interference.

Edited by an_old_DC
Typos from autocorrect

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2 hours ago, an_old_DC said:

Yes, absolutely agree. The SM was clearly wrong last year, the election team should not have acquiesced to the request, and Adult Advisor should have been running interference.

There should have been an adult OA member there that could have helped them when the request happened.  I am all for boy led, but most of the time the boys will be respectful and also intimidated by a forceful adult.

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31 minutes ago, mashmaster said:

There should have been an adult OA member there that could have helped them when the request happened.  I am all for boy led, but most of the time the boys will be respectful and also intimidated by a forceful adult.

There are few things I dislike more than telling a SM in his own troop meeting to back off and leave the OA election team alone because they are right and he is wrong.  It can get rather interesting indeed! Especially when the SMers son is envolved. 

But I need to protect "my boys" when they are being wrongly harassed by an adult.  That job comes with the white sash and the title of advisor. When the scouts know their adult leaders will back them, it becomes a lot easier for them to hold fast to what is right.

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I had an SM  try to intimidate my Arrowmen into taking off a name of a Scout he didn't think was worthy AFTER he approved it. It got very heated when I intervened. This happened to be the same SM w whom I found out rigged the election previously by telling the Scouts who to vote for so all three eligible could get in (back when there was limits on who could be on the ballot),

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I always say hands off the election team and election to my SM's. We had one who overly manipulated the list of who was eligible and the ASPL who was an arrowman stood up to him and called in the OA liaison who backed the boy up. I have overseen a few elections in other Troops. I have been in the room when the votes were counted and did not interfere when one son missed getting in by one vote on his last year of eligibility. But then maybe he should have been more friendly and cheerful?

In general popularity or not I think the boys, overall, make pretty good choices. To address the situation @'Lope mentioned pn more than a few occasions I have found out later (since I had two sons in the troop who hung with different groups I eventually got good intel) that a number of scouts we adults thought were " selflessness, unwavering commitment to serve, dependability, and Scout skills" were also martinets, two faced, selfish, or bullies who had us fooled. So I trust the boys and resign myself that a few good guys will get passed over.

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My lodge, Konepaka Ketiwa #38, instituted election team training after last year's problems. I heard there was an election that the SM required a two-thirds vote and another had an election with a lot less than half of the active scouts present. This is a mandatory training. Even though I am in the Order I had an adult member from outside of troop present for my troop's election. I even delayed my Troop's election for two weeks after I found that someone "edited" the camping nights on our Troop Web Host site for an adult and their scout. 

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36 minutes ago, Scoutmaster Teddy said:

 I even delayed my Troop's election for two weeks after I found that someone "edited" the camping nights on our Troop Web Host site for an adult and their scout. 

Wow.  You mean they went in and added some nights so they'd qualify to be on the ballot?  I'd be livid at that!

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