Voting and Elections Poll
Steve Black (steve_black@POBOX.TBE.COM)
Fri, 8 Dec 1995 10:00:52 -0500
In my previous request for information concerning the above subject, I
a total of 40 replies (THANKS! - that was a cheer, sorry I yelled ;))
I have tallied the votes and the results are in!!!
1) Frequency of Elections: The overwhelming response was 6 Months (26 out of
Annual came in with 13 of 40 and one troop holds election 3 times/year.
2) When elections are held: Start of School Year won with 19 of 40, with Sept
and March being the most popular months. The balance of votes were split
between October (most), Summer Camp, and other Special times (e.g. Re-
Charter time annual Winter camping Trip).
3) Special Rank Requirements for SPL: Almost all (37 of 40) had a rank
ment and in 24 of those First Class was required for SPL. Other considera-
tions were size of Troop - smaller troop usually had lower "recommended"
requirements and larger troops had higher rank requirements. Special
was made for SM approval and a commitment to attend Jr. Leader Training.
4) Type of Election: Almost all (36 of 40) had anonymous elections. The
elections differed in many ways however. Some elected the SPL, who then
selected his ASPL (with SM approval) and then they held elections for PL's.
This way if a scout ran for SPL and didn't make it, he would still be elig-
ible for PL. Others elected an ASPL because the ASPL automatically became
the SPL after serving as ASPL. Most PL's were elected within their own
Patrol. Also, in most cases (where a description was given), the Scribe,
Historian, and other "leadership positions" were appointed by the SPL (you
know what goes here ;)) (with SM approval). In other words, he selected his
"cabinet". Some troops elect SPL, ASPL, PL and APL but most just elect
the SPL and PL and they select their assistant.
5) Who Tallies the Votes: Adult Leaders won with 25 of 40. Other results
indicated that the SPL oversaw the results. The answer that struck me
as the most likely was the incumbent Scribe. But I guess this would only
work if he wasn't running for a position. In most cases the need to be
totally unbiased was mentioned. In addition, some Troops SAVE the ballots
in case there are any questions (or arguments!!!). This was a great idea!!!
Usually an adult was responsible in some fashion to "watch" the results.
Some other suggestions that were sent in:
Some Troops allow re-election to positions. These are usually the smaller
troops. The larger ones apparently do not. Some troops limit this to a one-
time re-election but one troop noted that a boy is rarely elected three times
in a row.
Publicize the elections!!! Make sure everyone knows when and where they are.
Allow the scouts to make a speech before the election.
Junior Leader Training is required for all leadership positions.
And finally, have a _written_ election system in place. One responder said
that the SM in their Troop frequently changes the requirements for
certain positions apparently to "force" the scouts to elect the scout
that the SM wants to be in that position. He related that the boys know
what's going on and resent it. Having written election procedures also
gives the scouts something to follow and look forward to (especially if
they aren't happy with a PL or SPL that they have elected).
I hope the above will give many of the newbie Scouters (like me) some
ideas and direction.
Thanks to everyone that responded. I will approach the scouts in my troop
with the results just as they are printed here and let them make the
choice of how they want to hold elections in their Troop!!!
Steve Black - ASM
Troop 321 - Washington Township, NJ
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City