Ask the Chairman - Elections: Withholding elections from units

Q. Mr. Capp,

I have a question about the unit election process. What is the official policy on lodges withholding unit elections from troops that request one (i.e. a troop requests a unit election but the lodge tells them no)? Does any policy exist? We've had several out-of-council troops that frequent our summer camp that tell us that their home lodge requires them to camp at their council camp every other year if they wish to continue holding elections. I had never heard of such a policy. Is this a national policy?

Thanks for shedding some light on this!


A. Andrew,

Thank you for writing.

I must say, that I was disappointed to read that any lodge would withhold an election for any troop requesting one assuming that the unit had eligible scouts for election. I pray that there are extenuating circumstances and this is an unhappy aberration in the operation of the lodge.

While, I know of no particular “rule” that failing to support a troop by sending in an election team seems to break, refusing to do so certainly breaks every reason for the lodge to exist: the health and welfare of the units it is created to support. Councils and lodges should conduct elections in any troop or team that requests one, without regard to where the unit attends summer camp.

The only situation where an election could not be held is described on page 22 of the Guide for Officers and Advisers. It states: “Before the election, the OA team must secure from the unit leader verification that at least 50 percent of the registered active unit membership is present. If at least 50 percent is not present, an election cannot be held.” If this were the case, I would encourage the lodge election team to reschedule the election so that the appropriate number of scouts would be present for the election.


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