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Figuring Out the NRA Ballot

There is always some confusion about the NRA ballot.  There are so many seats – many more than most people are used to in any organization – and the Nominating Committee supports more candidates than seats.  But what happens when people get it wrong?  Easy, their ballot is considered to be invalid.  The folks who scan the ballots don’t aim to be Florida election officials, so they tend not to try and determine the proverbial hanging chads.

nrainvalidballots06-08I will confess  that one of my favorite times of the NRA Annual Meeting is when Jim Land gets up to read the election results.  Included in that report is a summary of how many invalid ballots they received, as well as the reasons why various ballots were declared invalid.  I find it quite amusing.

nrainvalidballottypes06-08I realize that lines may make this chart a little confusing.  However, they were easier to follow year-to-year than just plain dots.

Yes, as you can see, there are between 10 and 50 people who, for the last three years, have saved a ballot from a previous year and submitted that one.  That’s impressive.  It’s one thing if they just hold on to a copy of the old magazine, but to actually take the time to send in the ballot during the voting period the next year, that’s just crazy.

The most common problem is clearly too many votes.  This year, you may vote for up to 26.  However, if you don’t have 26 people that you’re just dying to vote for, then it is advised you limit your votes.  So-called bullet voting helps your favorite candidates more than spreading out votes across the entire ballot.

8 Responses to “Figuring Out the NRA Ballot”

  1. plblark says:

    Could you explain how bullet voting helps my candidate? I assume it’s because they take the top 26 vote getters and if I vote for only 5, I’m both giving them a vote and deptiving 20 of their competitors of a vote?

  2. Bitter says:

    Yes, that’s essentially it. If you have absolute favorites, and you really don’t care much for the rest, then limit your votes to your favorites. If you cast votes just for the sake of casting all of them, then you could well lead to one of your favorites being overtaken by someone you otherwise don’t care about.

    Not that I think anyone is so passionate about the board elections that they will be devastated if their favorites don’t win, but if you have favorites, you might as well vote in a way that most benefits them.

  3. Kathy says:

    What was confusing to me is that the ballot clearly states to mark 26 while the Nominating Committee Report clearly states to vote for no more than 25 out of the 30 recommendations.

    Um. yeah.

    Sebastian said that I could vote for up to 26, but it just seems sketchy to me. (not that I’m planning to vote for nearly that many, but it did bug me.)

  4. Bitter says:

    Sebastian is right, it’s 26 this year. Basically, no one read the bottom of the nominating committee report to change it this year. Normally, it is 25. However, because of a resignation on the board, there is another seat to be filled. So this year, it is 26.

    I mentioned it to a board member, but it’s not an error that really hurts anyone. (If it said 26 and we were really limited to 25, that would be a big deal because it would cause many people to vote too many times and invalidate their ballots.) If people only vote for 25, their ballot is still good.

    We’re all a little surprised that such an error got past the Secretary’s Office. Normally they are on top of these small things. I guess this one just slipped by this year.

  5. Alf Sauve says:

    How do I get a list of the current board members and their home states? I would like to pass on my comments and ideas to those reps closest to me.

  6. Bitter says:

    Read your magazine, they publish the full list at least once a year.

  7. Alf Sauve says:

    Bitter, unfortunately none of the issues I have around the house have that list. It would seem to me that I should be able to go on the NRA website and find it.

    HOWEVER, I found this link which has a complete current listing. http://www.gunvoter.org

    I’m just so ticked of LaPierre’s mamby-pamby quote, I got to tell somebody.

  8. Bitter says:

    There are many issues with NRA’s web presence, something that has long been a topic of discussion on gun blogs. I suggest that if you want to keep current information on hand, keep an eye out for the issues where the information is published and keep it on hand.

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