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NRA Ballots – Did You Get One?

You’ve heard us talking about NRA voting for months, but what if you didn’t get a ballot? Do you think you should have received one? Are you pretty confident you’ve kept your membership up for 5 years straight with no lapses or upgraded/purchased a life membership in advance of the ballot mailing?

We just got word that someone who we sponsored as a life member upgrade didn’t receive a ballot even though he qualifies for one. Not good. If you are in the same boat, today is the last day to request a replacement ballot.

You need to call 1-800-672-3888, choose option 6, and then dial extension 3700. They will promptly send you a new ballot. You will need to return it ASAP since they need it in hand by April 26. Call today – don’t delay!

UPDATE: Nevermind. Apparently someone in the Secretary’s office is giving out false information. Yesterday was the deadline, regardless of what I was just told less than an hour ago by the same office about how they would process requests submitted today.

Of course, the guy who is now answering that extension also tried to convince me that more than 550 people work in the Secretary’s office and “any one of them could have answered the phone.” Um, no. I do NOT appreciate being lied to. There are not that many staffers in the Secretary’s Office, and their phone systems don’t randomly transfer a call to the Secretary’s Office to say, Competitive Shooting. Apparently, the Jim Land’s staff thinks I’m dumb enough to believe that calling a specific extension could get any random staffer to pick up – even the Federal Affairs staff in the DC office!

So then he lectured me on how tight they must run clean, tight elections and they can’t have any room for error. Oh, really? How about misstating to the membership about how many votes they have?

Yes, something I purposely chose not to bring to light earlier is how the division that handles elections incorrectly told the membership about how many people they could vote for depending on which section of the voting information they read. The ballot itself says you can vote for 26 people (25 regular seats, plus filling the rest of a term emptied by a resignation). However, as an observant commenter here noticed, on the page facing the ballot, they warn members they are only allowed to vote for 25 candidates.

You could say it’s a typo and no big deal. However, you can also say that given the typo is on the official report of the nominating committee, it’s a means of denying members their 26th vote. I guess it depends on how much you hate NRA as to how you see it. Considering that their biggest problem for disqualified ballots are people who vote for the wrong number of candidates, it’s not exactly a minor issue. (Last year there were almost as many disqualified ballots for the wrong number of votes as the difference between the last winner and first loser. In other words, enough to potentially swing an election.)

So, those clean, tight elections? Yeah, so much for that. Giving out false deadlines, denying a 26th vote to members, and then lying about how many staff are in your division…not clean nor tight.

12 Responses to “NRA Ballots – Did You Get One?”

  1. Steve says:

    I just tried and the person I spoke with said that yesterday was the last day.
    Steve

  2. Bitter says:

    I’m updating, the staffer I spoke with lied about the deadline. Don’t even get me started.

  3. thirdpower says:

    I didn’t get one either.

  4. Bitter says:

    Thirdpower, are you a lifer or have you been a member for 5 years straight with no lapses more than 30 days?

  5. Bitter says:

    Not that it matters since they are telling people two different deadlines. And making up other random lies when people call.

    (In case you can’t tell, I’m pissed. They can say they just made a mistake, but do not try to cover it up by lying to me.)

  6. Skullz says:

    You’ve seen the emperor, and he has no clothes.

    [Um, no. I do NOT appreciate being lied to.]

    Yep, that’s why some number of us have not renewed.

    [You could say it’s a typo and no big deal. However, you can also say that given the typo is on the official report of the nominating committee, it’s a means of denying members their 26th vote. I guess it depends on how much you hate NRA as to how you see it. Considering that their biggest problem for disqualified ballots are people who vote for the wrong number of candidates, it’s not exactly a minor issue. (Last year there were almost as many disqualified ballots for the wrong number of votes as the difference between the last winner and first loser. In other words, enough to potentially swing an election.)]

    Sounds oddly like some other large group of fat cats with too much money and lack of accountability. The difference is that people opt in to send $ to the NRA, while there is no opting out of sending $ to the government.

    III

  7. Sebastian says:

    You’ve seen the emperor, and he has no clothes.

    The mistake you guys make is assuming that NRA is like a living, breathing entity almost. It is not. It is a civic organization. Being a civic organization it is made up of people, who are by nature fallible. Some are more fallible than others. Some NRA offices are very well run, other NRA offices are not so well run. There are good people in some of the not well run offices, and bad people in some of the well run offices. The Secretary’s Office has a lot on their plate. It’s a difficult job. But that doesn’t mean they should be above criticism.

    I am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is possible to change things, but you’ll never change things if you just pick up your toys and go home. It’s not a business selling a product, it’s a civic organization. The only way they will improve is if their members demand it.

  8. Bitter says:

    I second Sebastian’s comments. There are good and helpful people who make a legitimate effort to address problems as they arise. And, just like any other organization or even company, when you get a customer service-related staffer who treats members, donors, or customers poorly, they should be brought to attention and corrected.

    I also give credit to how much work the Secretary’s Office does, and how they normally do a good job. A mistake would have simply left me irritated. But when he crossed the point into lying in order to get me off the phone, that’s when I got pissed. That’s a problem with that particular staffer, not NRA as a whole. The other staffers I’ve talked to today about this and other issues have been very helpful and honest.

  9. Skullz says:

    [Being a civic organization it is made up of people, who are by nature fallible.]

    Agreed. However, lying to your members who call for clarification is not a mistake. Lying is intentional.

    Lecturing a constituent, rather then attempting to educate or ask for some wiggle room, and apologizing isn’t a mistake.

  10. Sebastian says:

    Agreed. However, lying to your members who call for clarification is not a mistake. Lying is intentional.

    Yes, but that’s a fault of the person doing the lying, not the organization as a whole. That’s not to say there isn’t room for improvement, and it’s also not to say NRA, as an organization, doesn’t let shit like this go far more often than it should. But it’s hard to hire good people when you pay what they do. It’s not as simple as just “Fix it!”

    The problem is complex, and the fix is too. But one thing is for sure, you won’t be part of the solution from the outside looking in.

  11. Bitter says:

    A mistake by one staff member. You don’t cut off your arm because you got a mosquito bite, do you?

    I’m calling it out because one staffer was over-the-top in his stretching of the truth, and unfortunately, he’s the one answering the phones right now. He is the public face of NRA today. The purpose in highlighting his lies is to alert them to the fact that someone else who has more information or patience needs to charged with handling the phones right now. In the meantime, he needs to be warned and retrained to understand that you don’t make up false information just to get a person off the phone. You don’t know who you may be talking to and they may know better.

    I have long maintained that NRA needs to revise how they train (or rather, don’t train) the staff who answer phones in every division. I’ve called and been mistakenly mislead more times than I can count. Overwhelmingly, it is a matter of a simple mistake. But, NRA could encourage people to acknowledge when they simply do not know. They need to stop assuming that everyone who calls is uninformed. In an increasingly connected world, it’s more likely that those who call are informed or want to be informed, but may have simply received a bit of bad information elsewhere.

    That said, it’s not everyone who behaves this way, which is why it’s worth bringing it to their attention when they do have a problem. We also try to talk about it when they do us right so there’s balance. You just want to focus on the negative without really offering a solution that actually works.

  12. Skullz says:

    [But one thing is for sure, you won’t be part of the solution from the outside looking in.]

    Part of the solution to the NRA’s problems? You’re right – they are SUPPOSED to be part of the solution to it’s member’s problems – of which I was among the ranks until I understood that their member’s concern’s weren’t really part of their mission.

    The NRA should be advertising what they promise to do in order to regain the members they have lost – unless it just doesn’t matter to them – and that’s OK too.

    [You just want to focus on the negative without really offering a solution that actually works.]

    As I’ve said, I was a member, that offered solutions, and money and never saw anything implemented. You’re talking in circles, Bitter. You’re complaining about something that should change and then providing them the excuse for it to continue to happen.

    Yes, one staffer was over the top – so far. But that’s the tip of the iceberg – at least as I’ve read from what you’ve written. Do you think that NRA will circulate an apology to it’s eligible voting members for seriously screwing up the dates for ballots, not to mention NOT sending ballots?

    To me, if an organization can’t reign in their employed ranks, have some sort of QC process in place when it comes to voting rules, dates, etc, prior to setting expectations with it’s members, issue an apology with a plan to remedy the issue to it’s members (and this is a BIG assumption on my part, which I will retract if it’s untrue), then how can they be effective at their mission of protecting 2A?

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