NRA Election Confusion

I see some folks seem to be confused about how NRA elections work.  I’ve noticed questions in comments on other blogs too.  NRA has some internal protections in place to prevent exactly this type of scenario:

“I had this grand plan — if they had four million members, I’d get five million Americans to join [NRA], vote for me, and then I’d dismantle the organization,” – Michael Moore

Fancy plan, but it won’t easily work.  NRA has voter eligibility requirements, and seventy six board seats, none of which are ever up for election at the same time. The board does not direct day to day activities of NRA, but they do hire Chris Cox and Wayne LaPierre.  They also oversee various activities of the Association through various committees. Seventy five of the board members are elected to three year terms.  The seventy sixth board member is only elected to a one year term every year at the annual meeting.  Who ends up on the ballot is determined by the Nominating Committee, which is largely composed of existing board members.   NRA membership can run petition candidates on the ballot to bypass the Nominating Committee process.  Driving change within NRA is a slow process, and would require a prolonged desire by membership to move in a certain direction.

But back to voter eligibility.  All life members are eligible to vote in NRA yearly elections. People with continuing memberships are eligible to vote after five unbroken years.  If you have let your membership lapse at any period of time in the past five years, you’re not eligible to vote in NRA elections.  When you are eligible to vote, you will get a ballot included in your issue of National Rifleman, America’s First Freedom, or whichever NRA publication your subscribe to.  Your existing publication for this month probably contains bios, but may not contain a ballot if you’re a new member.  If you’re pretty sure you’ve had five unbroken years of membership, and your issue doesn’t have a ballot in it, call NRA’s membership number and see about getting one if you want to vote.  I have heard of people failing to get ballots when they were eligible to vote.

9 thoughts on “NRA Election Confusion”

  1. The wheelbarrow will be available in Louisville. Unfortunately, if you’re flying, you may find you have to leave it behind. However, if you leave it behind with an NRA Foundation staffer, it’s a tax deduction! :)

  2. It’s “eligible.”

    Excellent post — a good succinct summary of NRA voting was needed. Because of that, I suspect this post will be linked a lot and have a long and useful life, so I think it might be worth fixing the typos. :)

  3. So if you are a Life there is no time delay for voting? I just converted to Life (they hooked me from EPL with the lure of the jacket).

  4. Well, there may be a wait if you’re a life, but not a long one. You have to be qualified to vote a few weeks before the magazine goes out. I believe it’s 50 days, but I’m not quite sure. I know the date is usually in February. If you convert over during that period, then you can only vote at Annual Meeting for 76th director. If you do it prior to that deadline, then it’s immediate.

  5. Ah, I always wondered how this worked. I’m still paying off my EPL, so I guess I’m not eligible yet.

  6. Well when you’ve been a member for five years, you’ll be able to vote – even if you’re on EPL.

  7. Yeah Bitter, that’s correct. Article VIII, Sec. 2, (e) of the NRA Bylaws provides “that to receive said ballot a properly completed, fully paid application for lifetime membership must have been received by the Secretary on or before the fiftieth (50th) day prior to the Annual Meeting of Members . . .”. So, if anyone has been meaning to become a Life Member, a good time to do so might be between now and March 27th (I think that’s right). That way, you should be able to vote this year.

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