What Does it Take to Win an NRA Board Seat?

I’ve been told by successfully elected NRA board candidates that the data & explanations I provide about how NRA elections work and what it takes to win are actually pretty useful. So, if you’d like to see a change made to the NRA Board of Directors, here’s a peek at what it takes to help your preferred candidate win.

For those of you who are a little confused by my terminology, it is based on how directors are elected.  There are 25 seats up every year on the mailed ballot.  There are typically around 30 or so nominees, but only the top 25 of them will receive a seat on the board.  (There were 37 nominees this year, a higher number than usual.)  By “top winner,” I mean the person who earned the most votes.  By “last winner,” I mean the person who had the least number of votes, but still enough to win one of the 25 seats available.

This year, the top vote-getter was on 91% of the valid ballots.  Considering that exactly 3 years prior, the number was similarly high, it’s not hard to guess that this year’s top winner was once again Tom Selleck.  The final person to actually win a board seat was on almost 56% of the valid ballots. In raw numbers, that means that in order to serve on the board, candidates had to earn at least 53,029 votes this year. (This is actually the second lowest number of votes needed to win since I’ve been keeping track, typically the number is closer to 60,000 votes.)

The difference between the last winner and the “first loser” (for lack of a better term) was just 866 votes this year. Here are the candidates who did not win a seat and the number of votes between them and the next person in line.

“Losing” Candidates Vote Tally Difference from
Previous Candidate
Timothy W. Pawol 52,163 866
Harold W. Schroeder 51,566 597
David G. Coy 50,611 955
Carl B. Kovalchik 50,244 367
Steven C. Schreiner 49,952 292
James L. Wallace 45,157 4,795
Eddie Newman 45,154 3
Joel Friedman* 43,906 1,248
Dennis DeMille 37,970 5,936
Marion Townsend 36,744 1,226
Anthony J, Chimblo III 36,722 22

*Elected as 76th Director to serve a term of one year. The election process for this seat happens at Annual Meeting & is open to all NRA members.

You can see where encouraging any friends and family members who can vote to support your favorite candidates can easily pay off in boosting numbers. You don’t have to convince all 4 million members of NRA to support your guy or gal in order to make a difference in the election.