NRA Board Elections – A Few Facts & Figures

There were 1,718,786 people eligible to vote in the NRA board elections this year. That number is overwhelmingly made up of life members. What’s significant about this number is that it’s nearly 122,000 more than last year. That’s how many more (mostly life) voting members we have now.

Of those ballots mailed, only 123,646 bothered to vote at all. A little under 11,000 had to be tossed because they were invalid. The overwhelmingly common problem (nearly 3,400) is people voting for too many candidates.

More than 10,000 people more voted than last year. The top vote getter (Ollie North) received more votes than the top vote getter last year. There are plenty of years when there are no candidates who break 100,000 votes, but three did this year. Even more amazing, one of them was Sandy Froman even though she’s not a celebrity. (She’s just awesome and wonderfully likeable.)

When we get home, I’ll do up a serious analysis of how people participate in their NRA. This is just a quick and dirty set of facts picked up quickly from the election committee report.

11 thoughts on “NRA Board Elections – A Few Facts & Figures”

  1. That’s about a 7.2 percent response. I don’t know whether that is good news or bad news. The bad news of course would be if 92.8 percent just didn’t care. I doubt that’s the case.

    The good news might be, that we more than any other constituency would prefer not to be uninformed voters. The published resumes of most of the candidates sound roughly equivalent, if you don’t know who the people are, and few of us are going to Google every candidate, one at a time, trying to learn more. If there are a few candidates that we dislike, but their published resumes sound almost equivalent to the best, it reinforces our doubts about who to vote for.

    I bullet vote only those candidates I absolutely want to win, whether that is one, a dozen, or a full slate.

    I was once told of a system of voting, where voters cast votes indicating everyone they absolutely didn’t want — as many or as few as they cared to — and whoever got the fewest negative votes won. The idea has intrigued me more and more for our state and national elections, and perhaps organizations should consider it. :-)

  2. I did not vote as I didn’t feel that I had enough information on the candidates. I’d prefer to bullet vote as well.

    I tried to google and whatnot but I was busy and didn’t have the time to research as well as I’d like.

  3. The election of North and Nugent suggest a sad tendency to elect celebrity over substance. Both may be colorful characters but I really question whether they’ll make any contributions of substance to the NRA’s decision- or policy-making processes.

  4. I know who I didn’t want to vote for and that was former Sen. Larry Craig, the “bathroom bandit”. I can’t even believe he would show his face anymore. I went for familiar names.

  5. The ballot shows up with the mag. 20 minutes of contemplating the choices and one stamp and its on it way. I never vote for the maximum.

  6. I have voted in the past. Not the last couple. I’m a Life Member for many years and have been a member prior to that since the 60’s. My dad was a member before that. I support the NRA, but as for the board, they are like the boards of any large organization. They self perpetuate. The Board picks their choices and you get a subtle nudge in that direction. Mosst of the board members are committed in one way or another to our cause, and the membership would be hard pressed to change anything. It has been tried and it failed.

  7. I forgot to mention above that in the late ’90s I participated in an effort to independently get out more information about NRA Board candidates, by sending all of them candidate questionnaires, made up of ten or twelve questions about their positions on gun rights. Responses were reported objectively, i.e., their “yes” or “no” responses to “Do you support. . .? questions. It was largely a failure because it was mostly boycotted by The Chosen, and of course by the NRA itself having overwhelming control of the primary medium of communication on NRA issues — the NRA publications. Probably not one NRA voting member in a thousand ever heard of the effort.

  8. I think part of the issue is that the ballot is intimidating. There are a lot of choices to be made and researching all the candidates is difficult at best.

    I’d like to see some sort of standard questionnaire for each candidate with pressing issues selected by the membership so you can quickly compare key differences, along with some key stats (# of yrs of service, prior background, etc).

    Alternatively, splitting up the board elections to get smaller electorates might be effective at upping turnout. For example you could have a system where each member gets to vote for a Regional Board Member Rep based on where they live, a Functional Board Member based on their primary shooting discipline activity (hunting, CCW, High Power, NRA instructors, ILA, whatever — I suspect it would not be hard to develop reasonable categories) and two or three “at large” members. I suspect if you made some of the selections based on smaller sub-communities you’d get more votes based on local activism (what I saw the candidate doing in my region) or based on involvement in shooting disciplines (high power folks, action pistol folks, hunters, instructors, etc).

  9. It surprises me that with the NRA being identified in the media as the monolith that defines “the gun lobby,” no independent RKBA organizations (other than the limited effort I described above) have gotten into rating their candidates. I would not trust the NRA to do that themselves, because they could rig questions that would favor their Establisment’s favored candidates.

    We attempted it in the late 1990s because an incumbent NRA Board member had come to be at odds with “The Winning Team” who seemed to (and did) have a lock on the election process. I think we attempted to do an objective job, but whether we did or not at this point in no longer the point. I am surprised that even if we didn’t do a good job, no other independent organization attempted later to do it better.

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