Page 2 - April 2017
P. 2

CODE TEST – ELECTION EDITION!


      1.    When do Lodge elections have to take place? [25020]   I’m guessing that you’re about to tell me that this is also in
      a.    Lodge elections take place no earlier than the first   conflict with the Code. But – we’ve always done it this way in
      regular  meeting in April  and no later than the first regular   our lodge, so, obviously, the Code is wrong!
      meeting in May.                                           c.    Let me interrupt here – I don’t even want an office. I’m
      b.    We don’t have a copy of the Code, and elect people as   going to stand up and tell everybody to don’t bother electing
      soon as we get the Lodge Officer Election form in the mail,   me to anything, because I won’t take it! I read Section 40,
      when we should have thought, “Ah, he is mailing it to us in   Electioneering, and it says that I can’t advocate for or against
      advance so that we have it on hand,” or, “Hey, the form   the success of a candidate – including myself – for any office.
      helpfully tells us that “a” is the correct answer because it   What am I supposed to do, let them elect me and then turn it
      quotes Section 25020 of the Code!”                        down afterward? Doesn’t that seem futile?
                                                                d.    Look, voting is a bit messy. And, spoiler alert: you’re
      2.    I don’t normally show up for meetings, but I showed   going to be circling this one for the correct answer. Here it is:
      up on the night of elections, and I don’t want to vote. What   Section 32010 and Section 27020 say we vote by written
      should I do? [27020] [32030]                              ballot. So, how does this work?
      a.    Ignore my duties and responsibilities, and not vote.
      b.    Join another organization where I don’t have to vote.   Basically, something like this: say your lodge has 40
      c.    Request permission to leave the lodge building before   members. Out of the 40  members, 15 live out of state or
      voting is declared open by the Worshipful Master, since I do   sufficiently far enough away that they cannot attend. Out of
      not feel sufficiently well-informed to make a good decision,   the remaining 25, there are 5 who live in town but never show
      and I don’t think that I can learn the merits of anyone in the 30   up, and also would not  be present to accept or decline an
      seconds before the meeting opens.                         election on the night that it is held. Out of the remaining 20,
      d.    Vote! Along with rights  and privileges,  membership   who might reasonably be expected to show up, 8 actually do,
      consists of duties and responsibilities. If I am qualified to   and we thank them for that, because at least we have a quorum
      vote, and am present, it is my duty to vote.              in order to transact business such as elections!  Of the 8
      e.    Trick question! Obviously  “d” is  correct;  but,  “c” is   present, 6 have completed their Master Mason’s proficiency,
      also correct, because I am not present during the vote. Yeah,   and 2 have not – and we know that you have to have passed a
      it’s a bit of a stretch, but do you guys want me there voting on   proficiency for the third  degree to be eligible to election in
      an important decision like an officer when I don’t even know   office - in addition to being in good standing! Out of those 6,
      your names?                                               only 5 have served as a Warden in any jurisdiction – also a
                                                                requirement  to be  eligible  to hold office  as  Master (see
      3.    Alright, I showed up for the night of the election, I am   Section 27030).
      eligible to vote and understand that since I am present that I
      have to cast a vote, and we are holding our elections in the   You’re down to 5 people present and eligible to be voted into
      correct time frame in April or May. Now what? How do we   office as the Master, and you start by electing the Worshipful
      even vote? [27020] [27030] [32010]                        Master: a piece of paper and a pencil are passed out to
      a.    Our Secretary looks around the room and says, “Does   everyone present and eligible to vote – this is called a “ballot.”
      anyone have a problem if we all just stay here for the third   You write somebody’s name on it, and if someone receives a
      year in a row in the same offices? No? Anyone?” and if    majority of the votes cast (see Section 32020 and also again
      nobody objects to his suggestion, we consider it thus valid.   27020 – yes, it takes a majority), and that person accepts it,
      This is called voting by acclamation when there is unanimous   then you have yourselves a newly elected Worshipful Master!
      consent, and wouldn’t  you  know  it,  it is  not  in fact  in   Now you’ve got 5 other people left eligible to be elected to
      accordance with the Code.                                 Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Secretary, and Treasurer: only
                                                                4 slots to fill, and 5 people to choose from.
      Well, I was never told that this method doesn’t appear in the
      Code, and this is the way we’ve always done it, but maybe we   But wait, you ask: we didn’t get enough votes for a majority
      can read on and see what other options to circle below and   the first time around, or maybe instead we did, but the man
      maybe we can try something else in the future.            declined to serve; what  do we do?  Your answer is: hold
      b.    In my lodge, the Master  says, “Who wants to be the   another vote by written ballot. You aren’t likely to have more
      Worshipful Master for the ensuing year? Say ‘aye.’ Ok, I can’t   than a couple of voting rounds, but if you do, that’s just how it
      hear you, maybe raise your hand. Never mind; I can’t see your   goes. You’ll survive!
      hands – everybody who wants to run for the office of Master,
      stand up.” Then something like seven  out of the eight men   4.   We just had an election for one of the offices, and there
      present slink below their seat so that nobody will put them in   was a tie: what do we do? [28030]
      the office, and we just sort of end up hoping that its just the   a.   Order a pizza, consult an oracle, and wait for the pizza
      one guy left standing who will take it, and the Secretary says,   to arrive.
      “Looks like we have an election.”
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