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Masons Voting process?

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posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 09:17 PM
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Im curious, has anyone ever been part of the new member voting process? What is it like ,and or how is it done. Iwas told the vote had to be unanimous to let you in, and if so what are some factors that can stop you from being voted in?




posted on Jun, 26 2004 @ 11:17 PM
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First, the Secretary announces if the committee has found the petitioner favorable or unfavorable. If unfavorable, the Master declares the petitioner rejected without a ballot.
If favorable, the Master calls the Junior and Senior Wardens to the ballot box, and each of these three Officers inspect it. Having found the box properly prepared, the Officers resume their seats, and the Master declares the ballot open. He then requires the Secretary to call the roll.

As the Secretary calls each name, the Brother rises, approaches the Altar, salutes it in the proper Masonic manner, then turns to the box to place his ballot. White balls are yes votes, and black cubes are no votes.

After each Brother present has voted, the Master declares the ballot closed. He then asks the Senior and Junior Warden to meet him at the ballot box, where each officer, beginning with the Junior Warden, inspects it, and announces if he finds the ballot clear or foul. Each Officer having found the ballot clear, the Master declares the petitioner elected to receive the Degree of Entered Apprentice. If the ballot is foul, the Master declares the petitioner rejected, and instructs the Treasurer to reimburse his fees.

The ballot is entirely secret, and it is considered unmasonic to disclose how one has voted. Rejections are handled differently from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In mine, if a petitioner is rejected, he is automatically balloted for again the following month. If rejected a seconded time, he may be balloted for again every 6 months unless he requests to withdraw his petition.

If elected, the Master announces the date of the initiation, and the Candidate is informed of such by the Secretary.

Fiat Lvx.


[edit on 27-6-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:07 AM
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thank you for your information, it really sheds some light on things.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Orangemonkey
Im curious, has anyone ever been part of the new member voting process? What is it like ,and or how is it done. Iwas told the vote had to be unanimous to let you in, and if so what are some factors that can stop you from being voted in?


Orangemonkey,

Also, in answer to one part of your question. Some Grand Lodges require that membership in their subordinate Lodges be by unanimous ballot. When I became a Mason in Kentucky in 1989 that was the way I was elected. I like that because it means that everyone there wanted me in. When I moved back to Missouri in the mid 90's I found that Missouri had changed that rule. Now it requires three black-balls (cubes) to reject a petitioner. ...I'm not sure I like that. Conceivable two could say "no" and he'd still become a member.... ...but the Grand Lodge didn't ask me my opinion.


Sincerely,



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 10:35 AM
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Originally posted by senrak
When I moved back to Missouri in the mid 90's I found that Missouri had changed that rule. Now it requires three black-balls (cubes) to reject a petitioner. ...I'm not sure I like that. Conceivable two could say "no" and he'd still become a member.... ...but the Grand Lodge didn't ask me my opinion.


Someone introduced legislation in my Grand Lodge a couple of years ago to change it to two blackballs, but the amendment was roundly defeated.

I agree with Mackeys logic on this: the ballot should be unanimous to elect because, if one Brother will take offense at sitting in Lodge with a certain person, chances are hell drop out. Therefore, to paraphrase Mackey, why sacrifice the participation of a true and trusty Brother, already proven, for a new member who may not be Masonic material?

In reality, rejections are rare if the petitioner is approved by the committee, and I oppose the requirement of more than one black ball for these reasons. This may sound harsh, but better a thousand good men be turned away than one rogue admitted; I believe Masonry should concentrate on quality instead of quantity.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:22 PM
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Up here, I believe that generally if one black cube is found, the ballot is re-taken, and the member who cast the cube is requested to talk to the WM. If two are found, the ballot is automatically non-favourable. But it is considered a HUGE scandal and a stain on the honour of a Lodge is it rejects a candidate during ballot.

I understand where you're coming from, ML, about not admitting rougues, and I agree, but the fact is (and I'm sorry to say this) in some cases, the rougues are already in. If someone's not a very good Mason, and they want to blackball someone because, say, they don't like his religion, I think they should have to explain themselves.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 12:32 PM
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In GLoCA, we consider the "...but will give him due and timely notice of approaching danger..." part of our obligation to mean that we will notify the master, before a ballot, of any objections you might have to the cadidate. If the master feels your objections to be justified, he will remove the petition from consideration, pending a review of your concerns.

If he does not, and continues with the ballot, you may then cast a cube. If on the first ballot, a cube is cast, another is called for, to correct a possible mistake. If two, then the balloting is over.

If the candidate is black balled twice, then he is rejected, and cannot apply again for a year.

I have seen black cubes cast, but only by one brother in my lodge, who objects to affiliation and petition issues being decided together. In GLoCA, if this happens, the issues are split into two separate ballots... so one brother ends up causing three ballots on two issues... we know who it is, because this only happens when one brother is present... when he is in attendance, we simply ballot on the issues separately.

When he is not, we ballot on them together. No one can talk to him about this, as it is unmasonic to discuss the ballot at all with another brother.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
Up here, I believe that generally if one black cube is found, the ballot is re-taken, and the member who cast the cube is requested to talk to the WM. If two are found, the ballot is automatically non-favourable. But it is considered a HUGE scandal and a stain on the honour of a Lodge is it rejects a candidate during ballot.


Here, if only one black ball appears, the ballot is also immediately re-taken, in case a Brother has cast a negative vote by mistake. But I find it odd that your jurisdiction considers it a dishonor to reject a petitioner (if I understand you correctly). It my jurisdiction, it is considered scandalous and dishonorable to approve an unworthy petitioner at the ballot box.


If someone's not a very good Mason, and they want to blackball someone because, say, they don't like his religion, I think they should have to explain themselves.


This is precisely the reason that the petitioner cannot be asked about his religious or political persuasions. In my jurisdiction, both are non-issues because such matters are not addresses in the Lodge.

In my jurisdiction, it is also a Masonic offense to accuse a Brother of having cast a black ball, or requiring him to explain himself. The right to admit or to refuse to admit any petitioner is considered a fundamental right of a Master Mason in my jurisdiction, which in no circumstance may be infringed.

This may seem like a hard line approach to those in jurisdictions where candidate election policies are more relaxed. But in reality, we have very few rejections. I belong to two Blue Lodges; in combination over the past 5 years, weve had approximately 70 petitioners. Of these, only three have been failed by the committee, and only one petitioner has been approved by the committee but rejected by the Lodge, in my recollection.

Each Mason knows it is unmasonic to cast a black ball for no other reason than that they disagree with the petitioners religious or political beliefs. Im not saying this doesnt happen; in fact, those in leadership positions have been guilty. In the 1940s, Brother Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32, was nominated by the Supreme Council 33 of the Northern Jurisdiction to receive the 33. Two members of the Northern Council (composed of mainly Brethren who were conservative in politics) actually stated that FDR had betrayed his class, and refused to grant him the 33.
This led the Northern Grand Commander to contact Bro. John Cowles, 33, Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction, and request that FDR be nominated to the 33 by the more liberal minded Supreme Council 33, Southern Jurisdiction. Unfortunately, Bro. Roosevelt died while this was being considered, without having attained the Degree.

But, in any case, I still firmly believe that each Mason is responsible to whom he chooses to carry the Craft into posterity, and the sacredness and secrecy of the ballot box cannot be violated to ensure the survival of the Fraternity as we know it.

Fiat Lvx.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:20 PM
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Originally posted by Masonic Light
But I find it odd that your jurisdiction considers it a dishonor to reject a petitioner (if I understand you correctly). It my jurisdiction, it is considered scandalous and dishonorable to approve an unworthy petitioner at the ballot box.


I'm afraid I didn't express myself correctly. It is not considered dishonourable for a Lodge to reject a candidate -- it happens all the time. It is considered dishonourable (if sometimes unavoidable) for a Lodge to reject a candidate at the stage of balloting. If a brother has a problem with a potential candidate, they are expected to discuss it with the WM beforehand, so that balloting does not occur.



This is precisely the reason that the petitioner cannot be asked about his religious or political persuasions. In my jurisdiction, both are non-issues because such matters are not addresses in the Lodge.


The problem is, though, that we have to know which VSL to put on the altar for the candidate. If the candidate will not take his obligation on the Bible, some misguided brethren may blackball him right there as soon as they find out (and it's hard to prevent information like that from spreading). You can see how in a world where some Masons think that Wiccans shouldn't be allowed to join, it could be an issue.



In my jurisdiction, it is also a Masonic offense to accuse a Brother of having cast a black ball, or requiring him to explain himself. The right to admit or to refuse to admit any petitioner is considered a fundamental right of a Master Mason in my jurisdiction, which in no circumstance may be infringed.


This is true here, too. No brother is ever required to explain himself, he is merely expected to. Blackballs are totally anonymous, and no-one ever has to volounteer that they cast one. But it's (to me) a very shameful and cowardly thing to blackball someone and not explain to the WM why you did so unless there is a very, very good reason.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 01:38 PM
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I totally agree with you Alex.
It's an unwritten law in my Lodge that no candidate will get to the stage of being blackballed. We have a GP committee every month and any brother who has a grievance is expected to air it there.

Black balls can be very damaging to the unity of a Lodge. I've known a few which have suffered immensely through having brethren cast a negative vote. Not only is it polite to the candidate to not blackball him and remove his application at an earlier stage but it is also good for the integrity of the Lodge itself.

I've known a couple of cases where candidates have been blackballed in other Lodges (we've never had one) and those Lodges took years to recover from the fallout - one still hasn't and has had problems with gaining new members.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 05:06 PM
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Originally posted by AlexKennedy
The problem is, though, that we have to know which VSL to put on the altar for the candidate. If the candidate will not take his obligation on the Bible, some misguided brethren may blackball him right there as soon as they find out (and it's hard to prevent information like that from spreading). You can see how in a world where some Masons think that Wiccans shouldn't be allowed to join, it could be an issue.


That makes sense, but also illustrates the differences between jurisdictions. In my jurisdiction, all Candidates assume their obligations upon the Bible, regardless of their religion.
The logic behind this is two-fold (and believe me, Ive been waiting for a chance to use the word two-fold around here for quite a while!).

1. The Obligation is not a religious ceremony. As in courts of profane law, witnesses generally are sworn in on the King James Version of the Bible, irrespective of their religious beliefs (if any), the Obligation taken on the Bible does not promote that Books contents, per se, which leads us to...

2. My jurisdiction has defined the Bible as the symbol of the Divine Will, and not necessarily the Divine Will itself (unless a Brother is a Christian, and chooses to believe such). Therefore, there is uniformity in the rites, and Brethren of all religious persuasions can sit in the same Lodge with the same Book opened without prejudice.

Fiat Lvx.


[edit on 27-6-2004 by Masonic Light]



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 07:33 PM
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Ah, I see... that's interesting. Up here, we have VSLs open as each brother would like, or as the Lodge chooses. Thus, one of our Lodges up here always has a Quran as well as a Bible open on the Altar at all meetings, even if they don't have any of their Muslim members present. I myself think that having lots of different VSLs would be a badge of honour for one of our Lodges, but sadly, I've only ever seen two (uniformly a Quran and a Bible... never a Guru Granth Sahib, even though we have lots of Sikh members up here... weird).



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 07:42 PM
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In my experience, a candidate is not asked until AFTER he has been approved what volume of sacred law he wishes to use to take his obligation. I was asked on the day I appeared for initiation.

I know that Manny Blanco in Moreno Valley paused an initiation by calling to refreshment while a brother went out to acquire a Koran (Muslim VSL) for a candidate, and now keeps a Koran, Torah, and KJV bible in the lodge for whatever the candidate needs.

We never ask a man's specific beliefs.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 07:55 PM
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Hmmm... I don't know. I've never been a secretary, nor a WM, so I'm not sure what we do up here. I'm pretty sure we simply ask which VSL they want at an appropriate time... but I'm not sure whether that is right before their initiation or a long while before. You're right that it would be inappropriate to ask before balloting. I think maybe I'm just mixed up about procedure.



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 08:04 PM
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Quite a timely thread
Here in Rhode Island, all it takes is one black cube as well. I'm not yet a Mason, but, the Lodge is balloting me tomorrow evening....so please wish me luck



posted on Jun, 27 2004 @ 08:07 PM
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Blackballing a canididate should not taint a Lodge, it is just the exercise of a democratic right under specific rules. I am yet to see it happen at the level of a proposed initiate.



posted on Jun, 28 2004 @ 12:55 AM
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If luck is what you need, my friend and soon to be brother, you have my best wishes. If you are a good and honorable man, as it appears to this point, then the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

Please keep us apprised of your progress through the degrees... and WELCOME to the fraternity.





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