Setting Up an Election

This guide will show Lodge members how to set up a virtual unit election. Please follow the guide exactly to ensure an anonymous and successful election. Each unit election is key to ensuring our lodge and organization as a whole grows. Before you start this process, you will need the names/contact info of those running the election and the election details you have arranged with the unit leader. Contact elections@chumashlodge90.net if you need help with this process.

Setting up the Election Page on the Election Portal
The virtual election portal located at elections.chumashlodge90.net will help us easily view and share details for upcoming virtual elections. You must have the date, time, and unit name to create a new election. Make sure you have a @chumashlodge90.net Google Account so you can log into the backend of the portal.

  1.  Go to the election portal login at chumashlodge90.net/login. You will be redirected to log in with your @chumashlodge90.net account. Once you have logged in, click the “Elections” tab on the left side of the page.
  2. Click the “Add New” button at the top left of the page.
  3. Fill in each of the fields with information you know. Title the election page “Unit# UnitType Election” (ex. Troop 4 Election), and a link for the election page should be automatically created.
  4. Once you have filled in all information, click the “Publish” button at the top right of the page. If you make changes to the election page, click the “Update” button to take those changes live.
  5. You can view the election page by clicking at the blue hyperlink under the election page title.
  6. If you would like to restrict access to the election page, click the “Edit” link next to the “Visibility” icon on the top right of the page. There you can choose to make the page password protected, which is recommended to ensure only unit members participate in the election.

Setting up a Virtual Post Election Form
It is important that after an election is completed that we collect information about elected candidates and the unit as a whole so we can update Lodgemaster and send the candidates the ordeal details. This can now be done using Google Docs.

  1. Go to the Lodge Leadership Shared Drive (available to all with an @chumashlodge90.net email. If you do not have access to one of these accounts, email Ben Bishop at ben.bishop@chumashlodge90.net) by going to drive.chumashlodge90.net and clicking the “Shared Drives” tab on the left side of the page. Double click on the “Lodge Leadership” folder and navigate to Lodge->Elections.
  2. In the Elections folder you should see a Google Doc called “[Unit Title] Virtual Post Election Form”. Right-click on this Google Doc and select “Make a Copy”. Right-click on the newly created doc and rename it to “[Unit Title] Virtual Virtual Post Election Form”, replacing the brackets with the name of the unit you are doing an election for (ex. Troop 4).
  3. Open the post-election form you just created. Fill in all applicable election information, such as the troop/team and date of the election.

After the election is complete, you will share this document with the unit leader to fill in the appropriate information.

Setting up a Virtual Ballot
Since we will not be able to distribute and collect paper ballots at the virtual election, you need to create a virtual ballot where all scouts can vote for candidates online during the election.

  1.  Go to the Lodge Leadership Shared Drive (available to all with an @chumashlodge90.net email. If you do not have access to one of these accounts, email Ben Bishop at ben.bishop@chumashlodge90.net) by going to drive.chumashlodge90.net and clicking the “Shared Drives” tab on the left side of the page. Double click on the “Lodge Leadership” folder and navigate to Lodge->Elections.
  2. In the Elections folder, you should see a Google Form called “[Unit Title] Virtual Election Ballot”. Right-click on this Google Form and select “Make a Copy”. Right-click on the newly created form and rename to “[Unit Title] Virtual Election Ballot”, replacing the brackets with the name of the unit you are doing an election for (ex. Troop 4).
  3. Open the virtual ballot editor by double-clicking on the Google Form. Replace all blanks with the appropriate information that you have collected from the Unit Leader.
  4. Under the “Who would you like to vote for?” field, insert the names of each candidate you have collected from the Unit Leader.
  5. Click the “Responses” tab and click the toggle so that “Not Accepting Responses” appears, so people don’t vote before the election takes place. 
  6. Click the “Send” button in the upper right-hand corner and click the link tab. Check the “Shorten URL” box and copy the newly shortened link. For the notice, paste in “Votes will not be accepted until after the election has started.”
  7. On the election portal (elections.chumashlodge90.net/login) log in using your Lodge Google Account, click on the “Elections” tab on the sidebar, and select the election you scheduled earlier.
  8. Paste the link to the Google Form you created under the “Voting Link” field. Click the “Update” button to save your work.

Setting up a Video Call
The video call is the most important part of the virtual election. This allows us to explain what the OA is and answer any questions unit members may have like we would in a regular election. We will use a service called Google Meet to handle the video call, as it is included in our Lodge Google Accounts.

  1.  Go to calendar.chumashlodge90.net and login with your Lodge Google Account if prompted.
  2. Click the “Create” button in the upper left corner. This will create a new calendar event.
  3. Fill in the election details with the date and time the election will start, the title of the election (ex. Troop 4 Election) and set the duration to last for 1 hour.
  4. Make sure you are creating this event on the “2020 Elections” calendar, which you can check by clicking the dropdown with a colored indicator at the bottom of the popup, and selecting “2020 Elections”
  5. Click on the text “Add location or conferencing” and then click “Add conferencing”. A meeting ID will be generated. Right-click on the link that looks like meet.google.com/xxx-xxx-xxx and click “Copy Link Address”
  6. Click the “Save” button so the event will be added to the calendar.
  7. On the election portal (elections.chumashlodge90.net/login) log in using your Lodge Google Account, click on the “Elections” tab on the sidebar, and select the election you scheduled earlier.
  8. Paste the link to the video call you created under the “Video Call Link” field. Click the “Update” button to save your work.
Sharing Election Details
You can now share the link to the election page with the unit leader. Find this link by clicking on the “Elections” tab on the elections portal dashboard, hovering over the election page for the unit you created, and copying the “View” link to your clipboard. Make sure to send this link and the password to the unit leader, and ask them to share the details with the rest of their unit. Remind them that 50% of their scouts must be present in order to hold a successful election.