Boys State Politics
Nomination for High Office
Delegates who wish to run for high state office have the opportunity to file for that office when they register to attend. This automatically allows them to campaign and seek their party’s nomination at the county primary. Delegates who do not file during registration may also file after arriving at Boys State.
Nomination and Election Procedures
Our cities are organized on the city council-manager plan. This includes the election of a mayor and four councilmen. These officers are elected at a “town meeting” type of election where nominations are made from the floor and the vote taken by a show of hands. Naturally, the two party system is in evidence at such an election and the parties usually get together to discuss strategy at both formal and informal meetings.
County and State Offices
These are nominated by convention in contrast to the actual state method of direct primary elections. We feel that the citizens should have the experience of the convention system and we take this opportunity to work it into the program. Also a primary is merely a secret ballot type election and we use this procedure in our general elections.
Operating the Government with the Elected Officers
The elected officers carry out their duties as far as our facilities will permit. For example, when possible lawyers supervise the functioning of the Courts and state legislators supervise the Boys State Legislatures as they go through their activities.
Political Parties and Conventions
The State Party Executive Committee
Two elected members from each city meet and elect a state chairman, vice chairman, and secretary. This group also selects a platform committee which develops the statement of party values and beliefs called the party platform. Although any party member may have input toward the platform, only the official committee has the final word.
The State Executive Committee of the Party will meet to begin the organization of the State Party. This committee chooses the Platform Committee whose members need not be members of the Executive Committee.
The Executive Committee will form the core of the campaign to carry the party into power. It is responsible for campaign strategy, and meets when called by the Chairman.
The Platform Committee of each party prepares the platform for submission to their respective State Conventions. This committee writes its party platform to be used in the campaign. The Chairman of the committee will be elected by the members of the committee and must be a delegate to the State Convention.
The Platform Committee Chairman will present the platform at the convention as the report of the committee. It is, therefore, mandatory that the chairman of the Platform Committee be a delegate to the State Convention. With the exception of this one position, a delegate to either state or county convention may hold any assignment of the State Executive Committee and/or platform committee. The platform, when completed, will be turned over to Boys State Headquarters for reproduction.
City party caucuses will convene as soon as possible after Boys State begins. Note that the Boomer and Sooner Parties are as alike in number as possible.
The City Party Caucus gives the members of each party a chance to organize. A chairman, vice chairman, and secretary are elected and executive committee appointed. Then, eleven (11) members of each caucus are chosen to attend the State Party Convention while the remaining members of the party will attend the County Convention. Two party members are also chosen to serve on the State Party Executive Committee.
Delegates to the State Convention will nominate the party’s candidate for all state offices, including Governor, and Supreme Court Justices. All citizens who want to hold a state office MUST attend the State Convention.
Delegates to the County Convention will nominate the candidates for all County Offices. All citizens who want to hold a county office MUST attend the County Convention.
All delegates to Boys State arrive pre-appointed as either a member of the House of Representatives or the Senate of one of four complete legislatures (each county has a legislature). This is done so that every delegate will have a legislative experience. Legislators do NOT have to run for re-election.
After the elections are over the Governor and his staff will set up offices in the State Capitol (location to be announced) and the Courts will begin to function (location to be announced).
Before the elections, however, there are campaigns to be won. The Executive committee of each party, working with the party organization in each city, is responsible for conducting a campaign which will put the party in power. This committee will choose a State Party Chairman, will have a party Platform Committee, and will meet later in the session to specifically plan the party’s strategy.
Sunday evening or sooner, the city government will organize. The entire city will meet and elect a mayor and four councilmen. These elected officers will be responsible for their city for the remainder of Boys State. They must, however, resign their office if elected to a county or state office.
Each citizen may hold only one “official” office at Boys State. An official office is one which would ordinarily be thought of as constituting “government employment.” For instance, Mayor, District Attorney, Secretary of State, or Election Boards are official offices, while the party chairman position is not. In other words you may hold as many party offices as you want, but you may not be both Mayor and State Treasurer. Citizens may not be nominated and appear on the General Election ballot for more than one office. Citizens who are elected to city offices may run in the general election but must resign their city office if elected.
Politicking is fun! Its real purpose, however, is to give you an understanding of political parties in the state. If you are impressed with the fact that responsible citizens should know the operation of political parties and desire to participate in public affairs, we will have accomplished our real purpose.
The Boys State election will be conducted in two parts. City Elections will determine city officers and members of the Elected Legislature. A later election will determine state and county officers.
The City Election Board will conduct the elections under the strict supervision of the city counselors. Ballots and boxes are obtained from the State Election Board found in the Boys State Headquarters. After the election is complete, the city results are tabulated by the city election board and filed with the State Election Board. The state results are tabulated by State Election Board (2 members from each city). The ballots from each city must be secured by the city election board.