NRA Board Bullet Voting , What is it? Why Do It On Your NRA Member Ballot

Gun activist, Jeff Knox, explains the process and purpose of NRA Board Bullet Voting.

NRA Board Bullet Voting
NRA Board Bullet Voting, What is it? Why do it?

USA –-( As magazines containing ballots for the NRA Board of Directors Election have begun arriving in people’s mail boxes (if you get a ballot, you’re eligible to vote, if you don’t, you probably aren’t).

I’m already receiving requests for guidance on casting ballots. I’ll offer that shortly in another article, but here I want to talk about the mechanics of voting. I want to discuss, not who is the best candidate, but how to make sure your vote is as effective as possible in support of your favorite candidate or candidates for the board.

While there are several incumbent directors up this cycle who I think have done a good job of serving the members, I generally Bullet Vote for only one or two. Here’s why.

NRA Board Bullet Voting

True “Bullet Voting” means voting for a single candidate, as opposed to casting votes for a full slate of 25 – or this year (2017), 26 – candidates. Voting for only two or three candidates is a less effective variation of Bullet Voting. As you look at your ballot, understand that many good candidates will easily win election or reelection without any help from you, and there are rarely more than 4 or 5 seats in play during any election cycle.

Any vote you cast for someone who might be in contention for one of those seats – other than your favorite – has the potential to help that candidate bump your favorite out of contention.

The NRA uses a simple system that counts the votes cast for each candidate. If there are 25 seats up for election, the 25 candidates with the highest vote totals get those seats. Since there are always more than 25 candidates running, voting for a full slate invariably boosts the chances that another candidate will get more votes than your favorite, and your favorite might be left out of the running. Just one vote difference can cost a seat.

There are 76 seats on the NRA Board of Directors. Each year 25 seats are up for election to a 3-year term and one seat is filled for a 1-year term by a vote of members present at the Annual Meeting. Most seats will be filled by incumbents being reelected, but a few will usually be open seats or an incumbent or two might be vulnerable. With Bullet Voting, you ensure that you’re not boosting the chances of a candidate you like less, at the expense of your favorite.

Bullet Voting Example

Imagine if there were only 300 voting members of NRA, and there were 30 candidates to fill 25 seats. Joe and Bob are two of the challenger candidates. One group of 100 all vote a full slate of 25 candidates. Another group of 100 all vote for Joe, and 24 other candidates, and the last group of 100 have been Bullet Voting only for Bob. Since none of the Bob voters voted for Joe, but some of the Joe voters probably voted for Bob, the odds are that Bob will win a seat rather than Joe – and it was Joe’s voters that tipped the balance in Bob’s favor. That’s the power of Bullet Voting.

It is an embarrassment that the greatest political action organization in the country generally gets participation from only about 7% of their members eligible to vote, but that’s the case. The reason for this is that the vast majority of members eligible to vote, simply don’t feel that they know the candidates well enough to cast an intelligent ballot. An associated problem is that they think they have to pick a full slate of 25 or 26 candidates, but in reality they can actually pick as few as one.

NRA Board of Directors 2017 Ballot : NOTE On your Ballot names may be randomized in a different order.
NRA Board of Directors 2017 Ballot : NOTE On your Ballot names may be randomized in a different order.

If you are a voting member of NRA, pick the one, or two, or 5 candidates that you think would do the best job on the Board of Directors, and let your voice be heard, by voting – whether a single Bullet Vote, or a shotgun approach – your opinion matters, and can help steer your organization.

Jeff Knox Director, The Firearms Coalition Founder,, NRA Endowment Member.

About Jeff Knox:

Jeff Knox is a second-generation rights activist and director of The Firearms Coalition. His writing can regularly be seen in Firearms News and Front Sight magazines as well as here on AmmoLand Shooting Sports News and other publications.

Founded in 1984 by legendary hero of the rights movement, and Jeff’s dad, Neal Knox, The Firearms Coalition represents hundreds of grass roots organizations, clubs, and individual Second Amendment activists around the country. The Coalition has been behind the scenes in the forefront of the fight for rights for over 32 years, with Jeff serving as managing director of the organization since 2005.

To learn more about The Firearms Coalition, or to subscribe to their newsletter, the Hard Corps Report, visit their website at

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I don’t care how or what anyone has done outside of what they have already done to correct the NRA corruption. What someone promises to do only puts them in a liar politician role. Dump all 76 BOD members and WLP and let’s start over. Wash the shit out of the out house and de-sanitize it.

John Whetsel

Vote Mark Vaughan for the board. He is a businessman and an active Oklahorna County Sheriff’s Office Reserve Deputy. He is a member of the Tactical Team. He was the 2014 NRA Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for his service including retrieving his tactical rifle and ending the threat after an employee with a knife decapitated another employee and was attempting to decapitate a second. He is an active NRA member and strong supporter of the Second Amendment.


Anthony is the best he will fight for us, he definitely gets my vote!!

Robert Duncan

Another Excellent Choice to vote for is US Army RET Colonel Richard (Rich) Kussman – He is one of “Us” a High Power
competitive shooter. – He is # 15 on the 2017 Ballot – some how the NRA “Nominating Committee” skipped over him (and others) in their “Report – a Reason IMHO _to_ vote for him. IF you care about and /or shoot High Power Rivh is highly deserving of your Bullet Vote. – All the Best!


In California, I belong to several organizations. I donate time and money to help them help us. Every little bit helps! Even when we lose. I find it kind of humorous and ironic that many NRA folks are expecting the Gun Govt. to do everything for our Gun Population. Kinda like Sheep. Vote, get involved, donate. Express a reasonable attitude for the NGO’s out there, and don’t make them more afraid than they already are; and they are AFRAID! Driving in full mossy oak through the Women’s March with an AK silhouette decal covering the back window, an NRA sticker,… Read more »


Adam Kraut is an excellent choice on this ballot. He is a very knowledgeable young attorney who would be an excellent advocate on the board. Please consider him and google him for more info.

Stephen C. Gregory

For the record, I do not live in New Jersey, nor would I want to as long as their elected officials predominately favor government control over constitutional governance. That being said, I do find it difficult to support expenditures of my lifetime membership funds (ao 2014) or Institute for Legislative Action funds in a state on an action that has zero per cent chance of passage. Until the body count in the government changes to a favorable situation in New Jersey I cannot support expending THOSE funds in such a manner. What I HAVE done, and WILL CONTINUE to do,… Read more »

Cordell M

a follow up to jack life time is life time none the less I did receive such notice also have not received follow up from NRA since nor a magazine.

Raymond Miller

I am also disappointed in the NRAs lack of work in N.J., however I can understand to a degree why they don’t put a lot of effort into N.J.. In this state it makes no difference which candidate you vote for, Republican or Demon-Crat, the results are the same. Look at the present Governor, Christie has, in my opinion, guaranteed that our next Governor will be a Demon-Crat. Just like Kean and Whitman, in his 2nd term he has stuck it to us, along with the help of the Republicans in the legislature. They saddled us with a 23 cent… Read more »


The NRA does NOT cancel lifetime memberships and they need not be renewed! Some have had them since the late 1940s when it was $35 –think of the cost to the NRA (our organization) to have service (mail magazines, etc.) those and so many others in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, etc, at the then lower costs to do business for all these years. They may ASK you to consider a renew to help out financially but cancel–NO! Amazingly enough of the 31/2+ million life time and eligible annual members–only about 200,000 bother to vote for the board. Last, at… Read more »

cordell M.

I have had a life time membership since about the mid 70s, a good friend purchased another in my name in the mid 90s . recently I received a notice that my life time membership was expiring ,after donating thru various ways thank you NRA PS: I have voted in most of the board elections thru the years.

Bob in Florida

What do I not understand?. . . .How can a ‘Life time Membership’ expire? Did you die and are still posting from the ‘other side’?

Jim Macklin

My guess, his friend bought a gift membership for his friend. Since he already was a life member there was an internal bookkeeping error. The name and a 1 year or perhaps even a 5 year gift membership was entered as a new membership. It is expiring. Check the membership number on your card/cards and call Membership Services toll free 1 877 NRA 2000 [1 877 672 2000 ] and explain what happened. If your address on file is wrong it explains why you are not getting your magazine.
Call during business hours M-F 9-5.


I’m gonna goin a different direction, **Y** DOES THE “”N.R.A.NEED 76 SALARY’S!!!! ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S ???? I MEAN “”76 INDIVIDUALS””
(that means 76 paychecks !!!!! ) Isn’t that ALITTLE over the top !!!! I mean REALLY !!! , REALLY, !!! 76!!!!! General motors DON’T even have that many!!!!!!!!!!!!!
“””76″”” REALLY !!!!!

Jim Macklin

If you check, you’ll find the NRA supports the Hearing Protection Act.
The Executive Board and staff do get paid. The 76 Directors serve pro-bono. I’m not sure if they eve get expenses.

Jay Printz

The NRA Board are NOT paid……….we volunteer our time for the cause. Pay attention!!!

Fredy Lowe

Jay, Oh believe us, we do Pay attention!!! (w/3 exclamation points, too boot) But, please DEFINE “The Cause” that you refer to for us dumbass members…? Our gun club requires that we be members of the NRA, which is the ONLY REASON we are members. Go to our website at: and review the phenomenal amount of work we have done on this lawsuit, the the NRA did not see as part of THE CAUSE!!! It is our belief that if all the states ‘suddenly’ agreed with the Constitution and gave every ‘eligible citizen’ the right to keep and BEAR… Read more »


I’m still pretty sore at the No-Show or very tepid input the NRA had in combating WA’s I-594. Still, I am a member as the organization has some clout and does good court work.

This was a good analysis of both the NRA’s election and of the voters. Thanks for that.


The NRA would not have changed the outcome and they knew it. Washington is solid blue and most people here have the common sense of a bad dog. Change might be coming but it’s a very slow process and the sanctuary city rating is making it even more difficult..


Leaving one organization for another does NOT help fight the anti gun people who are out there all the time . Join as many groups as you can . One group cannot fight every battle but many groups will have a much higher SCORE.


I’ll vote when the NRA supports eliminating suppressors from the NFA.

Jim S

I have moved on to another organization that I feel represents my views better. The NRA too often accepts small erosion’s in 2A issues and decides to ignore others like suppressors or open carry in CA. I get CA is pretty hard to win cases in especially with the crazy 9th Circuit judges on the bench. I agree they are fairly well connected politically but a lot of the money we donate goes to salaries and overhead and not lawsuits.

Fredy Low

We have had a 2-year lawsuit battle against Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey. Our club president sent a formal letter to the NRA requesting their support. The NRA did not even acknowledge the letter. As you posted, most of the money we donate to the NRA goes to NONE SHOOTING ISSUES!

See lawsuit at:

David J Randazzo

I HIGHLY agree with both of you. If it wasn’t a requirement to maintain my LE firearms instructor certs with the NRA I’d too would throw my support and money to another group. What really burned my ass with the NRA was when they “allowed” the 1986 NFA bullsh*t to pass while they were asleep at the wheel.

Raymond Miller

I can’t remember the years when it happened but, the NRA was almost taken over by left leaning whackos. They had a few people in place to take over and we members at that time had to hustle to stop it from happening. That may have been in that time period.


It is this kind of division that allows the anti gunners to win. Don’t like what the NRA does than get a membership that allows you to vote. No different than the Hillary Vs Trump. No other organization does as much or has as much influence as the NRA. If all of the others put up their leaders as board members you could get the NRA moving the same as the other’s with a lot more power, money and influence. Together we win, divided we fall still holds true.


Did you ever think that if you and your friends voted for candidates that share your view, it might help bring a change to the “official position?”

Mike F

Your vote could change the makeup of the BoD which in turn can change the NRAs views. If you want the NRA to change, then you need to vote for the BoD.