The Masonic Trowel

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Grand Lodge, F.A.A.M. of the District of Columbia

Since it is the obligation of every brother of the Lodge to vote, the Master should invite the tiler in and have a visiting brother take his place so that the tiler may cast his vote.

WM: "Brethren, you have heard read the petition(s) of _______________ for the degrees of Freemasonry, (or for affiliation) which has received a unanimously favorable report from the investigating committee. Does any brother wish to have a portion or all of the petition(s) reread? If not, Brother Senior Deacon,"

SD: "Worshipful Master"

WM: "Prepare and present the ballot box."

The Senior Deacon obtains the ballot box and presents it to the Master who inspects the ballot box making sure that the ballot drawer is empty and that there are both white balls and black cubes in the box. The Master then casts his own vote. At this time the Marshal takes up his place at the West Gate and the Junior Deacon takes up his place at the tiler’s door.

WM: "You will present the ballot to the officers and Past Masters of ____________ Lodge No. _____ and place it on the altar."

The Senior Deacon presents the ballot to each officer and the Past Masters around the Lodge and places the ballot box on the altar. Each officer and member, before voting, must exchange the salute with the Worshipful Master. The Senior Deacon then takes up a position north of the altar.

WM: "The brethren of ____________ Lodge No. _____ will advance to the altar and cast their ballot. Remember brethren, a white ball elects; a black cube rejects. Be careful and make no mistake."

After the brethren have cast their ballots.

WM: "Have all of the brethren of _______________ Lodge No. _____ cast their ballot?" Pause. "If so, I declare the ballot closed." * (rap once)

The Senior Deacon closes the lid on the ballot.

WM: "Brother Senior Deacon"

SD: "Worshipful Master"

WM: ‘Take charge of the ballot."

The Senior Deacon presents the ballot for examination to the Junior Warden, then the Senior Warden and then the Worshipful Master.

WM: "Brother Junior Warden, how stands the ballot in the South?"

JW: "Fair (cloudy) in the South, Worshipful."

WM: "How in the West, Brother Senior Warden?"

SW: "Clear (dark) in the West, Worshipful."

WM: "Fair (cloudy) in the South, clear (dark) in the West and bright (black) in the East. Brethren, I declare that you have elected (rejected) Mister ___________ for the degrees of Freemasonry (or Brother __________for affiliation)." * (rap)

All officers resume their stations and places.


1. The Master may approve a collective ballot if there is more then one candidate for the degrees.

2. Masters are required to see that the ballot box is so presented that each officer and member shall cast his ballot unobserved by others, so that the secrecy of the ballot shall be inviolably preserved. It is the duty of every member present to vote, and the Master may oblige him to do so.

3. A ballot shall be taken for the three degrees collectively, and in the case of one blackball appearing therein it shall be immediately retaken, when, if a blackball again appears, the applicant shall be declared rejected. No candidate whose application has been rejected by a Lodge shall again be proposed within six months after rejection. In balloting on a petition for affiliation, if one blackball appears the ballot shall be immediately retaken, and if a blackball again appears the petitioner shall be declared rejected, but he may at once petition the same or any other Lodge in the jurisdiction.


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Last modified: March 22, 2014