Baronial Polling is coming to your Barony in March

Greetings unto the Populace of Wyewood:
Our good and noble Seneschal, Lady Alessandra, has announced Wyewood’s first Baronial Confidence Polling.  Wyewood has blossomed with an abundance of new members since elevated to the status of Barony.  Since many of you may not use Kingdom Law and it’s various Appendices as a sleep aid, I thought I would provide a little Q&A to help everyone better understand how their branch works.  Ready?

Q: How is Wyewood as a Barony different from when it was a Shire?
A: The single biggest distinction between a Shire and a Barony is the presence of a Baron and Baroness (collectively called the Coronets).  Officers such as the Seneschal and Exchequer are selected by the branch, with notification sent to Kingdom.  The Coronets, on the other hand, are designated by the Crown of An Tir, and represent Their Majesties for all matters local.  The Coronets serve a term of three years.  The Coronets may choose to serve a second three-year term or step down.  For Coronets choosing to serve again, the first order of business is to notify the Crown and the Kingdom Seneschal of Their intent.

Q: So the Coronets want to go for a second term; what happens next?
A: The branch Seneschal, in cooperation with the Kingdom Seneschal, organizes a confidence polling.  The polling is an opportunity for members of the branch to express their voice as to whether the current Baron and Baroness should continue.

Q: Is a polling different from a vote?
A: It is important to understand that this is not a vote.  Think of the poll as an advisory to the Crown on how the populace feels.  Ultimately, the Crown makes the choice They best see fit.  However, it is not unrealistic to believe that the polling will be an important factor in the final decision.

Q: Do we find out the results of the poll?
A: The polling is a black-box affair.  Percentages are not revealed by the Kingdom Seneschal or the Crown in any case.  Upon the decision of the Crown, the Kingdom Seneschal notifies the branch as to whether the Baron and Baroness will continue or not.

Q: What happens if They are approved?
A: Upon approval, the Baron and Baroness continue for a second three-year term.  It is common for the Coronets to be called into Royal Court for a brief investiture to inaugurate Their second term.

Q: And if They are not approved?
A: In the event the Crown declines to grant a second term to the Baron and Baroness, new candidates will be sought to fulfill the position.  That process is not covered here.

Q: Why is renewing my membership necessary?
A: Only currently paid SCA members living within Wyewood or serving as a branch officer are allowed to poll.  You may manage your membership through this link: http://www.sca.org/members/.  Remember, children with their own paid membership may be eligible to poll as well.

Q: How do I know if I live within Wyewood?
A: Trivia bit: Wyewood and Madrone are the only branches within An Tir (even when we included Avacal) that are not divided solely along political boundaries.  The population of King County allows for a split that is roughly northern and southern halves.  Membership (you remembered to get paid up, right?) is designated by the zip code you live in, and each branch is defined by the collection of zip codes they hold.  All of the current zip codes may be found in the handy Wyewood Customary, Section 4: http://wyewood.org/wye_docs/Wyewood_Customary_Final_Mar13.pdf.

Q: How do I know if I am an officer of Wyewood?
A: I should hope you would not need to ask if you were.

Q: What if I live outside of the branch but play in Wyewood?
A: This situation is common for all the branches residing in the Puget Sound region.  If you play in Wyewood but live outside the referenced zip codes, you are not eligible to poll.  Currently serving officers are the exception.  While ineligible to poll, you may still be able to write a letter of comment.  Letters of comment may or may not be considered by Kingdom; please await further information from the Seneschal as we get closer to the polling date.

Q: Wyewood has a polling date of March 25th.  What may I expect to happen?
A: As Lady Alessandra works with our Kingdom Seneschal, Magistra Julia Sempronia, the exact details of the polling will be disclosed.  Kingdom Law provides multiple mechanisms for polling, including mail-in and in-person.  Save the date, and remember to bring your valid membership card if it is an in-person polling.

Q: I want to learn more; or, I am just too sheepish to admit I need a new sleep aid.
A: Why believe some crank on the Internet?  Go read it for yourself!  Although, the document is found on the Internet, which itself becomes a conundrum, does it not?  http://www.antir.sca.org/Offices/Seneschalate/Baronial_Polling_Processes.pdf

Yours in Service,
Constantine