The American Legion Boys’ State political process is designed to introduce the boys to the democracy present today in the United States of America. There are different levels of government in Boys’ State that all eventually merge into two political parties nominating their best at each position for the state wide election. Starting with the city level, there are 30 cities that each elect their citizens for smaller roles within their city. On top of this, one Mayor and Sheriff are elected to help run and manage their respective city.
Higher up in the political process are counties. Each county contains three cities that nominate one boy for similar positions as in each city. The boys elected for a county position take care of roles involving the whole county rather than their city. Finally, the state elections. They start with the two parties, nationalist and federalist, electing a candidate to run for a state position such as Attorney General or Governor. This is done over three sessions each being several hours long. After each party has elected their own candidate, the voting for the state elections begin with all of Boys State voting for the candidate they believed to be best fit for the position. All 10 counties and 30 cities vote between the two remaining candidates for the State Government.
All previous elections stretching for half of the week here at Boys’ State culminate into the final statewide election. The Students all gather for an assembly to hear the candidates final speeches before voting for their picks on laptops. Once the winners are decided they take their political positions and begin working on laws.
Starting Wednesday night and leading into the majority of Thursday, the elected state senators, assemblymen, and governors all meet to write up bills to be enacted. They then debate the bills and decide whether these bills will become law. Some of the laws created by Boys’ State citizens even makes it to the actual New York State assembly in Albany. This whole process is one of the reasons Boys’ State is as great of a program as it is.