Once a year, units (troops, crews, ships) may hold an election to elect youth members to become members of the Order of the Arrow. Scouts and Scouters can become members of the Order of the Arrow (OA), but only youth members are elected. Scouts under the age of 21 are considered youth members for OA purposes. New members are voted on by every youth member of the unit present at the election - not just the OA members.

Elections are normally held at a regular meeting, and take about half an hour to complete. In order for an election to be held, at least 50% of your active youth members must be present – if less than 50% are present, the election must be rescheduled.

The elections must be completed by the OA election team with the support of unit Arrowmen, OA unit representative and unit leader.