My brother, now that you are entitled to receive all the light this Lodge can give you, I will instruct you in the function of one of the corner stones of Freemasonry, the ballot box. .

You entered the fraternity through the ballot box just as all the others who now call you brother. They approached the box and giving the due-guard of a Master Mason, selected a white ball and dropped it through the opening.

If even one member had selected a black cube you would not be standing before us now. We would not have known who cast that black cube for it is against the laws of Masonry to tell anyone how you vote or to inquire of any brother how he voted. The secrecy of the ballot and the requirement that a black cube rejects are two of the greatest bulwarks of the fraternity. This may seem harsh on a applicant that might appear to be qualified to be made a Mason, but the passage of time has proved that our laws concerning the ballot have served for the good of Masonry.

The power now placed in your hands is awesome.. No one, not even the Grand Master, may inquire as to how you vote or why you vote as you do. Only you, and your God, will know how you vote. Neither can the Grand Master nor the Grand Lodge set aside the black cube you cast. It is a tremendous power in your hands and it is your responsibility to use it for the good of Masonry. Use your power with caution and intelligence. It is difficult to explain what is, and what is not a good reason to cast the black cube. A Mason should never vote his prejudice, nor for revenge, or for petty reasons, but for the good of his Lodge and for the good of Masonry.

So, my brother, vote with the cardinal virtue of justice, in mind:
Justice to the Lodge to cast the black cube on an applicant you believe to be unfit.
Justice to yourself to cast the black cube on an applicant you believe would destroy the peace and harmony of your Lodge.
Justice to the applicant in acting on the square.
And, justice to your heart and conscience in knowing you are doing the right thing.
The white balls elect and the black cubes reject.
Be careful how you vote, my brother, and vote for the good of Masonry.

R. W Pete Martinez, PDDGM Grand Lodge of Texas
Reprinted (with minor adaptations) from the Southern California Research Lodge bulletin #900 with permission.


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