J. J.

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About J. J.

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    "Friday night, and the strip is hot... "
  • Birthday 01/01/1963

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    Philadelphia
  • Interests
    Procedure, History, Politics, Genealogy, a Missing Person Case in Central Pennsylvania, and, of course, Donna Summer.

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  1. While I think all parties agree that this is the rule. The question is if a special rule of order, properly adopted by the assembly, can supersede this. I would suggest that this opinion be read in light of what was listed as Q & A 26, in 1st Quarter, 2003, National Parliamentarian (pp 5-7). That opinion dealt with the ability of a special rule to prohibit "bullet" voting, when a ballot was required for election for multiple positions, e.g. several board positions. I believe there was an intervening opinion to the same effect. [Shmuel, many years ago, we had a discussion of if a quorum could be established by a special rule; you may not remember it. My conclusion is, and was, that, if RONR is the parliamentary authority, the quorum requirement can only be placed in the bylaws. My answer here is based on the same principle.]
  2. Well, if the majority do not want either choice, they may stay. I would probably teat it as a yes/no roll call for each company. If no company gets a majority, then the assembly does not want the service. Members may change their votes on hearing that the choice will be between one of these companies and no company; one member may change their vote to permit reconsideration of the other company. I would, not, however, treat this as an election. In that case, the option of not electing anyone is usually not there. Here the assembly may properly choose not to contract with any company.
  3. It could be suggested that those who have no preference step out of the room during the roll call.
  4. Yes, if the officer doesn't attend the meeting where the action is taken.
  5. Because it could have been adopted as a rule. As I said, it is subtle. He referred to things that had to be in the bylaws as a bylaw (or a provision of a constitution). He referred to things that could have been established by a lesser source as a rule. I have not looked through the other sections, but it is this section. If there is a desire to identify a requirement that the totals of a ballot (or roll call) election must be in the bylaws, I think it would have to be address as an election by plurality was, starting in the 7th edition.
  6. The word "rule," as opposed to a bylaw. At least in that section, the General would make that distinction between a rule and a provision of the constitution. He did not say that the "bylaw" could do it. He also referred to a rule as something that could, at the time be accomplished by a special rule of order. I will note the General made the distinction in Questions 189, 192, 198, 177, 178. When he notes that something must be in the bylaws, he does not refer to that as being a rule. When he refers to something that does not have to be in the bylaws, he says rules (e.g. Q. 198). It is subtle, but it is there. I would also note Question 195, where the General states that the report of the tellers should account for every vote, "unless the assembly decides otherwise." As special rule would be the assembly deciding otherwise. Again, that is 1923, and things change, but I see nothing in thecurrent text that would suggest the assembly could not suppress vote totals.
  7. Not disagreeing, it might be a legitimate interpretation of the bylaws that only this committee can nominate. Unless there was statement to the effect in the bylaws that only people approved by this committee are eligible for election, it would be possible to vote for someone not nominated, if the vote is by ballot or roll call.
  8. While discussing a bylaw provision, PL notes that, "Your society has a right to adopt a rule allowing the tellers nothing but the names of the successful candidates, though I have never before heard of any society taking such a step (p. 488, Q & A 212, emphasis added)." He further notes the inadvisability of adopting such a rule (though I think both the current edition of RONR and Q & A 47 are even more stringent in that regard.). The distinction that this would be a special rule, as opposed to a bylaw, is made a he refers to something that, at the time, could done by a special rule, electing officers by plurality. While I will note, as above, that there have been some changes since General Robert wrote PL, I still cannot find anything that could prohibit the a special rule from permitting the the chair to only state the result, but not the total.
  9. It does require that the vote be counted; the rule does not prohibit counting, but it would prohibit announcing of the numbers of the result and putting the count into the minutes. The count would be known by the chair, the tellers, and the secretary (the rule would not remove the requirement that the sheet, a report from a committee, be kept). I would go a bit further and suggest that a special rule could eliminate the requirement that the chair announce the result within a meeting (by having it take place outside of the meeting).
  10. I have to disagree, and would ask you his question. If the bylaws specified a roll call vote, would it be an "essential element" that the vote total be read. Assume that this group uses the bylaws in RONR, with the sole difference being that, instead of the word "ballot" on p. 585. ll. 26 is replaced with the word "roll call." Would that, in your opinion, constitute a rule that could not be superseded by a special rule?
  11. Is it possible that an adjourned was set at the call of the chair.
  12. One of my problems with extending the definition of ballot into announcing the results is found on p. 585, ll. 22-24. If that line were not in these set of bylaws, RONR (p. 435, ll. 19-23) would require nominations from the floor for the organization using the sample bylaws. Putting that line in there doesn't make any sense, unless it was to prevent a special rule from superseding the requirement to permit floor nominations in RONR. Just saying "nominations" in the bylaws is not enough to prevent a special rule for modifying that requirement to take nominations from the floor. Another problem that I have is that the rule is a modification to the rules in RONR about what the chair announces and what is recorded in the minutes. It does not change the rule that "officers shall be elected by ballot." To perhaps give the converse, suppose that another assembly adopted a special rule "that the number of blank ballots be included in the tellers' report, announced by the chair, and recorded in the minutes." That would vary from the RONR, but only those rules relating to the tellers' report, what the chair announces, and what is recorded in the minutes. Would that rule then be superseded by the "officers shall be elected by ballot" clause in the bylaws?
  13. I'm not sure, in that case, that the requirement for a ballot vote can be stretched into an announcement of the vote totals, or for the vote totals to be included in the minutes. I think that both the announcement and placing those results in the minutes would be rule in the nature of a rule of order as they relate “to the orderly transaction of business in meetings and to the duties of the officers in that connection (p. 15, ll. 9-11).” Also, those same requirements would occur if the vote was taken by roll call. I would not have a problem with the assembly adopting a rule that the results would not have to be announced or placed in the minutes in the case of a roll call vote (providing this was not a representative assembly), even if the bylaws provided for a roll call vote.
  14. Same answer, except I do not believe that it is a matter bylaw interpretation.. Simply put, it becomes a question of if the assembly trusts the tellers and the chair sufficiently to rely on their count. Would that trust, including a trust that all tellers and chairs in the future were not going to make honest mistakes, be misplaced? I would say so and certainly would not recommend this rule. There are many rights associated with balloting, but a right to know how the assembly voted collectively does not appear to be one of them. Even if it were assumed to be a basic right of an individual member, I do not see anything that even suggests that such a right could only be curtailed by a bylaw provision. As you are aware, some organization use black and white balls in voting; some of those provide that a lower number of votes are needed to reject the proposal, or the candidate. For example, three "black balls" are needed to deny admission to a proposed member. In that case, the chair could simply announce that there are sufficient black balls to defeat the question. I would add that I am a proponent of the adage of "trust, but verify," and, as such would neither recommend of vote for such a rule.
  15. My thoughts are that this misstates the general parliamentary law, at least as worded. An assembly would need a specific requirement in the bylaws to hold a picnic or take a position on some issue, if this claim was correct. Generally, an assembly can do anything that is not prohibited, at least by implication, in its bylaws.