Daniel H. Honemann

Members
  • Content count

    6,117
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Daniel H. Honemann

  1. The conflicting bylaw provision is the provision that "The officers shall be elected by ballot ..." (I obviously have gotten used to repeating things. Back in the day I wouldn't have bothered. )
  2. I respectfully disagree with the opinion expressed in Q&A 47, which appears on page 38 of the most recent edition of the NP (Vol. 78, No. 3). Suppose an organization’s bylaws require that officers be elected by ballot, but the organization wants to adopt a special rule of order providing that, when announcing the results of an election, the number of votes each candidate received is not to be announced, nor entered in the minutes. Will such a special rule of order be valid? I think not. The answer to this question turns upon an understanding of what are (and what are not) essential elements of a ballot vote. I respectfully submit that, in an election, announcement of the number of votes cast and the number of votes received by each candidate is an essential element of such a vote, and that, absent such an announcement, a bylaws requirement that officers be elected by ballot will not have been complied with. In short, it seems rather clear to me that no requirement that a vote be counted can be complied with absent an announcement of the count.
  3. I'm quite sure that the authorship team never discussed this question, but if it had, I think it would have concluded that there is no greater need to include a statement in RONR to the effect that announcement of the number of votes received by each candidate is an essential element of a ballot vote than there is to include a statement in RONR that it is improper to throw bricks at the presiding officer during a meeting. It's simply common sense (sometimes dressed up as general parliamentary law). And by the way, since J.J. has alluded to it rather obliquely, I don't think that any issue at all arose in this thread (in which the position taken by Josh Martin, Gary Novosielski, Bruce Lages, and the others who posted similar responses was then and is now correct) concerning a conflict between the awful special rule of order there proposed and an existing bylaw provision mandating a ballot vote.
  4. As far as the question being discussed in this thread is concerned, the parameter has long been firmly established. Nothing in any special rule of order which conflicts with a provision in the bylaws has any validity.
  5. Suffice it to say that none of what is cited here is relevant.
  6. I certainly agree that there is nothing in RONR specifically stating that, if the bylaws require the election of officers to be by ballot, the number of votes cast and the number of votes received by each candidate must be announced unless the bylaws specifically provide otherwise. If there were, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. What I am suggesting is that, as a matter of general parliamentary law, announcement of the number of votes cast and the number of votes received by each candidate is an essential element of a ballot vote, and that, absent such an announcement, a bylaws requirement that officers be elected by ballot (without qualification, as in the sample bylaws in RONR) will not have been complied with. If members are deprived of this information they are deprived of information which may be needed in order to determine whether or not there is some reason or basis for contesting the announced result, as described on pages 444-446. Now I know that you and a number of other highly respected members of this forum do not agree with me that this is so, and that’s okay. I didn’t expect anything else, since the opinion in the NP very clearly asserts that a special rule of order eliminating announcement of the vote totals will not conflict with a bylaws requirement that officers be elected by ballot.
  7. Yes, I gathered that this was the case, and I'm afraid it appears that there is no getting around the fact that repeated voting may be required in order to arrive at a decision. Under these circumstances, one would hope that the Delegates at your June meeting will recognize the necessity of arriving at this decision, and that they and the presiding officer will keep in mind the importance of voting (not abstaining) and that their votes may be changed before the result is announced (unless changing ones initial response to the roll call is also precluded by your rules, in which event it is obvious that you all really do like to make life difficult ).
  8. Oh, I suppose one might reasonably conclude that the manner of reporting how many votes were cast and how many votes each candidate received may be established by a special rule of order, but the response in the Q&A goes much further by asserting that a special rule of order may be adopted providing that the vote totals are not to be announced at all. I respectfully disagree. It think it is self-evident that reporting vote totals is an essential element of any requirement that a vote be counted.
  9. I gather that this Board, for some reason or other, is about to hold an election by roll call (RONR, 11th ed. p. 443) to chose a company to provide services to its community. If so, it appears that it will need to continue voting until a candidate receives the requisite number of votes.
  10. It may be worth remembering that we are here concerned solely with the question as to whether or not, in instances where the bylaws require that a ballot vote be taken (without qualification, as in the sample bylaws in RONR), a special rule of order can be validly adopted providing that the number of votes each candidate receives is not to be announced nor entered in the minutes. We are not concerned simply with a question as to whether or not adoption of a special rule of order will ever suffice for the imposition of such a rule.
  11. Oh, for heavens sake J.J., even in Q&A 212, General Robert refers to the bylaw in question as a "rule".
  12. This Q&A refers to an instance in which the bylaws provided not only that the officers shall be elected by ballot, but also that a plurality vote shall elect, and that the tellers shall report to the chair only the names of the persons receiving the highest number of votes. The response indicates nothing other than the fact that the society involved had the right to do what it did, and I agree that this is so. There is absolutely nothing in this Q&A which would lead one to believe that General Robert was saying that, if the bylaws did nothing but provide that the officers shall be elected by ballot, a special rule of order could be adopted providing that the tellers shall report to the chair only the names of the persons receiving the highest number of votes.
  13. The reason why the Executive Board voted not to approve the expenditure is irrelevant. Based solely upon what has been posted, it seems clear that the Board had the power to decide not to approve the expenditure, and therefore not to pass the question of approval on to a General Membership meeting for final action. The notion that the Board had to get membership approval to reject the motion before it that it grant its own approval appears to be pure nonsense.
  14. A bylaw provision requiring that officers be elected by ballot is itself a rule of order, but this does not change the fact that any special rule of order conflicting with such a bylaw provision has no validity. The question then, as Shmuel has noted, is one of understanding what, exactly, constitutes a "ballot vote". In my opinion, whenever a rule requires that a vote be counted (such as a rule requiring a ballot vote), the reporting of that count is an essential element of such a vote, and an integral part of the chair's announcement of the result of such a vote.
  15. No, not after the assembly has decided to consider the motion seriatim.
  16. No, this isn't a bylaws interpretation question, it's an RONR interpretation question. Assume that the bylaws are identical to those on pages 583-588.
  17. In this instance, however, we've been told that three days after leaving the voice-mail "resignation" the officer in question told the Treasurer that she is not resigning, and so I suppose that that's that.
  18. By the way, I suggest that you be very careful to ensure that your chair does not get away with handling this in such a way that she can claim that the assembly has agreed (presumably by unanimous consent) that the motion to adopt the amendments will be considered seriatim. Once the assembly has agreed to seriatim consideration, no division of the question will be able to be made. (RONR, 11th ed., p. 277, ll. 13-16).
  19. It's clear that "a motion to divide the main question cannot be made while an amendment to the main question is pending" (RONR, 11th ed., p. 271, ll. 14-16), and so I assume that the same rule applies with respect to a demand for a division.
  20. Forget it. All this seriatim business appears to have been a red herring.
  21. What makes you think this motion is to be considered seriatim? This is what is causing all the confusion. Any of the proposed amendments may be struck out of the package by majority vote, or removed for separate consideration upon the demand of any member.
  22. Well, it appears that if the committee chair makes a motion "to adopt the bylaws package seriatim" he is not only moving, in a single motion, that all of the proposed bylaw amendments be adopted (which he certainly can do, although his motion will have to be divided on the demand of a single member), he is also moving, in this same motion, that the motion he is making be considered seriatim. If I was presiding, I'd rule this combination of motions out of order, and even if I didn't, any member could object to it.
  23. These individual amendments would, ordinarily, be moved one at a time. If a single motion (it would not be an amendment) is made to adopt all of them together, one or more of the several proposed amendments must receive separate consideration and vote at the request of a single member, but this request must be made before the assembly agrees to consider seriatim the motion which was made to adopt them all. Frankly, when you say that "the committee chair usually makes an amendment to adopt the proposed amendments seriatim" it appears that there may be a substantial misunderstanding as to what is meant by seriatim consideration, and how it is handled. I suggest a careful read of Sections 27 and 28 in RONR (11th ed.).
  24. First of all, I would like to know what you mean when you say that "We will be considering a series of bylaws amendments seriatim." Is this a general revision of the bylaws (as discussed on p. 593 of RONR, 11th ed.) that is being proposed for adoption, or is this simply a case in which a number of independent proposals to amend the bylaws are being offered in a single motion? If the latter is the case, has the assembly already made the decision to consider this motion seriatim, or are you simply anticipating that it will do so?
  25. This would seem to be the case, yes. By the way, my guess is that your bylaws do prescribe that the President-Elect automatically becomes President, but I sincerely doubt that they prescribe any other automatic succession. Are you sure that they do?