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Question: How to resolve a vote on a motion when a plurality vote does not reach a majority? A motion will be made to choose by ballot one option from among four proposed choices. It is expected that no single choice will receive a majority vote. The assembly’s bylaws contain no rules about voting, deferring to the latest edition of Robert’s Rules for guidance. RONR (11th Ed, p. 4, ll. 3-5) states that in the absence of a written bylaw or rule “a proposition must be adopted by a majority vote.” Furthermore, “A plurality that is not a majority never chooses a proposition or elects anyone to office except by virtue of a special rule previously adopted” (pp. 405, ll. 2-4). When a majority vote does not emerge from such a vote, it seems RONR’s only recommendation to resolve the issue is to use “the normal procedure of repeated balloting until a majority is obtained” (p. 426, ll. 4-5). Repeated balloting is not likely to result in a majority vote in this case (or repeated balloting may be rejected as an option by the assembly). One suggestion for resolving this issue is, by way of a motion, to reduce the number of choices on the ballot by one or two, then vote again. If necessary, this can be repeated to reduce the choices to two. Is this suggestion valid? Are there any other ways to resolve this issue? Note: In an election, candidates are never removed during repeated balloting (p. 440, ll. 5-8), but this is a vote on a motion, not an election. Thank you.
Bylaws require directors to be elected to the board by ballot. Bylaws also require plurality vote when there are more candidates than vacancies. Statute requires that meetings be governed by the latest edition of RONR. Thre are three vacancies and three candidates. Fifty ballots are cast. The results are: candidate A, 45 votes; candidate B, 30 votes; candidate C, 20 votes. 1. RONR, 11th ed., pp 404-405 (I believe that is correct, I don't have my book with me) states that any candidate not receiving a majority is not elected to office. A majority of what? A majority of the ballots that were cast? Does this mean that candidates A and B are elected and candidate C is not? 2. Since there are three candidates for three vacancies, is a motion for the secretary to cast one ballot for all three candidates in order? If so, and the motion passes, are all three candidates elected?
My state organization's Constitution and By-Laws do not specify that an officer must be elected by a majority vote. In the past, we have made the selection based on a plurality in some years, a majority in others. However, I seem to recall reading awhile ago in RONR that if there is no provision stating otherwise, a candidate must receive a majority of the votes cast to be elected. When I went back to check, I could not locate the paragraph I wanted. Am I mis-remembering? If not, could you indicate which chapter/section (or even page number) of RONR I should find this information in?