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Found 14 results

  1. I'm a member of a Board the bylaws of which provide that the Chair does not vote except to make or break a tie. Our bylaws also require that a reason be noted in the minutes for all abstentions. Two questions: 1.
  2. Hello: In a situation where a concurring vote of three out of five board members is required, and there are three abstentions, the motion clearly cannot pass. But is it deemed a valid vote or valid denial? I realize it is impossible for the motion to pass, but not necessarily based on "no" votes (especially if 2-2 vote yes). I'm wondering if there is a term-of-art for it. From RONR that the abstentions in a majority of the membership situation have the "effect" of a no, but are not necessarily votes. So if this decision is ultimately appealed, it seems incorrect to call it a true denial. Thoughts? Any help would be appreciated.
  3. The by laws of my organisation state that a rule or by law can be amended before the Amendments Assembly (taking place every three years), by submitting an Emergency Amendment if needed. The vote for that Emergency Amendment takes place in an ordinary meeting of the board of directors, after circulating the amendment to the members of the organisations 15 days prior to the ordinary meeting. It also states that the vote for such an Emergency Ammendment must be unanimous in order for it to be approved. I abstained from a vote and everyone else voted yes. Is it unanimous? Also, if the Emergency Amendment is approved, can it be applied retroactively? Or it is only applied to situations after it is approved?
  4. Is this vote valid?

    We have a 7 member board. Our by-laws state a quorum is a majority of appointed members, which is 4. A motion requires a simple majority to pass. The by-laws do not state if the simple majority must be those present or of the full board. In this instance, all members happened to be present. Here is the vote: 4 abstained (3 for perceived conflict of interest & 1 with no conflict who chose not to vote), 2 voted yes, & 1 voted no. The board president declared that the motion passed. Is she correct?
  5. I have searched the forum and read the results regarding abstention and quorum voting and also FAQ#6 and I am still a little confused. FAQ#6 states: I am confused because it says an abstention will be a no vote then follows up with abstention is not counted as a vote, so which is it? Our situation that is being debated is this: 100 current voting members 60 in attendance 30 vote yes 15 vote no 15 abstain Under strict Roberts Rules of Order does it pass or not? Now with a direct quote from our bylaws: I think that if we are going to follow Roberts Rules our Section 4:B should be updated so that it doesn't state 66% of voting members present, because that negates the abstention vote. Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
  6. FAQ # 6 says: "On the other hand, if the vote required is a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a “no” vote." My question is, does the effect of an abstention change if the by-law says "a majority of the members present and voting" vs. just "present"? Thanks in advance.
  7. Under Robert's Rules, is there such thing as a recusal in the case of a conflict of interest? If an individual in the voting assembly has a conflict of interest, would the individual be required to leave the room prior to discussion (or will he/she be allowed to participate in discussion so long as the conflict is announced)? If so, would the individual be removed from the quorum? If not, what would be the proper procedure to address a conflict of interest? Will the individual recuse or abstain?
  8. Can a member of a Board who abstained in the original vote, subsequently "move a reconsideration" vote? It was mentioned in my previous post that this type of action was not allowable, but where can I find this ruling in Robert's Rules of Order? We have a Board meeting tonight and I need to find this asap!!!!.....Thanks.
  9. During an October 8, 2013 Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Board of Directors monthly meeting, a controversial agenda item was voted on. Skid Row Housing Trust, a developer of low-income housing for homeless people and folks in recovery from drugs and alcohol abuse, requested a letter of support for an alcohol permit for a first floor restaurant in their newest building (out of 25 they already own/operate). Prior to the vote, it was determined that out of 28 Board seats, many of the members were also members of a powerful lobbyist group, the same as the applicant. While most recused themselves, there were several who did not. (A separate ethics investigation is currently on-going). That said, a qualifying quorum of 14 Board members were PRESENT, but all members did not vote. Of the voting Board members the vote was as follows; 6-for, 2-against, 4-abstain with 2 more Board members thinking they were ineligible to vote due to non-completion of a required ethics training course (It was determined later by the LA City Attorney's office that they could still have indeed voted). My question is this, of the two alleged "ineligible" members, do their "non-votes" automatically count as abstentions? While it was first "wrongfully declared" that the abstentions didn't count, the next day our by-laws were re-visited and it was subsequently determined that there is specific language that states that abstentions ARE to be included. Now, somehow the "defeated" Board members have worked to get this item back on the agenda for a "reconsideration vote" (It was explained that because there was a "tie"....6-for VERSUS 2-against plus the 4-abstentions, our President could have broken the tie according to our by-laws) Again, the question is regarding the 2 "ineligible" members. Are their votes counted as abstentions?...If so, this would then deem the vote "not a tie" (6-for, 2-against and SIX-abstain [six to eight], thus missing the required "simple majority" number of "8-for" votes in this case) and "not qualifying" for a reconsideration vote. Your thoughts?
  10. Abstaining from voting

    My understanding is that a member cannot be compelled to vote. Does any other member have the right to ask the reason for the abstention?
  11. Was revote legal?

    Greetings, We are a condominium association in Oregon. All unit owners make up our membership, and we have a board of directors for regular monthly meetings. Every April, we have an annual meeting of all members, at which we vote in new Directors and other business (and eat dinner!). Our bylaws state that we must have, whether present or by proxy, 50% of our general members in order to have a quorum, and that a vote requires 50% of all members (not just 50% of those in attendance) to pass. In our annual meeting last month, we had 57%, so we had a quorum. The meeting notice included an item of business, which I'll just call the "IRS Resolution," and the proxy ballots provided a place to indicate Yes or No for this vote, although nowhere did it provide specifics of what the resolution was. As a result of this omission, many of the members who returned proxy ballots simply did not vote either way for the IRS Resolution (ie abstention). During the annual meeting, therefore, only 47% of the members voted for (or against) the resolution, and it failed. Here's where this gets interesting, at least to my point of view. This IRS resolution is tax-related, and something of a "no-brainer", meaning everyone should have wanted it to pass. The entire room was shocked. We were trying to figure out whether we could run it through another ballot vote, but our pre-prepared ballots didn't include the IRS Resolution after the first ballot cycle, having assumed the question would be settled easily. One of our members, a retired lawyer and armchair parliamentarian, rose and addressed the chair: "I move to adopt the resolution by unanimous consent." And so it was adopted with no audible objections. My questions: If the motion failed the first ballot due to insufficient votes, is the issue considered "settled"? - do the Nays have it (and win)?, or by failing due to lack of majority does it remain a pending question? In the case that it is a settled question, can it then be moved to reconsider the vote, when it is obvious that a significant group of the voters (those who voted by proxy ballot) are not present to persist their votes? (This assumes there was a voter who voted "Nay", so they have standing to raise the motion to reconsider. [and isn't this an interesting idea, that someone should vote Nay in order to ensure they have standing to raise the motion to reconsider, should it prove necessary?]) In the case that it is not a settled question, is it acceptable to pass the motion by unanimous consent? Doesn't that disenfranchise those who voted by proxy ballot, as they are not present to object? [For all we knew at the time, the proxy ballots could have held a significant "Nay" vote.] I hope that I have provided the requisite information, but stand ready to answer any questions as may be necessary for clarification. Thank you for your kind assistance, Ken Tyrrell
  12. Abstention required?

    If a voting member was absent from the meeting whose minutes are being approved, is an abstention required? Can an affirmative vote be made if the voting member believes the minutes accurate?
  13. I made a motion at the last department meeting and there was a vote. 5 people voted in favor of my proposal and 0 voted against. 11 people abstained. 16 people is a quorum. I don't know why they abstained but it does not matter. The bylaws of the constitution require just a simple majority and then defers to Robert's rules. Here is what I can get from doing a little research: 1) Abstentions are not votes—in fact, it is an oxymoron because if you abstain, you are refusing to vote. 2) Therefore there are only two choices—to pass or to reject the motion. 3) There was a quorum present 4) A plurality is not mentioned in the bylaws nor is the requirement that a majority be of the persons present. It just calls for simple majority. Besides, an abstention is not a vote choice--it is a choice to not vote. 5) Majority vote is defined as more than half of the votes cast by those entitled to vote, excluding blanks or abstentions, at a meeting at which a quorum is present. So, my motion passed. Am I wrong?
  14. Good afternoon, Recently, a member of a small Commission (6 people) that I serve as staff for asked the following: Is there a difference between an abstention and a recusal (which, based on what I've read so far is to not vote because of a conflict of interest)? I was not sure of the answer. As I explained, I equated an abstention with a simple non-vote (covering a number of circumstances), while a recusal was a conflict of interest. However, it seems as if a member's recusal is not specified in Robert's Rules - only a non-vote in conflict of interest circumstances. If a member had a conflict of interest and did not vote, would abstention be a suitable description? Or, should their "non-vote" be described differently. Thank you, Meghan
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