Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Daniel H. Honemann

What Constitutes a Ballot Vote?

Recommended Posts

27 minutes ago, Ann Rempel said:

If the bylaws are silent about proxy voting and RONR is the parliamentary authority, proxy voting is prohibited (unless authorized by statute, of course). The Sample Bylaws state that RONR is the parliamentary authority. Therefore, no proxy voting. Period.

I don't disagree.  However, no one can point to a section of those bylaws that says, in so many words, that proxy voting is prohibited.  Proxy voting cannot be used because RONR specifically states that the bylaws must authorize proxy voting (p. 428, l. 30-35). 

By adopt RONR in Article VIII, the society agreed to do two things, effectively.  First, it agreed to use RONR is cases where in applicable and is "not inconsistent with these bylaws and any special rules of order that the Society may adopt (p.   588, ll. 1-8)."   In less formal terms, it says that RONR, filled the gaps in the absence of a bylaw or a special rule

Second, it agrees to to take certain actions, unless it authorizes those actions in the bylaws; that is indicated in a footnote of p. 16.  Proxy voting is an example.

Okay, is there anything, in so many words and in the bylaws, that says that the vote totals in an election has must be announced?  Not that I can find, or that has been cited.  There is in RONR, but not in the bylaws.

The assembly has agreed that they will use RONR when they are not inconsistent with the bylaws or with a special rule of order.  There is a special rule of order that says, "The vote totals in elections shall not be announced or recorded in the minutes."   That does conflict with RONR, but the society says that special rules will supersede any conflicting rules in RONR.  With the exception noted in the footnote, RONR says that these special rules will supersede RONR.

So, is there anything in the bylaws that says, specifically, that the vote total must be announced?  No.  While RONR provides that the results of a ballot vote will be announce, the bylaws do not require that.  Before we look at what RONR says, we have to look at special rules.  The special rule say "The vote totals in elections shall not be announced or recorded in the minutes."  However, RONR does say that some certain actions most be authorized in the bylaws.  Is there anything in RONR that says, if you want to omit the vote totals in an election, you must put that into the bylaws?  No.  It could say that, but even under elections of officers section, it doesn't talk about the count being announced at all.

And, finally, we have another problem.   If there is a plain vanilla motion pending, can a motion be adopted, "that the vote be by ballot, but that the totals not be announced?"  While I think that is unusual, it looks in order to adopt according to p. 283,  ll. 9-11.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, J. J. said:

I don't disagree.  However, no one can point to a section of those bylaws that says, in so many words, that proxy voting is prohibited.  Proxy voting cannot be used because RONR specifically states that the bylaws must authorize proxy voting (p. 428, l. 30-35). 

 

If something must be authorized and is not authorized, then it is prohibited. According to RONR, proxy voting is prohibited if it isn't authorized.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ann Rempel said:

If something must be authorized and is not authorized, then it is prohibited. According to RONR, proxy voting is prohibited if it isn't authorized.

As I said, I do not disagree.  That does not change the fact that there is nothing that says proxy voting is prohibited in the bylaws.  That is not the same as saying proxy voting is permitted.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

As a consequence,

no special rule of order can be validly adopted providing

that the ballots shall be signed, or

that they shall not be counted, or

that the count shall not be announced to the assembly.

These are all essential elements of what is meant by the phrase "elected by ballot".

We all are still awaiting a citation which ties:

   (a.) oral announcement, with

   (b.) anonymity.

So, far all you've written is a repeat the are three essential elements (two "thou shall nots" and one "thou shall").

A page number would help.

Fiat, does not help.

Proof?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder to what extent there is general agreement (using RONR and its sample bylaws as our authority), as to what is meant by the term “elected by ballot”, since I assume that virtually all who have responded will agree that any special rule of order conflicting with this society’s bylaw provision requiring that officers be “elected by ballot” will have no validity.

1. Is there anyone who has responded who thinks that a special rule of order requiring that the ballots cast in an election of officers be signed (or in any other manner removes the requirement of anonymity) will have any validity?

2. Is there anyone who has responded who thinks that a special rule of order providing that the ballots need not be counted will have any validity? If so, can you please provide us with a specific example of such a special rule of order?

I ask because, as best I can determine, there seems to be general agreement that anonymity and the counting of ballots are essential elements of what is needed to satisfy a requirement that officers be “elected by ballot”, but let’s at least get this much straightened out before returning to consideration of any necessity that the count be reported and announced to the assembly as an integral part of the announcement of the result of the vote.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I ask because, as best I can determine, there seems to be general agreement that anonymity and the counting of ballots are essential elements of what is needed to satisfy a requirement that officers be “elected by ballot”, but let’s at least get this much straightened out before returning to consideration of any necessity that the count be reported and announced to the assembly as an integral part of the announcement of the result of the vote.  

Well I certainly believe those two elements are absolutely essential and cannot be superseded by a special rule of order, and as far as I understood it, the Q&A doesn't state anything which contradicts that.  I also don't think the Q&A in any way states having a proper tellers report isn't essential.  It's the last part of your post that the Q&A is addressing.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

Well I certainly believe those two elements are absolutely essential and cannot be superseded by a special rule of order, and as far as I understood it, the Q&A doesn't state anything which contradicts that.  I also don't think the Q&A in any way states having a proper tellers report isn't essential.  It's the last part of your post that the Q&A is addressing.  

Oh, I agree. I didn't mean to imply that the Q&A suggests, in any way, that either of these two elements  can be superseded by a special rule of order. It doesn't. 

And I agree that it doesn't say that having a proper tellers report isn't essential, but it certainly seems to say that a special rule of order can validly supersede the requirement that the content of this report be disclosed to the assembly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Oh, I agree. I didn't mean to imply that the Q&A suggests, in any way, that either of these two elements  can be superseded by a special rule of order. It doesn't. 

And I agree that it doesn't say that having a proper tellers report isn't essential, but it certainly seems to say that a special rule of order can validly supersede the requirement that the content of this report be disclosed to the assembly.

Yes, sir, that's what this whole fuss is all about. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, George Mervosh said:

Yes, sir, that's what this whole fuss is all about. :)

Well, then, you oughta reduce the fuss somewhat by admitting that disclosure of this information to the assembly is also an essential element.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, George Mervosh said:

Well I certainly believe those two elements are absolutely essential and cannot be superseded by a special rule of order, and as far as I understood it, the Q&A doesn't state anything which contradicts that.  I also don't think the Q&A in any way states having a proper tellers report isn't essential.  It's the last part of your post that the Q&A is addressing.  

   Yes, and the Q & A deals with the specific acts of announcing the vote totals, and the recording of those totals in the minutes.  It says nothing about removing the ability to count the vote.  The Q & A said, " This committee recognizes that there are certain rights associated with voting by a secret, as opposed to a signed, ballot.  No motion can be made that force the disclosure of how any member voted (p. 413, ll. 1-4)."  I think that answers Dan's first question.

To be clear, and to avoid a straw-man argument, the Q & A deal only with the reading of the vote totals by the tellers, the repeating of those vote totals by the chair, and the recording of those vote totals in the minutes.  It is implied that was a count.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, then, you oughta reduce the fuss somewhat by admitting that disclosure of this information to the assembly is also an essential element.  :)

Disclosing of what information?  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, then, you oughta reduce the fuss somewhat by admitting that disclosure of this information to the assembly is also an essential element.  :)

Let me say that I accept your interpretation of the rules in RONR (which is what this thread is about, really), as I accept SG’s and any other member of the authorship team’s interpretation on this matter and any time an interpretation of RONR is required.  My acceptance also lies in the fact I can’t come up with an argument against it that would satisfy myself, much less anyone else.

I was very content to agree with my colleagues on the Q&A team at the time the answer was written, as I believed the answer was a proper application of the rules in RONR, so I can easily understand why others would agree with our answer. 

This thread was very illuminating and I appreciate everyone’s opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, George Mervosh said:

Let me say that I accept your interpretation of the rules in RONR (which is what this thread is about, really), as I accept SG’s and any other member of the authorship team’s interpretation on this matter and any time an interpretation of RONR is required.  My acceptance also lies in the fact I can’t come up with an argument against it that would satisfy myself, much less anyone else.

Perhaps it should be noted that we have not as yet been advised as to precisely what SG (or any other member of the authorship team) thinks concerning this question. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Perhaps it should be noted that we have not as yet been advised as to precisely what SG (or any other member of the authorship team) thinks concerning this question. 

Fair enough. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×