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Guest Debbie

voting by show of hands vs secret ballot

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Guest Debbie

Our bylaws are in the process of being rewritten because we have items within that are not legal.  

One of our bylaws states that we vote by show of hands.  In our first meeting this year, there was a motion made and seconded that we vote by secret ballot and it was voted in my a majority vote.  Last night at our meeting, the President overruled that vote and said that we would no longer be voting by secret ballot because it goes against our bylaws.  I argued that we had all voted it in by majority.  She stated that she was not at that first meeting, so SHE did not get to vote and said again that since it is not what our bylaws say we will no longer be voting by secret ballot.  Is she correct?  Or does it change because of our vote.

 

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If your bylaws actually state that voting will take place by show of hands, then that's how you must vote and the president seems to be correct (but not because she wasn't at that meeting and didn't get to vote). You cannot overrule a bylaw requirement by just a majority vote - you would have to follow the procedure given in your bylaws for amending them.

But, please - when you rewrite your bylaws, take out the requirement for voting by show of hands. If you adopt RONR as your parliamentary authority, you will have access to the use of several means of voting, from the default voice vote to a secret ballot vote or even a roll call vote. But you will be able to chose which method of voting to use in any given situation by a majority vote at that time.

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1 hour ago, Guest Debbie said:

Our bylaws are in the process of being rewritten because we have items within that are not legal.  

One of our bylaws states that we vote by show of hands.  In our first meeting this year, there was a motion made and seconded that we vote by secret ballot and it was voted in my a majority vote.  Last night at our meeting, the President overruled that vote and said that we would no longer be voting by secret ballot because it goes against our bylaws.  I argued that we had all voted it in by majority.  She stated that she was not at that first meeting, so SHE did not get to vote and said again that since it is not what our bylaws say we will no longer be voting by secret ballot.  Is she correct?  Or does it change because of our vote.

A majority vote is not sufficient, but a 2/3 vote would be. Since the rule is clearly in the nature of a rule of order, it may be suspended by a 2/3 vote. This would generally be used for a single vote, but the society could have the motion remain in effect for a longer period (up to the duration of the meeting) if desired.

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