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John-Jack

A vote without a quorum, when is it in effect?

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At a recent meeting of our Lions Club, we did not have a quorum. We did, however, vote on a few items. One of our members expressed his opinion (as fact) that if at our next meeting with a quorum present the minutes were accepted, then what was voted upon is actually passed without any further discussion/vote. Is that true, or would each item have to be brought up again and voted upon? I was the moderator.

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Your member was factually impaired.  You could do a wholesale ratification (vote "Yes" but on all at once) rather than going through each one individually.   Any member could demand a separate vote on any issue, however.

Approving the minutes does NOT mean you have approved the actions described in the minutes, only that the minutes are a correct record of what happened at the previous meeting.

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Agreeing with Dr. Stackpole with regards to the need to ratify the actions taken, as the moderator you really must not let this happen again unless it's a true emergency.  

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Agreeing with both of my esteemed and well-respected colleagues, I would add that you also should not let this sort of thing happen unless you are quite confident that the action being taken is supported by the vast majority of members and will almost certainly be ratified at the next meeting.  If for some reason the action is not ratified, those officers who took the unauthorized action could be subject to disciplinary action and could be held personally responsible if money of the organization was expended.  In other words, you act at your peril when you allow action to be taken without proper authorization.  If you find yourself without a quorum yet something important needs to be voted on, the assembly can always set an adjourned meeting for perhaps the next day or the next week in order to vote on the matter.  Setting an adjourned meeting is one of the few things an assembly can legitimately do in the absence of a quorum.

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1 hour ago, John-Jack said:

At a recent meeting of our Lions Club, we did not have a quorum. We did, however, vote on a few items. One of our members expressed his opinion (as fact) that if at our next meeting with a quorum present the minutes were accepted, then what was voted upon is actually passed without any further discussion/vote. Is that true, or would each item have to be brought up again and voted upon? I was the moderator.

At this recent meeting, was any question raised as to the absence of a quorum? If so, how? And when? Before or after these votes were taken?

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Thank you all for your input. I will not let this happen again. I am rather new with Robert's Rules and not always sure of all the ground rules. I am quite sure that the votes in question will be ratified at the next meeting without any problems. 

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On 10/10/2017 at 10:30 AM, John-Jack said:

At a recent meeting of our Lions Club, we did not have a quorum. We did, however, vote on a few items. One of our members expressed his opinion (as fact) that if at our next meeting with a quorum present the minutes were accepted, then what was voted upon is actually passed without any further discussion/vote. Is that true, or would each item have to be brought up again and voted upon? I was the moderator.

The approval of the minutes only verifies that the motions were voted on in the absence of a quorum.  That is not tantamount to approval.

If the assembly desires to ratify the actions taken at that meeting, it will have to do so explicitly with a motion to Ratify.

But even if it approved of the actions themselves, it would still be in order to consider a motion to discipline the moderator for allowing business to take place in the absence of a quorum.

 

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