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Bruce Lages

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Posts posted by Bruce Lages

  1. No, at least not for a majority vote as defined in RONR - a majority of those members present and voting.  If the basis for the votes is defined differently, such as a majority of the members present, then abstentions will affect the outcome in that they will count towards the members present but not towards the number of votes cast. In that case, abstentions will have the same effect as a 'no' vote, even though they are still not votes.

  2. Well, clearly a number of things happened that were not proper procedure, but if the motion was withdrawn with the chair acknowledging the withdrawal, and no point of order raised  by anyone, the motion, together with any adhering amendments, is now dead. That same motion could be made again at the next session, but if the member who originally made the motion decided it should be withdrawn, that may not be likely.


  3. If your bylaws are ambiguous on this matter, RONR describes two specific situations that are very similar to yours, as alluded to by Mr. Brown above. The two situations are when the bylaws specify that the president shall be, ex officio, a member of all committees (47:20), and when a person who is not a member of the society is made an ex officio member of the society's board (49:8). In each of these situations, RONR makes it clear that, while the ex officio member is not obligated to attend meetings, and is not counted in determining the presence of a quorum, they retain all the rights of membership in the committee or board. These include the right to make motions and to vote.


  4. All three are acceptable procedures, assuming the board is following RONR's small board rules (49:21), where the president can participate to the same extent as all other board members. Since two of your three examples suggest there is no dissension, it might be easier to use unanimous consent, e.g., the president states "If there is no objection, the board will now reconvene in executive session." Any stated objection means a majority vote will be needed to enter executive session.

  5. 13 minutes ago, Guest Wave Wound said:

    In an election where multiple candidates are selected for one office, and where a ties occur between candidates at a lower bracket(let’s say 3 and 4 tie), the members that already have the most vote are elected and do not stay on the ballots

    To be elected,  a candidate needs a majority (more than half) of the votes cast, not just the most votes. If this is an election for officers, only a bylaw-level rule can allow a plurality of votes to elect a candidate; for other than officers a special rule of order will suffice. And yes, any candidate that receives a majority of votes is elected and therefore not included on subsequent ballots

  6. Since a majority vote will be achieved with more yes votes than no votes, it will be much easier if you just count the responses themselves rather than look at percentages. Does the zoom poll feature automatically report in percentages, instead of the number of each response?

  7. From the wording in your example (15% of voting power; 10% of total households eligible for membership) it sounds like these two things are not equivalent. Is that the case? Does each household eligible for membership not have one unit of voting power, i.e., one vote?

    And, following up on Joshua Katz' question, are you also trying to ensure that a minimum number of members (or of voting power) must actually be physically present as part of the quorum requirement?

  8. The motion to postpone can not be applied to a secondary amendment - nor a primary amendment - alone. The motion should be made to postpone the main motion, and then any primary and secondary amendments that are also pending at that time will be postponed along with the main motion. (RONR, 12:7 (2))

  9. 1 hour ago, Guest Puzzling said:

    The requests to withdraw a motion in RONR 12ed needs to be seconded , I would like that to change so that no second is needed.


    To be more accurate, it is not the request to withdraw a motion per se that needs to be seconded, it is the motion to grant permission to withdraw the motion  - if made by the member making the request. And this is only necessary when the request does not receive unanimous consent.

  10. Note also that when the chair is empowered to make appointments subject to approval (or 'advise and consent') by another body, the approving body can decline to accept one or more of the chair's nominees, but it can not insert it own names. If the chair's selection is rejected, the chair then offers another name to the approving body. After all of the chair's selections have been deemed acceptable, the motion is then made to accept the nominee, or the list of nominees, for appointment.

    See RONR, 50:13e.

  11. No. Once a motion has been made and seconded, it becomes the 'property' of the assembly after it is stated by the chair. The maker of the motion has very little control over what happens to the motion after it is placed before the assembly. Any member can move to amend the motion.

    There is a brief window - between the time a motion is first moved by the maker and before it is placed before the assembly by the chair stating the motion after it is seconded - when another member can suggest a change to the motion. In this case, the maker of the motion is free to accept or reject the suggested change.

    In your situation was the motion placed before the assembly by the chair?

  12. In a roll call vote under RONR, it is correct that the secretary calls out members by name, in alphabetical order. For your convention, however, it is likely that the convention rules prescribe how your convention delegates ( conventions don't actually have 'members' per se) are defined and referred to. Check those rules to see whether the delegates are actually described in terms of their chapter and office positions.

  13. 4 minutes ago, Paul G said:

    Our bylaws don't appear to have an and/or provision attached to the length of term.  They do specifically state an Officer can be removed with or without cause.  Since SOP is that all Board motions require a majority vote of the Board, it is assumed motions of removal would require the same.

    For removal from the Board, the bylaws specifically state that requires a majority vote of the membership. 

    Based on the statement that I have bolded, I believe this provision in your bylaws will take precedence over RONR's conditions for removal of officers. That is, despite the absence of the 'or until their successors are elected' clause in your bylaws, your officers can be removed via a motion to amend something previously adopted; in other words by a 2/3 vote or a vote of a majority of the entire membership, or a majority vote with previous notice.

    If RONR is you parliamentary authority, an SOP would not be sufficient to overrule the voting requirements noted above. That rule would have to be in your bylaws, or in a special rule of order.

  14. In general, yes, assuming the president is a member of the assembly that will hold the election. However, if this assembly is anything larger than a 'small board' (no more than about a dozen members) and the president is the presiding officer, he should not be making nominations in order to preserve the impartiality required of a presiding officer.

  15. Although you don't need to do anything, I think as a new chair, you can do much to gain the respect of your fellow board members if, at the next meeting, you acknowledge that you erred at the previous meeting by not calling for debate on the motion in question. You can do this as part of your report to the board, and at the same time, inform them of how they can amend or rescind the motion, if desired, assuming it passed previously.  If this group qualifies as a small board (not more than about a dozen members), you could even provide previous notice yourself if you want to amend or rescind the motion, which will reduce the vote requirement from a 2/3 vote to a majority vote. See RONR: 35 for the rules and vote requirements for the motion to Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted



  16. What bylaws are you referencing in Question 1 of your original post?  If the reference is to the International Constitution and Bylaws, then it seems to me that the quote you provide in Question 2 makes clear that the provision of those Bylaws regarding the parliamentary authority must override the reference to a different version of Robert's Rules in the Convention Rules of Order: "unless otherwise provided for in the International Constitution and Bylaws". The responses provided above by Mr. Martin and Mr. Brown make clear that any reference to 'Robert's Rules of Order' is defined in RONR itself as a reference to the latest edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised.

    It would indeed be wise to amend the Convention rules to eliminate this conflict.

  17. I would also add that you might consider Dr. Goodwiller's suggestion of an outdoor, socially distanced meeting specifically to resolve your hiring situation, which seems to be of immediate concern.  I would also want to know how many members in your organization, and how many members constitute a quorum. In addition, a socially-distanced meeting is much more feasible if we're talking about a board doing the hiring, as opposed to the general membership. Is that a possibility, i.e., do your rules allow the board to hire an employee?

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