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Josh Martin

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About Josh Martin

  • Birthday 09/05/1986

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  • Location:
    Minneapolis, MN
  • Interests
    reading, writing, video games, parliamentary procedure

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  1. A.) Yes. B.) I presume this is a roll call taken by some rule or custom of the assembly. I think this is indeed related to the conduct of the meeting. C.) No, I don’t think so. No, I don’t think the adoption of an agenda solely for these items is necessary or proper.
  2. If he was only suspended for a year, there is no reason he could not return after the year is over and be elected to the board (if he can get the votes), assuming nothing in your rules provides otherwise.
  3. For adopting a special rule of order, it is always the case that either previous notice and a 2/3 vote, or a vote of a majority of the entire membership is sufficient. If an amendment was adopted which exceeded the scope of notice, then only a vote of a majority of the entire membership would be sufficient. Based on these additional facts, my understanding of the situation is as follows: -The status quo is that only board members may speak in debate at board meetings. -The originally proposed rule would permit all cardholders (which includes both members and privileged cardholders) to speak in debate at board meetings. -The proposed amendment would make it so that members, but not privileged cardholders, may speak at board meetings. Because the proposed amendment (board members and members) is in between the original proposed rule (board members, members, and privileged cardholders) and the status quo (board members only), it is within the scope of notice, since it is a lesser change than what was originally proposed.
  4. Barring some rule in your organization’s governing documents to the contrary, it seems to me that members should be considered to have joined at the time that they actually joined. I would note, however, that the rules in RONR only care about whether someone is currently a member and grants all rights of membership immediately, so it doesn’t weigh in on this subject directly. If your organization has a rule which requires persons to be a member for a certain period of time in order to gain voting rights, it will ultimately be up to your society to interpret that rule.
  5. If a motion does in fact require scope of notice (with no alternatives permitted), then an amendment which exceeds the scope of notice is out of order. So if an amendment to strike “cardholders” and insert “members” is outside the scope of notice, the amendment should be ruled out of order. As to the question of whether the proposed amendment exceeds the scope of notice, I have some clarifying questions. What is the relationship between the rights of cardholders and those of members? Do members have all the rights of cardholders, plus some additional rights? Or are there some rights which cardholders have, but members do not (and vice versa)? In the former case, it seems to me the amendment is within scope. In the latter case, it is not.
  6. I remain skeptical that it is really “obvious,” from handwriting analysis alone (especially by persons who are presumably not handwriting experts), that the ballot was submitted by a person other than the person whose signature is on the ballot. I concede, however, that this is certainly more plausible for a signed ballot (as opposed to a secret ballot), since in this case the handwriting on the ballot need only be compared to the handwriting of one person. If it is indeed a signed ballot, however, any such concerns can be easily rectified by contacting the person whose signature appears on the ballot and confirming whether that person did, in fact, cast the ballot in question. In the event it is in fact determined that a member of the society is attempting to cast multiple signed ballots by forging the signatures of other members (which seems especially foolish in a signed ballot, since such fraud would be much easier to detect), then this is very serious and the society should review Ch. XX of RONR for disciplinary procedures.
  7. During meetings of the general membership, any member of the society is free to make or second a motion. The board should be approving its own minutes, and the general membership should be approving its own minutes. I would note, however, that no motion to approve the minutes is necessary, and therefore no one needs to move or second it. After the minutes are read, the chair asks if there any corrections. Such corrections are generally handled by unanimous consent, but a motion and vote would be the correct course of action if there is disagreement. After the corrections (if any) are handled, the chair declares the minutes approved.
  8. The trustee is correct that RONR permits a member to change his vote (the reasons why the member wishes to change his vote are immaterial), but after the result has been announced, this may be done only with unanimous consent (and even then, only before any debate or business has intervened). So it seems that it was too late. “CHANGING ONE'S VOTE. A member has a right to change his vote up to the time the result is announced; after that, he can make the change only by the unanimous consent of the assembly requested and granted, without debate, immediately following the chair's announcement of the result of the vote (see below). TIME LIMITS ON EFFORTS TO CHALLENGE, RETAKE, OR CHANGE A VOTE. After the result of a vote has been announced, members can still propose or demand certain actions that may change the result. A member may raise a point of order regarding the conduct of the vote, demand a division of the assembly, move to retake the vote under another method, move for a recapitulation of a roll-call vote, or request unanimous consent to change his vote. With the exception of a point of order raised against a breach of a continuing nature (p. 251, ll. 3–23), if any of these actions is to apply to a vote after the result has been announced, it must be taken immediately after the chair's announcement, before any debate or business has intervened.” (RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 408-409) My advice would be for the trustee to simply make the motion again at the next opportunity, and vote correctly that time.
  9. If it is indeed known that the ballot was cast by a person who is not eligible to vote, or was cast by someone voting twice, or the like (which I assume is what is meant by “wrong persons”), that ballot would not be credited toward any candidate and would not be counted in the total of ballots cast. I am extremely skeptical, however, that this can be determined merely through handwriting analysis. Perhaps the tellers are experts on the handwriting of every member of the society. Or as Mr. Geiger suggests, this could be a signed ballot. They are, and if this is indeed a signed ballot, that would make the original post marginally more believable.
  10. I think there is some confusion here about what exactly this rule requires. There is a document in RONR called the “call” of a meeting. A call must be sent for special meetings, and must also be sent for regular meetings if the date and time of regular meetings is set by resolution (rather than by rule), and of course would also be necessary if required by the organization’s rules. The call includes the date, time, and location of the meeting. In the case of a special meeting, the call must also include the item(s) of business to be considered at the meeting. There is no doubt that if a call is sent with insufficient notice, the meeting is invalid. We are told, however, that the rule in question merely requires an agenda to be sent, and that this agenda is apparently for information only, since the agenda may be modified at the meeting. It seems to me that such an agenda provides no protection at all to absentees, and as a result, failure to send such an agenda in a timely manner would not affect the validity of the meeting.
  11. Josh Martin


    The rule could provide that this action could be done without a quorum, or that the appointment could be made by a single person (such as the President), rather than by a vote of the board.
  12. Josh Martin


    If the organization is already working on amending its bylaws, it would seem that the simpler solution would be to lower the quorum requirement rather than coming up with creative workarounds. Or elect board members who show up to meetings. As to whether this “board member for a day” bylaw amendment would be legal, that would be a question for an attorney. The organization’s bylaws take precedence over RONR, so nothing in RONR will stop an organization from adopting whatever strange rules it wants. It may well be, however, that the proposed amendment would conflict with applicable law.
  13. RONR has no guidance on this matter and does not require that such a letter be sent at all. The resignation must be accepted by the body authorized to fill the resulting vacancy, at a meeting, but nothing further is necessary.
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