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  1. Thanks, Josh - this is very helpful! It seems that either the “Abstention ballots shall not be counted in calculating this majority” phrase either 1.) converts the "A majority vote of the eligible voting class members present" line in our bylaws to be a 'present and voting' clause or, 2.) is completely meaningless as submitting an abstention vote affirms that the member is indeed present and as such counts towards the majority of voting members present. I see much wasted time and circular logic arguments in our future.
  2. I wish I could tell you - I inherited these bylaws and nobody has been able to clearly explain them (yet it seems that some have been able to manipulate them in the past to get their way). I suspect that a requirement to submit a ballot that said 'abstain' or was blank was required at one point to prevent election fraud (match the number of ballots collected to the number of voting members present).
  3. My organization has long allowed the use of a 'No' vote during a balloted election. I question whether or not this is allowed by RONR but can't find anything explicitly prohibiting the practice. In past elections, rather than voting for a candidate or abstaining, the 'No' vote has been used to try to prevent a candidate from being elected (especially in instances where there is only 1 nominee) that a portion of the voting members don't like/want. Our bylaws define our elections rules as follows: All elections for Officers/Directors be conducted by secret ballot. A majority vote of the eligible voting class members present is required to elect all electable positions regardless of nominees for that position and the Secretary cannot cast a unanimous ballot. 2 ballots must be cast before the President is required to break the tie for any office Abstention ballots must be cast. Abstention ballots shall not be counted in calculating this majority My questions are: Are 'No/Against' votes allowed by RONR in a balloted election (citations?) If a 'No' vote is cast, how shall it be counted? An abstention (as abstention ballots must be cast)? Illegal/discarded vote? Considering my bylaws, can a 'No' vote actually do anything at all? If the bylaws require a majority of all voting members present (not present AND voting), an abstention is really acting as a No vote. Appreciate any insight - a long history of politics in the organization has left some odd practices, misunderstandings, and poorly worded bylaws that I'm trying to work through....
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