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  1. Some background before I get to the root of my query. We are a student government organization representing about 30,000 students. We recently had elections for President and Vice president. Our voting procedure is as follows: Nominations are made. The following council meeting debates are held and the council votes. There are three rounds of voting; the first two rounds require quorum, the last requires simple majority. One the ballot the only options were the single ticket running, or to reopen nominations. During the second round of voting the nominations were reopened, no other ticket was nominated, so nominations were closed. In the final round of voting, simple majority was reached for fear of repeat of round 2. Per our organizations constitution, any matter not explicitly discussed in the document requires strict adhesion to Robert's Rules. My question is as follows. The council is extremely displeased with the President's performance during the debate and it has been called into question his ability to serve the organization as such. There is request from several members to reopen nominations and vote on a new ticket. Is there anything in Robert's Rules that would allow this? I know it is a strange situation but the council has decided that now that another candidate has expressed interest they would like to reopen nominations and elections. Is this possible being that there is a President and Vice President Elect; they are not to be sworn in until after the end of next council.
  2. Inspired by https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/33222-multiple-ballotsmultiple-candidates/, I have the following question: RONR, 11ed, pg 441 ll 1-10 specifies the procedure in the event that a majority is not achieved on the first round of an election. That is, that the ballot is "repeated" as many times as needed for some candidate to achieve a majority. Dropping candidates is forbidden (absent a rule) to permit or encourage "dark horse" or "compromise" (pg 437) candidates to emerge. So what if, after some number of ballots have failed to achieve a majority, some entirely new member were to draw attention as such a candidate? I see nothing permitting the reopening of nominations. I would think that a 2/3rds vote to suspend the rules would suffice. Would it be necessary? That seems to be the case, which seems unfortunate--only a majority should be required to accomplish an election. Of course, if I were at a meeting, and someone were to propose such a candidate, I would shut up and "let the body work its will" in any event. But I am wondering what the black letter rule is.
  3. Hi everyone, Our by-laws state that the nomination for Officers will be conducted at an October meeting, the election then conducted and the results read at the December meeting. Due to some financial ambiguity, it doesn't seem like we have the monies to fund both an election and conduct the day-to-day activities of the organization, and it seems like there might have been some issue with the finances that are still being sorted out. A general member made a motion to postpone the election to a later meeting (picked a definite date), in order to get the finances of the organization in order and hopefully the current officers can come to some sort of understanding where a costly election will not be necessary (i.e., everyone running unopposed, which is what has happened in the past). This was seconded and voted on by a majority of members present at the meeting. Now, one of the officers is saying that he doesn't believe that motion was valid. However, according to RR Art V Sec 31, it states that, "A matter that is required by the by-laws to be attended to at a specified time or meeting as the election of officers cannot, in advance, be postponed to another time or meeting, but when that specified time or meeting arrives the assembly may postpone it to an adjourned meeting." So it seems like even though the by-laws say the nominations take place during a certain meeting, RR states that as long as the motion is made at the meeting itself and not beforehand, a motion to postpone is valid. Am I interpreting this correctly? Thanks!
  4. Scenario: A municipal Council of 7 members elected at large by the public for a four year term are required by state law to hold an "organizational" meeting every October to elect the Chair and Vice-Chair for the year. The state law and the Bylaws are both silent on the procedures to be followed for nominations and the election itself. If three of the seven members are nominated for Chair and vote taken results in a 3-2-2 split, several more elections are taken and the result remains 3-2-2 - no candidate has a majority. Even if a Special Rule of Order (RONR 11th p. 441) is adopted to drop the candidate with the lowest number of votes, this still obviously leaves an awkward situation. By adopting such a Special Rule of Order, the next vote would effectively and presumably elect the member who had the three votes due to the fact that the member(s) with the lowest number of votes (two in this case) would be dropped from the ballot. What is a recommended way to manage this slightly awkward circumstance? Thanks in advance.
  5. Two candidates were selected by the nominating committee for the position of first vice president and presented for approval by the Board of Directors prior to being presented to the membership at the general membership meeting. The candidates were both members of the Board of Directors and were not permitted to participate in the discussion or election. Should the two candidates have been allowed to participate in the discussion and subsequent election? Was the BOD out of order?
  6. Our club held elections for officers this year and provided members an opportunity to vote electronically and in person at the annual membership meeting. On the email and paper ballots for election of officers there were three (3) positions for Director at Large vacant with only two candidates on the ballot. The ballot clearly stated "3 positions available" even though two candidates names were on the ballot. The ballots, both email and paper, did not provide any space or line to write in a vote for any other person. Several email ballots were returned with a write in vote for a member eligible to hold office but not listed as a candidate on the ballot. Several paper ballots were submitted during the voting at the annual membership meeting with the same write in candidate clearly marked on the ballot. The teller committee initially did not report the write in candidate and was challenged by the member whose name had been written in. After a brief recess the tellers committee reported that in fact several email and paper ballots contained a single name as a write in candidate. Several people objected because the ballots, both email and paper, did not contain any reference to write in candidates. The presiding officer at the annual membership meeting where in vote was taken refused to certify the ballot, choosing to ignore the point of order that write in voting is allowed so long as the bylaws do not contain any prohibition. The meeting was adjourned without certifying the vote and the presiding officer pronounced that the board would convene to make the final decision at a special board meeting. Questions: 1. Since there were three positions noted on the ballot and only two candidates listed, should the write in candidate be elected to the third position? 2. Does the failure to provide any reference to the ability to write in a candidate or the lack of a line for writing in a candidate create an invalid ballot that can be rejected? 3. Since the annual membership meeting was adjourned without resolving the conflict, what is the appropriate way to certify the vote? A facsimile of the ballot and excerpt from the bylaws on elections are attached. Ballot As Mailed to Members.doc Bylaws Section Regarding Elections.doc
  7. Guest

    Running from the floor

    Our Nominating Committee met, a candidate accepted a nomination for an Officer position and the slate of Officers were announced. Same Candidate has now served notice, according to the Bylaws within the proper time frame and to the proper people, to run from the floor for a different position against another slated Officer. Does the candidate need to withdraw from the slate of Officers position she accepted the nomination for her to run for a different office? The election meeting is in 5 days..
  8. Robert's Rules, 11th ed., includes an example tellers' report. I am taken to understand that I am to include it, in that form, in the meeting minutes. This is how it looks in the minutes I took: "A ballot vote was held, and the Secretary and Vice President counted the ballots. The chair announced the results of the Treasurer election: Number of votes cast........................................... 40 Necessary for election......................................... 21 Mr. A received............................... 16 Mr. B received.................................. 12 Mr. C received.................................... 11 Illegal Votes. Ballots without a name............................. 1 The chair declared that the result was no election, and a run-off election between Mr. A and Mr. B was held." What do y'all think about this? Anything you would change? BTW, we require that members put their names on the ballots, so don't worry about that part. I am more concerned with the form of the minutes.
  9. Guest

    Elections and Voting

    So we have presentations during elections of officers. Is there anything in Robert's Rules that states that a member cannot vote is they are not there for one or more of the presentations? If three people are running for president, and a member is in the restroom for the first candidate's presentation. Can they come back in, watch the other two, and then vote?
  10. Hi! I'm brand new to ALLLLL of this, so thank you in advance for helping me however you can. the nutshell version: Is there a way to 1) see if an organization is using RR without even realizing it? Like maybe the student government established RR/Parliamentary Procedure as their standard many years ago, and the language got lost of the years. Are there certain markers I could look for to see this? and 2) if not, can I use RR/PP anyways when it comes to helping us make a major decision? Can it just be a catch-all standard? longer version: issues with voting and elections in student government at a university. They have bylaws and a constitution, but nothing that deals with this exact scenario. RR/PP has a solution, and it could seriously help us move forward, but I don't know if I *can* use RR/PP without 1) seeing if its an established precedence of the SGA or if 2) maybe they use it without even knowing. LOL, I don't even know if this makes sense! Thank you!
  11. I'm working on a bylaws revision. One of the items regards the terms of officers. What has traditionally happened is that at the annual convention, the elections for officers are held. The new officers do not take office immediately, but instead take office at the adjournment of that annual convention. Technically, this means that there is a "lame duck" period, but it's usually just for an hour or two. It also means the presiding officer does not change midway through the convention. I am trying to incorporate that custom into the bylaws. What I've tentatively written is this: C. Officers shall be elected at the annual convention and shall take office at the adjournment of that convention. The term of office for all officers shall be from the adjournment of the annual convention at which officers are elected until the adjournment of the following annual convention or until their successors are selected. Elections for officers shall follow the procedure for single-member elections as specified in the Convention Rules. D. Any officer who has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy for the remainder of a term shall take office immediately, and shall hold that position until the adjournment of the following annual convention or until the officer’s successor is selected. The "or until their successors are selected" is there so that vacancies don't cause a mess (based on RONR's suggestion). I use "selected" because there's both an option for appointing an officer to fill the remainder of a term and an option for a new election to be held. This language makes sense to me, but I could see someone suggesting (perhaps if they strongly dislike one of the current officers) that because the successors have been selected in the middle of the annual convention, that they should take office immediately, despite the other provision regarding the term starting at the adjournment of the annual convention. Am I reading too much into this, or is this a legitimate concern? Is the wording I've proposed adequate?
  12. Hello, I am a staff member for a municipal corporation supporting a citizen's advisory board. A question has arisen as to the proper procedure for nominating and voting to select the chair of an advisory board for the year. After nominations were made, each nominee gave a nominating speech. Two speeches were very short (two or there sentences), and one was longer. After each nominee spoke, another member, who has served as Chair in the past made a philosophical comment on the purpose and function of the board as an advisory committee. His comment was not specifically directed at the nominee who made the longer speech, but could be interpreted to take some exception to some of the ideas the nominee expressed. Next the vote was taken and the results announced. After the meeting, the nominee who gave the longer nominating speech, who was not elected, complained to staff that there should not have been allowed any deliberative or other comments made after nominations were complete and that immediately after nominations, the vote should have occurred without any comment or deliberation of the members. It seems to me that elections are sort of a special case of the standard progression of motion, deliberation and voting and that comments or deliberations by the members after nominations and before election voting by the members is appropriate. Are comments, deliberations, or recommendations by the members allowed after nominations are complete before voting occurs for electing a Chair? Thank you.
  13. Guest

    election dates

    If the byLaws require an election in January, can the Board vote to move it to March?
  14. Our association elects a new Vice President every year in late spring for a one year term. He/She then automatically elevates to the position of President the following year. The current VP is thinking of taking a job beginning Fall 2018 that would preclude his ongoing membership in the Association, which means he would also not be able to serve as President next year. Under our Bylaws, any vacancy in an elected position can be filled by President, with the approval of the Executive Board. There are no provisions for special elections, and we have never had a President who was not Vice-President the year before. Assuming the current VP accepts the new position: 1. If he does not resign before the end of this year, does the membership or President even have the power to replace him before his term ends? 2. If he does resign before spring elections, is it proper for the President to appoint a replacement, given that the new appointee would then become president? (the concern is having an unelected President who would have been VP for just a few weeks before elevating to President). 3. Alternately, can we hold a special election to fill the position of President for next Fall, and can we place any restrictions on who may run (e.g. "only past presidents" since they would not need the training that comes with being VP the previous year). Thanks! Paul
  15. We have a nomination for an officer position that will generate discussion as this person is controversial. The election process clearly states there is to be no discussion of each officer position and you cannot vote against a person without voting for someone else. I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor. So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for. However, no one wants to nominate anyone else. If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?
  16. Guest


    can the treasurer also hold the secretaries position.
  17. Directors in our organization are elected to 3 year terms. We also elect an Alternate Director, who is to attend meetings of the parent organization in the event one of our Directors can't attend or as a temporary Director if a Director resigns. One of our Directors resigned, with 2 years remaining of his term. The position was filled by the Alternate Director. Our Bylaws state "When a vacancy in a Directorship occurs for any reason, it shall be filled through temporary appointment by the Regional Council; and the person temporarily appointed shall hold office until the next Annual Meeting, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election for the unexpired portion of said term." After the Director resigned, the VP was asked if there was to be a special election and the VP answered "no" and did not add the position for election at our last Annual meeting. This was a violation of the Bylaws and was a failure by the VP. There is still a year remaining on the term of the Director who resigned. Where in Robert's Rules of Order can I find the specific article regarding a special election to fill the remainder of the term, per our Bylaws, to correct this violation? I appreciate your expert help. Robert Harris
  18. Guest

    Floor nominations

    When the governing documents allow for Board Nominations from the floor, can the Chair of the assembly make a floor nomination, or is the chair required to act as an impartial agent during this process?
  19. Can a person be nominated for a position that they do not hold all the qualifications for, as long as they will meet said qualifications prior to taking office, should they win he election.
  20. Hi, quick question - Can our PTO President rescind the nomination of the VP prior to elections? There wasn't a formal closing of nominations last month. Thanks!
  21. We have a club election coming up and I have a question about the order of business. Our chairman plans to hold the elections at the beginning of the meeting during the refreshments. I'm concerned about the distractions and uncontrolled chaos around the secretary's table that would make it hard to control ballots and verify eligible voters. We vote by written ballot;nominations were made at the last meeting. Two questions: Is it proper or advisable to hold elections in this environment? Absent a published agenda which our chairman has steadfastly refused to produce, does RONR offer any guidance as to what point in a meeting elections should be held: during new business, unfinished business, etc.? We do have an order of business published in our Standing Rules of Order which I pasted verbatim below. Thanks. Refreshments and Roundtable Discussion (6:00 – 6:30) Educational Program/Speaker 6:30-7:15 Call to Order (President or Presiding Officer) 7:15-7:20 Invocation 7:15-7:20 Pledge of Allegiance 7:15-7:20 Recognition of New Members and Guests (President) 7:20-7:30 Reading of the minutes (Secretary) 7:30-7:35 Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer) 7:35-7:40 Committee Reports (Committee Chairs) 7:40-7:50 Break 7:50-8:00 Board of Directors Reports (President) 8:00-8:10 Other Officers Reports 8:10-8:20 Unfinished Business 8:20-8:45 New Business 8:45-9:00 Adjournment (President) 9:00
  22. Hello Robert Rulers, This is my very first post but I've come here and read posts when I needed help in the past. I was just elected President of my neighborhood association last month. The association went inactive for a couple of years and I worked with a small group of neighbors and our city to reactivate it. Since it was the first meeting of the fiscal year we held elections. I ran for President because no one in our small group wanted to and we didn't know if anyone else would. We all ran unopposed and were elected by acclimation/unanimous consent. We had a lady from the city run the meeting until I was elected since we had no prior President to preside over the meeting. The lady that was elected President last gave up being a part of the association and there was no Vice President elected at the time. Once I was elected I thanked the 50+ people for electing me to the 2017-18 term. When I announced each of the other officers I announced them elected to the 2017-18 term. No one objected. After the meeting, the very first President of the association said we would have to hold elections again after October 1st. We have the date for our next meeting set for October 18th which happens to be just after our fiscal year of October 1. Is there a motion someone can make to reaffirm all the elections from our last meeting or do we have to open up nominations again and go through the entire process again? One concern I have is that a woman in our neighborhood (who does not like me, has bothered me so much in the past that I had to ask her to leave me alone multiple times, and who would not leave me alone to the point I sent her a notice of harassment telling her if she contacted me or anyone to contact me that I would seek an anti-harassment order against her) may show up and talk poorly of me by saying I threatened to sue her, etc. She was unable to attend last month's meeting and an hour before the meeting she suggested (online) that we do not elect officer at the meeting, and later she said she did not receive the post card the city mailed to all addresses in our neighborhood and that the 2 weeks notice she got online wasn't enough because her work schedule is set 2 months in advance and she wasn't able to get anyone to cover her shift at the hospital. This woman's behavior toward me is really concerning because I have been severely cyber stalked/harassed by a man who is a complete and total stranger to the point that I did get an anti-harassment order of protection against him and his wife and now the police are investigating him for felony cyber stalking. One of my concerns is this lady will start saying untrue and disparaging things about me during the nomination process. I feel like I could win the election, even if she ran against me but I'm worried if she begins to mistreat me or talk about me in unjust ways I will be triggered and have a difficult time presiding over the meeting. I believe I have accomplished a lot for our neighborhood and the association in the short amount of time I've been involved in reactivating the association and sine I have been elected President. My worry is my neighbors are fairly conservative and I'm very progressive and that she may say enough to trigger the trauma of being harassed and I may not handle it well and then I may lose the election. Her and I are part of local political groups and we have had serious disagreements that turn ugly which has prompted me to tell her to leave me alone repeatedly. To the point, I blocked her on Facebook so she could no longer comment on my posts, etc. Even months after I blocked her on Facebook, she was still contacting people we know and having them contact me about whatever problems she said she had with me, etc. As recent as July she was telling people in our political groups that I threatened to sue her. Her behavior reminded me too much of the man that would not stop contacting me online and who would create new accounts just to get around me blocking him, etc. Any advice on how to handle this? Our charter/bylaws: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/city_manager039s_office/neighborhood/8329/parkside.pdf
  23. This is my first posting, thanks in advance. Our organization has a constitution and by-laws committee and they are in charge of suggesting changes to the by-laws. However, during a board meeting of the the entire board, the board voted unanimously to make a specific change to the bylaws. The committee chair states that this was improper because it did not go through the committee. However, the president, vice president and executive director believe that the board can discuss and vote on any issue of import to the organization and the entire board's decision supersedes any committee (composed of non-board members) and that the board is the only legally statutory body of the organization and that once the board votes, the decision is final (assuming that the vote was legally carried out). Can someone help and clarify this? A reference to rules of order would be most helpful. Thanks in advance, Tom
  24. If I understand correctly, a written ballot form prepared in advance of a meeting to elect directors need only include (for each office) the names of all qualified nominees, a place for write-ins, and a way to vote "for". It is proper for the ballot also to include statements that show partiality in some way, e.g., "The above nominees have been vetted by the Board Development Committee, whereas those below have not."? Note: vetting by the committee is not a qualification for office. Or, does the ballot design need to impartial, listing nominees alphabetically, for example, or in the order in which they were nominated? What are the standards, if any, for the proper design of an election ballot form?
  25. We are to elect 3 members at large. 6 candidates are running. Our bylaws require that all positions must be won by a majority of votes cast. Because there are three positions, each member may cast three votes. Let's say 1 of the 6 achieves a majority in the first round of voting: do we have another roun with all 5 who did not make the threshold, or is the lowest vote-getter eliminated? Is the answer different if 2 of the six achieves majority the first time through? There is a clause in our bylaws that states that if no one receives a majority, then the top two candidates go to a second round, but that presumes three or more people vying for a single position instead of three slots, which is what we have here.
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