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  1. Every few years we elect members to a standing committee that has 6 people on it. Since terms on this committee last for two election cycles, we never have to replace everyone at once. Typically we have three openings, and exactly three people who run, so they all make it on. This year we have four openings and seven people running. Our by-laws are silent on voting methods/requirements, so here is the question: some have suggested that on the ballot we should only be able to vote for four of the seven, since there are four spots open. Others have said that Approval Voting is more standard in this scenario, where you can vote for as many people as you would "approve" to fill those spots. Is there a default? We usually do a ballot vote, so the wording on the ballot is crucial here. Again, in the past, these two methods would have looked identical because the # of candidates equalled the number of slots. In either case, how many votes would each person have to make it on the committee? Would it simply be the top four vote-getters, or would each have to receive a majority of votes cast to be on the committee at all? (6 is the max # on the committee, but it is not required). It seems that with Approval Voting, you are more likely to get more candidates to reach that majority threshold. Help! Flipper92
  2. I was wondering if motions that had passed during a previous Executive boards rein, do these carry over to the new presiding officers? Do motions bind the hands of a new body after an election? I would thing by-law changes would but I am uncertain about motions? Can someone advise and reference where it may or may not support the expunging of previous sessions passed motions?
  3. in a housing complex where you have Activities Group, Women's Club and Cafe Board, can one person be an officer in all of the groups?
  4. In the election of a president of an organization, if there is more than one candidate, and despite silence in the organization's charter, the body proceeds to vote on the first nomination first, and the first nominee wins election, is that process legal? I am told that there is a section of RR which states that if votes have been taken in a certain way as a matter of custom, then that custom shall prevail. Is that a valid argument? The citing of chapter and verse would be appreciated.
  5. Can an individual nominate himself/herself for consideration as a "Presiding Officer" i.e. "Chair", "Vice Chair", "Secretary", etc.?
  6. In our club we allow for membership as an individual or an Entity. In this case an entity is usually a husband and wife. It could also be a business. The ByLaws say that an individual and entity only has "one Vote." In the past this was interpreted as there being a voting member and non-voting member of a husband and wife entity. Also, it was understood that only the voting member was eligible to run for office. We currently have a sitting board member (voting member - Past President) who's wife wants to run for office. Is she eligible to do that without getting her own membership given he is the "voting member?" And if so, does that mean a business with more than 2 members can have any of their employees run. John
  7. Can nominations for officers be sent via email to an appointed election official? If only one nomination for an office is received does an election still have to be held? If no nominations are received for a particular office, can the officers for the previous year be automatically reinstalled?
  8. We had an election for treasurer and 8 board members. This election was completed. Candidate who lost for treasurer wants to have another election so she can run for a board seat. She was only a candidate for treasurer in the original election and lost.
  9. Hello, I have a question for the experienced parliamentarians. If your association has an election, which was not held in accordance of the bylaws, let's say for example that proper notice was not given. However, the officers who were elected have assumed office, and the election meeting is over. Now, days later, some of the membership is questioning the election because it did not follow the bylaws. From what I read, since nobody questioned the election until after the officers assumed office, they can not be removed, even if it is clear that the bylaws were not adhered to for the election. What options do the membership have after the officers have taken office? What is in Robert's rules to prevent someone from having an illegal election, then instating the officers who then can not be removed? It seems that it would be quite easy to have illegal elections and put in place officers who then can not be removed. I am sure that I am missing something because it seems that it would be all too easy for a faction to take over an association in this way. thank you! Todd Last
  10. At a recent school district board meeting (executive session) elections for Pres and VP were opened from the floor. There were 5 members present out of 9. An individual received a nomination for Pres. and the final tally was 4-1. Election failed. Shortly thereafter, another board member arrived and another motion was made, duly seconded with a final tally of 5-1. Vote carried. The election for VP ensued and passed 6-0. I maintain the election for President failed and therefore the VP will act as the Chair/Interim Pres. until another election can take place at another meeting. Over the years, I've been schooled that once a motion fails, it can be brought back to the table, but not at the same meeting. Please comment.
  11. This is related to John Stackpole's recent query about when an elected position is considered 'vacant'. I am making this a new post because even though similar issues are involved, I have a different set of facts and don't want to complicate that other discussion. FACTS: The organization has fixed terms of office -- September 1-August 31 -- so RONR's 'and'/'or' provisions do not apply. The bylaws state that elections are to be held at a special meeting to be called by the Board of Directors between June 1-July 31. Elections were held on June 2 for the coming term. The bylaws provide for election by plurality; no runoff election to achieve a majority vote is needed. The elections were held and completed. Frank was elected President with 47% of the vote; Barbara was second with 44%; and Shirley trailed with 9%. President-elect Frank died on June 9. VP-elect Vincent contends that the position of President is now vacant and therefore when he becomes Vice-President on September 1 he will immediately succeed to the office of President. (The bylaws provide for the VP to succeed if the President dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform the duties of office.) Barbara contends that since she came in second in the election -- and the election is determined by plurality vote -- the organization should now disregard the votes that Frank received and designate her as the president-elect. Shirley, who thinks she can beat Barbara in a head-to-head race now that Frank is no longer in the picture, is trying to convince the board to schedule another special meeting before July 31 to conduct a new election. There is sufficient time to meet the notice requirements. My take on this: RONR recognizes that the act of "taking office" is an event separate and distinct from an election becoming "final" and that it is a common practice for the term of office to begin at some later date. Since this election was completed on June 2, the results became final notwithstanding the delay in the onset of the term of office. Frank's subsequent death does not change the result of the completed election. Frank won; Barbara lost. End of story for Barbara. What about Shirley's argument that the board can schedule a new election? While there is time to do so, RONR provides that if there is a valid election (as there was here), any subsequent election of another person for the same term is equivalent to adopting a main motion that conflicts with an earlier motion that is still in force. Such an action is invalid unless adopted by the vote necessary to amend something previously adopted. But....1) if Frank is no longer with us, is the prior motion (election) actually still "in force"? And, 2) what is the required threshold for "amending something previously adopted" if applied to something that requires only a plurality vote? On one hand, I see no authority for altering the normal requirements (majority with prior notice; otherwise majority of the members or 2/3 vote.) On the other hand, following the usual rule here would mean requiring a majority vote (or better) for an election that the bylaws declare are decided by a plurality. The easiest (and I think most reasonable) solution is to declare that Frank's untimely death created a vacancy and that Vincent will succeed to the office on September 1. But someone is inevitably going to ask me upon what authority I base that conclusion -- other than my powers of deduction. That brings me to MY two questions... 1) RONR does not address the situation of someone who dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to take office, between the completion of the election and the start of his or her term. But, I seem to recall that one of the other parliamentary authorities does discuss it. Or perhaps I read it in the Q&A portion of Parliamentary Law? or ??? Unfortunately, I am on vacation outside the country at the moment and have none of my resources with me. (Which explains why I have not given page references to RONR above -- sorry about that.) Does anyone recall whether any the other parliamentary authorities expressly discuss this situation; if so, please provide the details. 2) If you do not agree that Frank's death created a vacancy, why not? Thanks .
  12. Guest

    executive coup

    our ED has convinced her appointed board members that she knows all and that the best way to improve our group is by replacing dissenting members with "her" droids, and they proposed a motion to suspend our annual elections till 2015. they made this unannounced motion at a lightly attended meeting planted with "her" people. I brought up at the next meeting that this was just an illegal bylaw change. can they make this or any similar motion without announcing it beforehand to the members. they refused to acknowledge and we'll check RONR. please help. thanks again to all. this forum is a blessing to all of us who really care about our groups.
  13. Our organization's bylaws provide that Voting Day is at the May General Meeting and that "Members may cast their ballot in person or in advance." My question is what happens if no candidate receives a majority for a role? Assuming we have a quorum present, do we just re-vote at the meeting until someone is elected? (i.e. if absentee votes would, perforce, only be included in the first round.)
  14. Hi, This is my first post on this forum. I've been searching diligently for an answer to this for a while, unsuccessfully, and hoping this forum can help me finally get some clarity on this time sensitive matter: THE SHORT VERSION OF THE QUESTION: In an organization that votes by written ballot, and which makes zero mention of write-in candidates in their bylaws, is a member allowed to be elected via write-in on the ballot? Since I don't know which will be more helpful to people who can answer my question, here's...THE LONG VERSION: I'm involved with California a non-profit organization that ostensibly operates according to Roberts Rules (although, as a small group, the have a history of inconsistency in following them or striving to understand them when it's politically inconvenient to do so). They have an election upcoming for Board members in a few weeks. For the entire history of the organization (almost 20 years), the paid members of the organization have voted via written ballot. Currently, there are several incumbent candidates for re-election in uncontested positions. For one of those positions (Board President), another member missed the deadline (by one day) for his nomination to be received by the organization by mail (their deadline is the day of receipt, not the day of postmark) due to this winter's all-too frequent weather-based mail delays. Thus, he wishes to run against the incumbent President as a write-in candidate. In response, the Board president has asserted that the bylaws of the organization make no provision for write-in candidates, and thus they cannot and will not be recognized. Some of the other Board members have agreed; others (as well as regular organization members) have not, but in those cases have expressed ignorance about the rules in this matter, and thus have been hesitant in their opposition of the Presdent. Personally, I have been in the organization from its start, and I recall that historically there have been write-in candidates that have been recognized (although none got enough votes to win), but there are no records I can find (old minutes, etc.) which document this definitively. They are holding a board meeting in one week to vote on a policy for write-in candidates, both determining the outcome of this pending election and setting future policy and precedent. Not only does this seem problematic for the integrity of the current election, but I also worry on a more philosophical and long-term level about finally putting into hard-coded rule a vote made by a Board that is demonstrating no diligence in determining past practice or even larger precedence and opinions from other organizations, regulations, or Robert's Rules. Almost 20 years of data will then get ignored going forward as well in deference to the upcoming ruling, which will probably have no integrity of its own due to such lack of diligence. It's my strong sense that the ruling on this is self-evident, that write-ins should be allowed in absence of an existing bylaw or policy. I'm also concerned about a vote on this policy done by Board members that are also running in uncontested positions -- that seems like a clear-cut conflict of interest. I have searched the web for weeks, and all I can find is constant references in discussions of Robert's Rules to the use of write-in candidates; and then 2 secondary sources (Dummy's Guide to RR, and a forum about procedure that claims to be stating the official RR stance on write-ins), which both state that write-ins must be accepted when the votes are taken by written ballot. However, the only texts I could find on search of RR made no explicit direct mention of write-ins; and the only other references to write-ins within RR sources do what all other web references have done -- make mention of them all the time as if they are a given, without express declaration of whether or not they must be accepted. It seems to me if this is just a cut and dry issue to folks like you who have much more experience and wisdom regarding RR, it would cut through all the fog and obstacles of history, baggage, political charge, poor record keeping, etc. So...if anyone knows the answer -- or at least can point me in the right direction -- I would really appreciate it (as would a lot of other people)! Thanks!
  15. Guest

    Officer Elections

    My questions has to do with officer elections...Our bylaws have no specifics on location and time for elections. The committee has set a time and location that does not allow all members to have an opportunity to cast a vote... Is there anything that can be done?
  16. Guest

    Officer elections

    When nominations are in progress, is it proper procedure to ask nominees if they are willing to let their names stand for election or should the Chair wait until nominations are closed? Our group's past practice is to accept nominations at one meeting, then table them and continue at the next meeting where the election takes place. If a candidate declines nomination at the first meeting, can they accept nomination at the second meeting or are they out of the running? I have a copy of RONR but am unable to find anything that relates to my questions.
  17. I had such a great response to my last question, I have another. I am chair of the nominating committee of our PTSO (Parent Teacher Student Organization--not a PTA so not a part). We will likely have a slate to present as we frequently have unopposed elections (if you did not read my last post, this is because of the nominees, not the organization or the nominating committee--if people hear there is an election, they don't want to run). My question is...when do we present the slate? Our by laws do not really specify this part. Do I notify the slated candidates ahead of time? The president? The entire executive board? Or do we just present the slate? In my reading our our by laws we can accept nominations from the floor as well, so do we nominate the slate, then ask for nominations?
  18. The person who is the current president of our organization wants to run for treasurer next year. This is causing 2 problems for our nominating committee I wonder if I could get some input on. 1. We have a nominating committee and the committee has a nominee already. We were planning to present a single slate of officers. Now the treasurer position will require a contested election. I suggested to the president that this was not a great idea--I think it has the potential to be very divisive and uncomfortable and kind of unnecessary. We have never had a contested election before--our organization is decent sized, but most people do not want to hold office. Usually when two people express an interest in an office, one person drops out and does something else. Am I right to suggest this? 2. I think it would be extremely awkward if she were treasurer, though she does not think so. The current president elect (so this is an planned succession to president) is currently on the board with this president and it feels unfair to her to have the immediate past president take on another elected, voting position. Again, is it proper of me to suggest this? I'll be up front and say this is not my favorite person, but I am trying to keep things equitable and do what I would do if she was someone else. She had already asked if she could run against the President elect and the decision on that was probably not, since the intent is for automatic succession. There is also an amendment being considered to the by laws that would allow the past president to be a voting member of the executive committee. To me, this just looks like she wants to stay on the executive board at all costs. On the other hand, the nominating committee does not want to look political either--as though we are trying to keep her out.
  19. Our organization's by-laws state the following concerning notices and the election of officers: "Notice of meetings at which nominations or elections are to be held shall specify the meeting at which said nominations or elections will be held and shall be sent to every member at least two (2) weeks prior to such meeting." The by-laws further state the following concerning the election of officers: "The Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Executive Committee at the January Executive Committee Meeting. Nominating Committee will elect their own chairperson." (This was not done--no Nominating Committee was ever appointed). "The nominating Committee shall hold one open meeting, for suggestions for various officers, on the first Thursday of March of each year. Also, other closed meetings as are necessary to prepare the slate of officers." (This was also not done (as no Nominating Committee was ever appointed) and no notice was ever sent to the members as the by-laws require). "Voting of officers will take place at the meeting hall from 2:00 PM until 7:30 PM on the first Thursday of May each year." QUESTION: If there is an election of officers in May, as specified by the by-laws, will the election be legal and will any officers that are elected at that meeting be validly elected officers of the organization? (Please note that the by-laws also specify that all officers serve fixed terms of one year). Many thanks for any guidance you can provide.
  20. What are the rules governing the parlimentarian presiding over elections, while he/she is also running for another office position. Is this a conflict?
  21. Our Bylaws allow for the election of between 12-21 directorsOnly 17 were elected at the last AGM, the number included in the nominating committee's report Question: If the same or similar situation were to arise at the next AGM, would the general membership, by additional nominations from the floor, nonetheless be able to elect the maximum number of directors allowed?
  22. Guest

    Election Tie

    Our union recently held an election for union reps. We had 7 people running for 5 spots. Two people tied for the 5th position. Question: Do we need to conduct the entire election over again or do we just have a run-off election for the two candidates who tied for the 5th spot?
  23. Our bylaws state "Appointments by the board to fill vacancies shall be for the remainder of the term of the vacant position." It goes on to say that the appointment requires the approval of the entire membership at the next general meeting. However, our secretary does not keep minutes of the general meetings, just the board meetings. She did not even keep minutes of our last election in November! The approval of an appointee was announced at the last general meeting. No one called the meeting to order. No one established a quorum. It went from "welcome" to announcements and then directly to the entertainment. What now? Are our officers duly elected? Is the appointment binding?
  24. Does the membership of an organization need to have the nominations of executive officers announced 3 consecutive times and 3 consecutive meetings prior to the election taking place? If so, can the election be held on the last of the 3 meeting times?
  25. When electing a committee, can a member who is not present at the meeting of elections be nominated and elected or do they have to be there to accept the nomination. If they can be elected without being present, could you tell me where specifically I can find where it says that? If they can't can you still tell me where it says that? Thank You.
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