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  1. I encountered a recent situation which totally scrambled my understanding of "acclamation." A slate of candidates had been selected by the chair (and possibly a small committee) for inclusion as voting members of a governing body. Other member of that body were notified of these candidates and their credentials ahead of time, but when the time came to discuss their appointment/election, the chair moved to suspend the rules to adopt the slate "by acclamation," which was clearly against the will of a dozen or so members of that organization. One such member was given the floor to ask a procedural question about "acclamation." The Parliamentarian conferred that "acclamation" according to the rules being followed at that time by that organization, required only a 2/3 majority voice vote. From everything I have been able to research, under Roberts rules "acclamation" means "unanimous consent," and when there is not unanimous consent a discussion must follow along with standard voting procedures. Consequently there was allowed no discussion of the candidates, and a majority voice vote carried. The election of the slate concluded in a matter of minutes. Is this experience unique, or are others familiar with "acclamation" as a 2/3 majority voice vote sans debate. Thoughts?
  2. How should the chair respond to this situation? The chair has announced that the floor is open for nominations. Before anyone makes any nominations, a member says, “I move we elect Mr. Jones by acclamation.” This has always seemed to me to be a polite railroad job.
  3. 1. Our organization has a two-step election procedure. In the first step the 7 members of the Board are elected. In the second step the four officers (President, VP, Treasurer, Secretary) are elected from among the 7 Board members. All of these 4 have signing authority. The ByLaws require secret ballot for the second step. Our ByLaw does not state that affairs are to be conducted according to RO. At the March 2015 AGM the Board was elected according to the ByLaws. Then, the Treasurer was elected by secret ballot from 2 candidates. The remaining 3 positions only had one candidate each. These were elected by acclamation. At a members' meeting in October 2015 the ByLaws were amended to make exception from the requirement of secret ballot in the case of uncontested candidacy in the Officers' election. My question is: what is the status of the 3 Officers elected by acclamation? They have been governing the organization and signing documents. RONR seems to say that a point of order can be raised at any time regarding this error, and also says that only the voting body can resolve the matter. If there is something to be remedied, what is it, and how to accomplish it? The next AGM is in March 2016. The relevant statute (Canada Non-for-profit Corporations Act, 139.) states: "An act of a director or an officer is valid despite an irregularity in their election or appointment or a defect in their qualification." Does this help/get us off the hook? 2. The recent ByLaw amendment exempts uncontested candidacy from secret ballot, but the Board intends to hold a vote (such as show of hands) rather than declare such a candidate by acclamation. If it should happen, that the candidacy of an uncontested candidate is rejected by the membership, where does that leave us? 3. The ByLaw states that the Chair of members meetings is the President, and in his absence the VP. Under the description of Offices it is repeated: "The President, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the BoD and of the members." At the March 2015 AGM the president invited a skilled professional and appointed her to chair the AGM. After the initial remarks of the president (who was present throughout), she was chairing the meeting. RONR states (p 453, 25-35) that this can be allowed, but it was neither voted on by the members nor were the rules suspended. Again, our ByLaw does not state that affairs are to be conducted according to RO. The Board have powers of delegation, but those are not spelled out in the ByLaw. My question is: Was this an acceptable procedure? If not, does this affect the validity of anything that was voted on at that meeting? Thank you!
  4. Our club's election by-law originally read, "If there are more candidates for director than there are positions, the election of directors shall be by secret ballot." It's been years since we have had more candidates than available board positions, and so candidates have been routinely elected by acclamation. In 2011, our club amended this by-law to read, "The election of directors shall be by secret ballot" (the first 11 words were eliminated). Despite this amendment, candidates continued to be elected by acclamation in 2012 and 2013 (no balloting took place). This doesn't seem right to me. Can election by acclamation still occur when such an explicit by-law calling for secret ballots exists? If not, what is the legal staus of the board currently in place?
  5. I was recently elected president (actually another title equivalent to president) of an organization, which is a local affiliate of a much larger fraternal service organization. Our officer elections for the coming year consist of presenting a “slate” of nominees prepared by the nominating committee, with the opportunity for nominations from the floor. Usually there are no additional nominations, and someone moves to “close nominations and cast a unanimous ballot.” I reviewed our bylaws (which date to 1987) and found that balloting is required for all elections, without exception, so it appears that we have not been following our own bylaws in this regard for quite a while. Rather than trying to enforce the bylaws as written ("But we've always done it that way!"), I plan to propose an amendment to legitimize our current practice, since it seems to work and isn't prohibited by the parent organization. The following is my first draft; I would welcome suggestions on improving it. It would be placed immediately after the section specifying elections by ballot: “In certain circumstances, election by acclamation, as described in Robert’s Rules of Order, is an acceptable alternative to a ballot vote. When nominations have been closed, either by motion or by unanimous consent, and the list of nominees consists of no more than one nominee for each office to be elected, the presiding officer shall declare the nominees elected by acclamation.”
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