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  1. I’m chair/president-elect of a chapter of a union. We just had our elections. Elections are subject to federal law, specifically the LMRDA. There were no contested positions. Hence president-elect based on the sweeping mandate conferred by “owning a copy of RONR” and “being willing to run meetings.” It seems our parent organization generally expects the election result to be reported on our minutes at the next meeting. One of the folks at the parent organization advised that “we just need to move to accept the results and install officers” at our upcoming meeting. That of course prompted my question… a motion can be defeated. What happens if membership defeats the motion? The response to that question came from a different person, the org’s general counsel, who agreed that it seemed inappropriate to call for a motion, since a membership vote could not overturn the results of an election conducted according to federal procedural law. But this does not really give me guidance on what we can/should do to formally incorporate the election report into our minutes. Thoughts on what that is?
  2. A board regularly puts up someone already on the board as a candidate for an open position. If the members vote that person in, which they usually do, it creates a vacancy in their old position. The board immediately appoints some one to that position, thereby depriving the members of the right to run for that position. The bylaws allow for board appointments but no time frame is specified. This seems like a manipulative process but there seems to be nothing in place to stop it.
  3. I am Bylaws Chairman and a Board officer of a national craft organization (non-profit). Our Bylaws specifically state that a Biennial Meeting be scheduled every two years in an ODD year. Our Board officers serve their term from the close of a Biennial to the opening of the next Biennial. Our Biennial was scheduled for Sept 2021 in Kansas City and the new officers were to be installed at that time. Unfortunately, the Biennial has been canceled due to the pandemic. The hotel has rebooked us for Sept 2022 instead. We are starting our Nomination process now for Board Officer elections for 2021 when Board officer's terms are up. If we as a Board try to change the Bylaws to accommodate the new schedule, our Bylaws state that all Bylaw changes must be approved by the membership at the Biennial. So no matter what Bylaw changes we make, they won't be effective until 2022. Thus the problem. Any suggestions how we can fix this.
  4. Our local garden club has not been able to meet due to the pandemic. The club's bylaws state that the election of officers shall take place at the November meeting and take office at the January meeting following the election. Since the club is not meeting, how can the election of officers be handled? I'm thinking that an announcement of the nomination of officers and the use of ballots be emailed/snail-mailed to all members by October 19 (the scheduled date for the cancelled October membership meeting) with paper ballots snail-mailed to all the membership by November 1 with a deadline of November 16 (the scheduled date for the cancelled November membership meeting) to return voted ballots. The ballots would be returned to the chair of the nominating committee, tallied by the committee with results emailed/snail-mailed to the members by November 23. Would this procedure fit with Robert's Rules?
  5. Guest

    Bylaws and Elections

    I am a member of a national club. Our members are all over the US. Our Bylaws state that a nominating committee is to be formed and announce their nominations on or before August 1st. Individuals can then petition to be on the ballot by August 24th. The bylaws go on to state "SECTION 3: Annual Election - The election of officers and delegate to The American Kennel Club (who may but need not be a director or officer of the Club) shall be conducted by secret ballot. Voting for candidates, if necessary, shall take place in September. The Secretary or an independent firm should send, receive and count ballots. The nominated candidate receiving the greatest number of votes for each office shall be declared elected. The results of the mail-in balloting shall be announced in the next Quarterly Newsletter." What actions can be taken if the Board fails to have an election during the month of September? The next newsletter is due to be published the first week of October and that should have the results in it. It is September 17 and I do not see the Board pulling off a mailed ballot election by the end of the month.
  6. Recently my student council ruled that the provision listed below was satisfied by an email sent to students the day the election nominations closed reminding students of the deadline. “If only one person is nominated, the Chair, after ensuring that no members wish to make further nominations, simply declares that the nominee is elected, thus effecting election by unanimous consent or acclamation.” I don’t understand how a reminder email before nominations closed (which didn’t inform members that nominees were running unopposed) could satisfy this provision. I understand that the council is free to interpret their own bylaws but do they have an obligation to interpret them in a manner that upholds the intent of the provision? What is the intent of this provision if not to make it clear to members that nominees were running unopposed and make an all call for further nominations? 􏱁􏱙 􏱚􏱂􏱛 􏱅􏱍􏱑􏱘 􏱅􏱍􏰿 􏱏􏰿􏱀􏱁􏱅􏱍 􏱂􏱁 􏱍􏱅􏰾􏱂􏱍􏰓􏰛􏰿􏱄􏱙 􏰛􏱃􏰿 􏰙􏱃􏰓􏱂􏱀􏱙 􏰓􏱛􏰛􏰿􏱀 􏰿􏱍􏱁􏱎􏱀􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏰛􏱃􏰓􏰛 􏱍􏱅 􏰾􏰿􏰾􏰴􏰿􏱀􏱁 􏰇􏱂􏱁􏱃 􏰛􏱅 􏰾􏰓􏱆􏰿 􏱛􏱎􏱀􏰛􏱃􏰿􏱀 􏱍􏱅􏰾􏱂􏱍􏰓􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍􏱁􏱙 􏱁􏱂􏰾􏱏􏱑􏱘 􏱄􏰿􏱒􏱑􏰓􏱀􏰿􏱁 􏰛􏱃􏰓􏰛 􏰛􏱃􏰿 􏱍􏱅􏰾􏱂􏱍􏰿􏰿 􏱂􏱁 􏰿􏱑􏰿􏱒􏰛􏰿􏱄􏱙 􏰛􏱃􏱎􏱁 􏰿􏱛􏱛􏰿􏱒􏰛􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏰿􏱑􏰿􏱒􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍 􏰴􏱘 􏱎􏱍􏰓􏱍􏱂􏰾􏱅􏱎􏱁 􏱒􏱅􏱍􏱁􏰿􏱍􏰛 􏱅􏱀 􏰓􏱒􏱒􏱑􏰓􏰾􏰓􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍􏰀 􏰿􏱍􏱁􏱎􏱀􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏰛􏱃􏰓􏰛 􏱍􏱅 􏰾􏰿􏰾􏰴􏰿􏱀􏱁 􏰇􏱂􏱁􏱃 􏰛􏱅 􏰾􏰓􏱆􏰿 􏱄􏰿 􏰛􏱃􏰓􏰛 􏰛􏱃􏰿 􏱍􏱅􏰾􏱂􏱍􏰿􏰿 􏱂􏱁 􏰿􏱑􏰿􏱒􏰛􏰿􏱄􏱙 􏰛􏱃􏱎􏱁 􏰿􏱛􏱛􏰿􏱒􏰛􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏰿􏱑􏰿􏱒􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍 􏰴􏱘 􏱎􏱍􏰓􏱍􏱂􏰾􏱅􏱎􏱁 􏱒􏱅􏱍􏱁􏰿􏱍􏰛 􏱅􏱀 􏰓􏱒􏱒􏱑􏰓􏰾􏰓􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍􏰀􏱜 􏰵􏱍 􏱂􏰛􏱁 􏱀􏰿􏱁􏱏􏱅􏱍􏱁􏰿􏱙 􏰛􏱃􏰿 􏰙􏱅􏱎􏱍􏱒􏱂􏱑 􏱒􏱑􏰓􏱂􏰾􏱁 􏱂􏰛 􏱛􏱎􏱑􏱛􏱂􏱑􏱑􏰿􏱄 􏱂􏰛􏱁 􏱅􏰴􏱑􏱂􏱔􏰓􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍􏱁 􏰴􏱘 􏱚􏱁􏰿􏱍􏱄􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏰓 􏱀􏰿􏰾􏱂􏱍􏱄􏰿􏱀 􏰿􏰾􏰓􏱂􏱑 􏱀􏰿􏱔􏰓􏱀􏱄􏱂􏱍􏱔 􏱍􏱅􏰾􏱂􏱍􏰓􏰛􏱂􏱅􏱍􏰀
  7. Greetings! This sounds like a bylaw question, but please bear with me! Our organization’s bylaws state that, in order to be eligible for nomination, a person “must have attended 12 meetings in the previous 12 months.” We also have a provision against “write in” candidates. We also have a provision which states RRONR is the authority for anything not specifically addressed in the bylaws. Due to state restrictions on gatherings due to COVID, our April, May and June meetings were cancelled (because we were not permitted to meet). The issue: How can a nominee attend 12 meetings in the previous 12 months, if we only held 9 meetings (Due to COVID regulations imposed by the state)? Our bylaws do not address this possibility in any way. It would seem there is no way to hold an election! Unless the missing meetings are somehow regarded as... Cancelled due to an “Act of God” or something similar? Or do we regard the meetings as “adjourned to a future date” and proceed 3 months hence? I am truly at a loss. Does RRONR address this situation? Failing that, could I inquire as to how other organizations might be addressing a similar issue? I thank everyone in advance for their assistance! Hal
  8. Dear Forum Members, First let me say how happy I am to be here. I am on the Nominations and Elections Committee (NEC) for a university council of faculty, I would like to describe a sequence of events with you. My organization has Bylaws, but the Bylaws seem to be silent on some of the circumstances that came to light. The situation is this: an election of committee officers for this council was scheduled to take place and, because of Covid-19, face-to-face elections were unable to occur. Our Bylaws offer two methods for receiving and returning ballots: paper ballots that are handed out at the meeting (this are anonymous) and email ballots that can be returned in advance of the meeting (these are absentee ballots and contain identifying information). This year, the Chair wrote up a proposal based on what was used years before: ie. that all ballots will be printed out, names blacked out, and the anonymous emails sent to two counters, who would tally up the ballot results independently. The Chair decided to not be involved with handling or counting the ballots as he was a candidate for one of the vacancies in listed on the ballot. Before the ballots were emailed out, the administrator deleted one eligible voter from the email list of those who would receive a vote. The Chair of the NEC fixed that problem. Seemed simple enough. 58 representatives received their ballot, 47 ballots were returned, 44 within the defined window for voting, 3 after this window closed (within 22 hours after the balloting ended). It then became known (this is not chronologically)....Instead of removing the names, the administrator left the names revealed. Instead of compiling the ballots into one pdf to be forwarded, the administrator sent the ballots individually in 40+ emails. One voter did not receive his ballot, as it was sent to the wrong email address. He phoned in his vote, although there is no provision for this. Then.... One voter's "ballot" was originally counted as null by Teller A because an email with a question, and not the actual ballot, had been sent along to be counted by the administrator. This did not seem to be a problem for Teller B (who said he had it). When the actual ballot was finally located by the administrator, it was sent to bothTeller A and Teller B to be counted. Three late ballots were sent to Teller B by the administrator, but Teller A still did not have them even 48 hrs after they were originally received by the Administrator. The Chair of the NEC, upon finding out about these problems from Teller A, finally emails the administrator about the missing ballots. Meanwhile, the Chair of the NEC also email Teller B (who is also the Chairman of this entire university council) and brought to his attention that Teller A has not received the late ballots. Then Teller B emails the Chair of the NEC to tell him that he (Teller B) took care of this by sending the late ballots in his possession directly to Teller A. The most important election on this ballot came down to a one-vote difference, and it was the third late vote that broke the tie. The balloting was closed and the results were compared. The Chair of the NEC, who has been increasingly concerned about everything listed above, comes into possession of the election results which were never anonymized in the first place, and attempts to sign off on the accuracy of the tabulation by looking to see how his own ballot choices are registered. Teller B reacts to this by saying that the Chair of the NEC has breached confidentiality by looking at the spreadsheet after the balloting was over, and the results determined. (I'm sorry this is so long) How many problems do you see? Where did this go off the rails?? Thanks for your replies in advance. M
  9. Hello, Our organization just held an election of officers. One newly-elected officer has had to resign before taking office. The officer is the president of a division within the organization, and there is no president-elect of the divisions. This is what our bylaws say: "All officers and elected members of the Executive Board shall take office at the adjournment of the annual conference and serve for a two year term or until their successors take office." In case of a vacancy, the Board appoints someone to fill the rest of the term. But the officer has not yet taken office. The bylaws do not mention holding a special election, but I'm wondering if that would be the right solution. I've searched through my copy of RONR, and find related situations, but they're not close enough to make it clear to me. Thanks for any advice.
  10. Guest


    Hello. I'm currently president of an organization and decided not to run another term. We just held elections for our executive board. One of our members who said she would run another term for secretary, ran unopposed and won. There were other general board members interested in the position but they were not in good standing per our bylaws and couldn't run against someone who was (ie: the elected secretary). After the election, she disclosed to the NEW executive board members only that she has decided to take a leave of absence. Does this mean we should hold another election or is it up to the new board to elect or appointment someone until she supposedly comes back. My term ends June 30th. Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
  16. 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
  17. 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..
  18. 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.
  19. 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?
  20. 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!
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. Guest

    election dates

    If the byLaws require an election in January, can the Board vote to move it to March?
  24. 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
  25. 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?
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