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  1. We are debating and voting on amendments to our bylaws, and I have a couple issues I could really, really use some help on. Our bylaws state the 2/3 threshold applies to “voting members present and voting,” quoted here (with the name of our organization redacted): //content.invisioncic.com/r127373/monthly_2022_03/E996D3A9-B7C7-4EEB-9570-43AE693A0433.thumb.jpeg.33281c16ee2a986d4c10304280cd3f5a.jpeg However, when we held a vote, abstentions were counted in the calculation for the total number to reach the 2/3 threshold. The proposed amendment failed to pass by 1 vote, but included in those calculations were 9 abstentions. At the time, the parliamentarian announced the result, and someone immediately motioned to postpone the other discussions until the next business meeting. To me, that calculation was in error, as “voting members present and voting” seems pretty clear that abstentions shouldn’t count. “Voting” implies taking an action, and this was a zoom call where abstentions took NO action (honestly we’re not even sure all of them were still there. Some of their cameras and mics were off). I have reached out to the other committee members in charge of the vote (I’m also on the bylaws committee), and brought this to their attention. However, while they agree that an abstention is NOT a vote, they still feel that abstentions should be part of the overall count. I’m honestly very confused as to why… I suspect that since this was a very contentious debate, and also both of them were personally against the proposed amendment, they’re very reluctant to reopen the issue. (For the record, they’re not bad people! I just think they are likely dismissing my concerns rather than taking the time and effort to review it fairly.) I have quoted the relevant sections of Roberts Rules - how the 2/3 vote works, how “and voting” in the Rules directly mirrors our Bylaws language (or vice versa), how members have a right to abstain without their vote counting towards a “No.” I’m honestly at a loss as to what else I can do, or what other references I can provide to them. So the first question is - does anyone have any other references that explain in plain English how and why abstentions are not included in the 2/3 vote threshold calculation? Or that confirm the words “present and voting” in our bylaws mean only counting votes that are cast, and not abstentions? Second question - if I do convince them that we did the calculation incorrectly, can we simply recalculate it after subtracting the number of abstentions? Or would that vote be invalidated and we’d have to hold it again? Third question - if I can’t convince the parliamentarian and the committee privately that this was done incorrectly and we need to fix it, what is the best way to address it before the membership? - keeping in mind that we postponed further debate on the amendments until the next meeting, DIRECTLY after the result was announced. - from reading, I’m assuming I could make a point of order as soon as the next business meeting opens, and then if the Parliamentarian doesn’t sustain it I could Appeal to put it to a vote of the membership? I am worried about timeliness though. The point of order is supposed to be made immediately after the result is announced, but there wasn’t an opportunity before the motion to postpone. If that wouldn’t qualify as “immediately,” then would section 23.6, example E apply and provide an exception to the timeliness requirement? The one that discusses breaches of a continuing nature, and the example includes “a rule protecting a basic right of an individual member.” Namely, in this case, the right of abstention. I think we have an ethical obligation to correct this, especially since it affected the outcome of the vote. Any possible help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!
  2. Aloha from Hawaii, My question is the proper manner to request the Chair to declair any proxies held by a non board member of the Association that aquired proxies through a fraudulent claim of forgery and fraud of their signature on the Petition to call for the Special Meeting to Remove and Replace the Board of Directors? I can explain any further details required. Sincerely, Alfred K. Berger II AlBerger.KMV@gmail.com
  3. A shareholder recently contacted our president 30 days after our our last annual meeting that a vote that had been conducted was out of order, and the shareholder demanded that the president nullify the vote. We generally now agree that the vote was likely out of order, but during the meeting, no one asked for a point of order following the motions, and the motion passed. My very basic understanding is that since no one asked for a point of order at the time of the motion that subsequent vote/action remains valid. Can a vote be overturned after a meeting has been adjourned? Thank you. Thad
  4. If bylaws of a society requires electing office by ballot, and the society did it by voice, the action should be what RONR 12ed. 23:6(e) says. If a member is allowed to call for a point of order when there is no business pending, the point of order is a main motion. Is it correct?
  5. Is there any situation where a point of order that has been appealed can be tabled until the next meeting to give the group who will be voting time to research it?
  6. I recently chaired a meeting and want to make sure I followed the rules. At the conclusion of debate (the special rules of order set an overall time limit on debate), a member stood to be recognized, was recognized, and moved to extend debate by two minutes. The motion was seconded and failed. This same member then stood to be recognized, was recognized, and moved to extend debate by one minute. The motion was seconded and failed. The same member then stood to be recognized, was recognized, and moved to extend debate by 45 seconds. I ruled the motion dilatory, as it seemed clear the meeting did not want to continue debate. The maker of the motion appealed the decision of the chair. I gave the first speech in debate, others spoke (no more than once), and I spoke last. We voted, and the meeting voted to maintain the decision of the chair. Was all of this proper?
  7. Ok...short synopsis of what I face...this is an extension of my previous question regarding resignation/quorum concerns. This blow up took place in January meeting because after consulting with an attorney a course of action was deemed not legally sustained by our current bylaws and even though the direction was supported by the POA members unanimous vote in 2015 the correct paper work was not presented and filed by our former attorney. Some members, who clearly wanted to exploit our weak moment argued that rather than allow the attorney to draw up corrected documents to remedy that, we should completely revise our bylaws...the blow up prevented an consensus or quorum vote. In the nest meeting that I did not attend a vote of a quorum is stated in the minutes as, "The second order of business discussed moving forward with ____________law frim on getting bylaws legal. ____recommendation was that we move ahead with this plan of action. The motion was made by ____ and seconded. The board voted with 100% carry of motion". The minutes do not contain any of the recommendations that preceded this. I was TOLD it was recommended each member bring in 2 suggestions for change to be discussed and sent to the attorney. Here is hiccup #2 At the NEXT meeting that was diminished to 3 that view themselves as a legal quorum (questionable based on state law) a COMMITTEE of 2 was formed to revise the bylaws. I am uncertain how to proceed. My OBJECTIVE is to challenge the formation of this committee with a motion to challenge the legality of the 3 party quorum claim. . The objective is to get them to rescind their previous decision voluntarily or force the issue back to the attorney. Should I enter a POINT of Order regarding their previous actions based on my belief they are in error ...they will intend to blast forward so my actions must be consistent with RR's of order. Or should I make the motion to suspend any action until an attorney rules and then within the DEBATE present the option of rescinding since we will have returned to what is without question a legal quorum of 5. My terms may not be accurate here as I am just learning the language.
  8. Our society uses RONR (11th ed.) as our parliamentary authority. At a recent special meeting of our society, a point of order as an incidental main motion was raised by the chair and declared well taken. This point was not mentioned in the call to the meeting (nor on a prepared agenda distributed beforehand). The point was concerning a supposed violation, around a year prior, of a rule in the bylaws requiring a vote to be taken by ballot, which would qualify it as exempt from the timeliness requirement of points of order (RONR p. 251 ll. 20-23). Those voted in under the supposed violation were still in office. The timeliness requirement exception states that the point may be made "at any time during the continuance of the breach." (RONR p. 251 ll. 3-7, emphasis added). However, again, the point was not incident to the business stated on the call to the meeting (which qualifies it as an incidental main motion). I have three questions: Can this point have been validly made at this special meeting? Did this point violate the rights of those absent from the meeting? Should the chair, who is a member, have been able to make this point while presiding, if it were a regular meeting? (it is a large assembly of over 100 present from a body of over 500)
  9. Guest

    Point of Order

    Can the parliamentarian raise a "point of order" during the meeting?
  10. Guest

    Ballot to Dissolve

    I am the incorporator and founder of our guild which was established 8 years ago. Our bylaws require Ballots to be sent out and members allowed 30 days to vote. The deadline is specified on the ballot. The bylaws also allow 10% of the membership to request amendments to the bylaws by written request. A group of members wanting to kill our guild showed up at a regular meeting and without prior notice made a motion dissolve the guild. They passed out pieces of paper for the members in attendance to vote whether they want to put out a ballot to dissolve the guild. 10% of our membership is 4 and there was about 20 members at the meeting. They got their four votes and started passing out ballots and emailed ballots to all members the next day. They already had a ballot made up and passed them out at the meeting. The ballot contained 3 items ... see attached Subsequent discussion suggested members wanted a meeting to hear all sides of this issue so a meeting special meeting was held. At that meeting I called a point of order for the ongoing breach of a ballot to dissolve the guild that was done without advance notice included it the meeting which it was done. I cited Missouri Revised Statute Chapter 355.251 and Roberts Rule of Order Article 8 section 47 as support for my point...see attachment The point was well taken and it was ruled that the ballot is null and void. I have been told the members that started this action are now getting a lawyer? I am very interested in hearing any observations? Were they out of order to bring that to a meeting unannounced? Are my references correct as to why they can't do that? Am I the only one who sees the wording on the ballot is clearly biased? Since to Point of Order ruling went unchallenged isn't everything else moot? Thank you
  11. If there is a non-member who is attending a meeting of an organization as a guest, and they notice an error regarding parliamentary procedure, are they allowed to make a point of order, or get someone to make one on their behalf, and then they speak about the matter to the chair? If a guest at a meeting is not actually a parliamentarian and not officially serving in that role, but the guest is the most well-versed on parliamentary procedure, can the chair utilize that person for assistance with parliamentary procedure issues?
  12. If the chair is persuaded during debate on an appeal that his ruling on a point of order was erroneous, may he withdraw the ruling before it becomes precedent, or at least inform the assembly of his change of mind during his second speech at the close of debate? The former alternative would be analogous to a member withdrawing (or seeking permission to withdraw) a motion, although I can find no reference in RONR that would justify the chair withdrawing a ruling. The latter alternative would be similar to a member arguing against his own motion, which no member is allowed to do. What’s the best way for the chair to handle such a change of mind? Should the minutes include the reasons the chair gives during an appeal, or just the reasons he gives while ruling on the point of order itself?
  13. Our Annual HOA (Homeowner's Assoc.) meeting was conducted very loosely with no opportunity for discussion before voting. There was a Quorum. Proxies were submitted. Notes were taken by the Sec'y. No one raised any Points of Order. It was my first meeting. Certain items that passed involved raising everyone's Assoc. Dues. Q: Is that meeting's Business and voting now Null and Void? Q: Board of Directors President has called for a SPECIAL MEETING to resolve the mess and someone questions the NEED for this new SPECIAL MEETING and I am left wondering how to respond.
  14. There are some actions which, upon a timely Point of Order, will turn: (a.) an adopted motion; into (b.) a null-and-void motion. *** There are at least three kinds of behavior which will trigger the above change: (1.) Previous notice was insufficient. -- A member(s) was/were not mailed the notice. (2.) A member(s) was/were not allowed to attend a meeting. (3.) A member(s) was/were not allowed to vote at a meeting. *** Of the above listed behaviors, there is a circumstance where (a.) the adopted motion will stand. (b.) the adopted motion will be rendered null and void. *** Given a timely Point of Order: Q. Which of the behaviors have a circumstance where the adopted motion will stand? Q. Which of the behaviors will always render an adopted motion as null and void? *** The reader may wish to review some key pages in RONR: (1.) page 252, "Remedy for violation of the right to vote". (2.) page 445, the paragraph which begins, "Otherwise, an election may be contested by . . ." and its bullet items. ***
  15. Hello, This Tuesday our student government voted to pass a motion affirming the results of the election commission. However, it has come to my attention that a portion of the election commission bylaws violates students' fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The election results were tabulated with deductions for campaign violations, as per the election bylaws. For example, a candidate violated the university's posting policy and 80 votes were subtracted from his vote total, causing him to lose the election. There is no mechanism for appeal. If this action is unconstitutional, and therefore is in violation of a fundamental principal of parliamentary law, namely the principle of following own specific rules, could I call a point of order violation at the next meeting and make our vote to accept the election commison's results null and void? Essentially, I am asking how I should approach fixing our vote to affirm election results that were tabulated based on election bylaws that are against the Constitution. I mean we basically passed a motion to affirmed an action that violated our students' Constitutional rights. There has to be a remedy for this, right? (FYI, I am in no way involved in the election and do not know any of the cafaiates. I just do not want to see this happening at my campus.) Best, Chris
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