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If a person recuses herself from a presentation in a meeting, can she be counted as part of the quorum for the vote on that item? The situation was that a committee member recused herself from hearing a case because she worked for the applicant. In order to establish a quorum, the committee later counted her vote as an abstention. What are Robert's Rules?
Good afternoon, Recently, a member of a small Commission (6 people) that I serve as staff for asked the following: Is there a difference between an abstention and a recusal (which, based on what I've read so far is to not vote because of a conflict of interest)? I was not sure of the answer. As I explained, I equated an abstention with a simple non-vote (covering a number of circumstances), while a recusal was a conflict of interest. However, it seems as if a member's recusal is not specified in Robert's Rules - only a non-vote in conflict of interest circumstances. If a member had a conflict of interest and did not vote, would abstention be a suitable description? Or, should their "non-vote" be described differently. Thank you, Meghan