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Guest Linda

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I serve on a board where the following happened: An issue was on the agenda for a vote. Discussion of the agenda item propery occured in executive session, but the motion to approve the item properly occured in open session after the conclusion of the executive session. A board member showed up late for the meeting and misseed the entire executive session discussion. He then voted on the motion to approve the item. Was this proper? Should we have prevented him from voting because he missed the discussion?

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I serve on a board where the following happened: An issue was on the agenda for a vote. Discussion of the agenda item propery occured in executive session, but the motion to approve the item properly occured in open session after the conclusion of the executive session. A board member showed up late for the meeting and misseed the entire executive session discussion. He then voted on the motion to approve the item. Was this proper? Should we have prevented him from voting because he missed the discussion?

A member is free to vote whether he was there for all, some, or none of the debate.

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Discussion of the agenda item propery occured in executive session, but the motion to approve the item properly occured in open session after the conclusion of the executive session.

Unless this is to comply with some legal requirement, there is no reason to do this.

Was this proper?

Yes.

Should we have prevented him from voting because he missed the discussion?

Absolutely not. A member cannot be stripped of his right to vote except as a result of disciplinary procedures.

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Thanks for the advice so far. I feel better about our decision.

The executive session to discuss the topic at hand was required by a state law, so I feel confident there. However, I had begun to doubt our decision to let the member who was absent for that discussion vote.

Additional comments are also appreciated.

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However, I had begun to doubt our decision to let the member who was absent for that discussion vote.

Additional comments are also appreciated.

No need to doubt your decision. You cannot prevent a member from voting just because he wasn't there for the debate. If you had stopped him from voting you would have been violating one of the fundamental rights of membership which is to vote on questions. There is nothing in RONR that would even begin to support denying him his right to vote just because he wasn't there for the debate. Not to mention who is to say that he hadn't already decided how he was going to vote and hearing the debate wouldn't have affected his decision one iota?

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A board member showed up late for the meeting and missed the entire executive session discussion. He then voted on the motion to approve the item. Was this proper? Should we have prevented him from voting because he missed the discussion?

How would you propose to "prevent" him from exercising this most basic of all rights of membership? That would have been seriously improper. The voting was fine.

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