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2/3 Majority Required?


Guest Bonnie

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I am a new Chair of a small board (8 members)so forgive this basic question.

For any votes we take, is a 2/3 majority required or can an issue pass with just a majority (5 let's say) and does the Chair have a vote or only in a tie situation?

Thank you

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For any votes we take, is a 2/3 majority required or can an issue pass with just a majority

Most motions only require a majority vote (of the members who voted) though some do require a 2/3 vote. Some examples that would require a 2/3 vote would be ordering the Previous Question (forcing a vote on the pending question), Extending or Limiting Debate, Suspending the Rules (in some cases only a majority vote is required), Rescind/Amend Something Previously Adopted (if previous notice isn't given), and a few others.

and does the Chair have a vote or only in a tie situation?

See FAQ #1.

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I am a new Chair of a small board (8 members)so forgive this basic question.

For any votes we take, is a 2/3 majority required or can an issue pass with just a majority (5 let's say) and does the Chair have a vote or only in a tie situation?

Thank you

Just to clarify, "2/3 majority" is an improper phrasing. The two basic voting thresholds as per RONR are a majority vote (more than half) and two-thirds vote.

A majority vote means more yes votes than no votes. A two-thirds vote means at least twice as many yes votes as no votes. So, if 10 votes are cast, at least 6 would need to be yes votes for a majority, and 7 for a two-thirds vote.

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Thanks Tim,

One further question, can a chair vote on a motion if that will affect the result of the motion, i.e. result in a tie? I know the chair can vote in a tie situation. The Bylaws do not cover how the chair votes.

Thanks

According to RONR, the chair is free to vote (or not), whenever the vote is by (secret) ballot, or in any situation where a single additional vote could affect the outcome. This might be to break a tie, create a tie, achieve a 2/3 vote, or deny one, etc.

Furthermore, in small boards and committees of no more than about a dozen, it is usual for the chair to make motions, participate in debate, and vote, the same as any other member.

Ultimately, the chair is never strictly prohibited from voting, as voting is a basic right of membership. The purpose of the recommendation in RONR that the chair "should not" vote in larger assemblies is to preserve an air of impartiality that is considered to be a necessary factor in presiding effectively.

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Thanks Tim,

One further question, can a chair vote on a motion if that will affect the result of the motion, i.e. result in a tie? I know the chair can vote in a tie situation. The Bylaws do not cover how the chair votes.

Thanks

Certain rules are different for small boards of not more than about a dozen members. The chair in a small board usually votes on all questions. See RONR(10th ed.), p. 470-471.

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