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Proper way to postpone


Guest Janyne

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Hi there,

I'm wondering if someone can walk me through the right way to ask for a postponement of a vote on a particular motion. Here's the hypothetical scenario: Day #1 of the meeting, someone puts forth a motion to vote on a document to be entered into bylaw; I believe the vote on this document should be tabled to Day #2 of the meeting, when a committee meeting set for later in Day#1 allows for the committee members to familiarize themselves with the document before voting. So, what's the right way to step-by-step through this?

Motion made: Enter doc into bylaw

Second is given.

Then what?

Thank you!

Janyne

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"The form used in making this motion depends on the desired object:

a) Simply to postpone the question to the next meeting, when it will have precedence over new business: "I move to postpone the motion [or "that the question be postponed"] to the next meeting."

RONR, p. 181

That should work, since Day #2 is probably the next meeting of the same session. You can adjust the language if it makes it clearer for the other members.

Requires a second, is debatable as to whether or not it should be postponed and until when, and requires a majority vote to adopt.

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Hi there,

I'm wondering if someone can walk me through the right way to ask for a postponement of a vote on a particular motion. Here's the hypothetical scenario: Day #1 of the meeting, someone puts forth a motion to vote on a document to be entered into bylaw; I believe the vote on this document should be tabled to Day #2 of the meeting, when a committee meeting set for later in Day#1 allows for the committee members to familiarize themselves with the document before voting. So, what's the right way to step-by-step through this?

Motion made: Enter doc into bylaw

Second is given.

Then what?

Thank you!

Janyne

There is no way in the general parliamentary law to preschedule the vote on a question to a particular future meeting. It is possible to postpone consideration of a main motion to the next meeting, but there is no way of knowing in advance whether or not the vote on it will be taken at that meeting (or ever, for that matter).

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"The form used in making this motion depends on the desired object:

a) Simply to postpone the question to the next meeting, when it will have precedence over new business: "I move to postpone the motion [or "that the question be postponed"] to the next meeting."

RONR, p. 181

That should work, since Day #2 is probably the next meeting of the same session. You can adjust the language if it makes it clearer for the other members.

Requires a second, is debatable as to whether or not it should be postponed and until when, and requires a majority vote to adopt.

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Thank you!

Day#2 is actually a meeting of the new board; Day #1 is the final meeting of the present board. Does that change things at all?

"The form used in making this motion depends on the desired object:

a) Simply to postpone the question to the next meeting, when it will have precedence over new business: "I move to postpone the motion [or "that the question be postponed"] to the next meeting."

RONR, p. 181

That should work, since Day #2 is probably the next meeting of the same session. You can adjust the language if it makes it clearer for the other members.

Requires a second, is debatable as to whether or not it should be postponed and until when, and requires a majority vote to adopt.

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Day#2 is actually a meeting of the new board; Day #1 is the final meeting of the present board. Does that change things at all?

It changes things completely. It means that a motion to Postpone a motion from Day #1 to Day #2 is not in order.

Your options are either to defeat the motion (either by a direct vote, or indirectly by means of the motion to Postpone Indefinitely) and have someone bring it up again on Day #2, or to refer the motion to a special committee, with instructions to report on Day #2.

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Thank you for clarifying. That makes sense since the two days of meetings are essentially unrelated.

So, can you walk me through how I move to Postpone Indefinitely once the other individual has moved to enter this document into bylaws? Do I bring it up during the Discussion time after someone seconds the initial motion? I'm completely new to Robert's Rules, so I thank you for your help!

It changes things completely. It means that a motion to Postpone a motion from Day #1 to Day #2 is not in order.

Your options are either to defeat the motion (either by a direct vote, or indirectly by means of the motion to Postpone Indefinitely) and have someone bring it up again on Day #2, or to refer the motion to a special committee, with instructions to report on Day #2.

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Do I bring it up during the Discussion time after someone seconds the initial motion?

Yes. During discussion, seek recognition and say, "I move to postpone the pending motion indefinitely." The motion requires a second, is debatable, and requires a majority vote for adoption. It also has the unique feature that debate may enter into the merits of the main motion. If adopted, the main motion is defeated for the duration of the session. Also keep in mind that the motion is of a low rank and takes precedence only over the main motion. So if someone beats you to the punch and makes a motion to Amend, or some other subsidiary motion, you'll need to wait until that motion is processed to make your motion.

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