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fractional votes


Guest Jim A

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If the bylaws call for a 51% majority and that turns out to be a fractional number, how is the fraction treated? For example, 51% of 145 voting members = 73.95. Does it require 73 or 74 votes to pass?

If the bylaws actually include the exact phrasing "51% majority", I'd suggest you amend them when you can and remove the "51%" part at least. The RONR default for most motions is a majority, meaning more than half of the votes cast. This is not always the same thing as (at least) 51%. And depending on which motions the bylaws cover in this case, it may be best to remove that whole section and let RONR do the work for you. Some motions (per RONR) require at least a 2/3 vote, and it may not be the best idea to only require a majority by rule of the bylaws. Two cents.

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The By-laws should be changed from "51%" to "aa majority vote of the membership" which would mean more than half the members. This would make life a lot easier.

Although I'm hesitant to agree that's what the poster's organization necessarily wants. It may just be a majority vote (of those present and voting). That is, of course, up to the society to determine. Perhaps Guest Jim A could clarify.

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A vote was taken with the results I posted. Our attorney advised us that fractional amounts don't count and that 73 votes out of 145 members satisfied the 51% requirement. Someone else has challenged that.

Although I agree that "a majority vote of the membership" would make more sense, to get that changed would require an amendment--approved by 51%. It's not really the issue right now.

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Our attorney advised us that fractional amounts don't count and that 73 votes out of 145 members satisfied the 51% requirement.

Well, your attorney is clearly not a mathematician. And be sure to pay him less than the amount he charges you.Tell him you're simply rounding down.

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A vote was taken with the results I posted. Our attorney advised us that fractional amounts don't count and that 73 votes out of 145 members satisfied the 51% requirement. Someone else has challenged that.

Although I agree that "a majority vote of the membership" would make more sense, to get that changed would require an amendment--approved by 51%. It's not really the issue right now.

Never depend on a lawyer for answers to a math question.

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A vote was taken with the results I posted. Our attorney advised us that fractional amounts don't count and that 73 votes out of 145 members satisfied the 51% requirement. Someone else has challenged that.

Although I agree that "a majority vote of the membership" would make more sense, to get that changed would require an amendment--approved by 51%. It's not really the issue right now.

I guess they don't teach math in law school. Ask him if he bills for fractional hours.

Actually a "majority vote" would make the most sense.

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Guest Nancy N.

Although I'm hesitant to agree that's what the poster's organization necessarily wants. It may just be a majority vote (of those present and voting). That is, of course, up to the society to determine. Perhaps Guest Jim A could clarify.

David, did original poster Jim A say anything that would justify Rev Ed's statement? I don't see it. (For that matter, I don't think what Mr. Ed said necessarily reflects what Mr. Ed wants. It's not on p. 390 of RONR 10th (and probably not in RONR 11th, probably about ten pages on).)

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David, did original poster Jim A say anything that would justify Rev Ed's statement? I don't see it. (For that matter, I don't think what Mr. Ed said necessarily reflects what Mr. Ed wants. It's not on p. 390 of RONR 10th (and probably not in RONR 11th, probably about ten pages on).)

So let me get this straight -- you are asking me if Jim A said anything to justify Rev Ed's statement?

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A vote was taken with the results I posted. Our attorney advised us that fractional amounts don't count and that 73 votes out of 145 members satisfied the 51% requirement. Someone else has challenged that.

Although I agree that "a majority vote of the membership" would make more sense, to get that changed would require an amendment--approved by 51%. It's not really the issue right now.

You haven't actually posted the results. You originally asked if 73 or 74 votes would satisfy 51%, and you told us the attorney said 73 was enough, but you haven't posted how many aye and no votes (nor abstentions, which might in this case be of consideration).

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Guest Nancy N.

Of course, David. Who better?

To break it down in my effort at the current Robert's Rules Website Forum (RONR MB) style:

you

We are safe so far: we have David in post 12 quoting my post 11 and replying to it, which shows he's got a handle on it.

are asking me

Yes, you, David A. Foulkes, who in your smashing post 6 quoted Rev Ed's post 5 and noted a possible flaw.

if Jim A said anything

Which, Jim's post, we know that you read, because you read everything, especially when you reply to replies, especially here, Rev Ed's reply to Jim's OP;

-- and which (still Jim's post), in turn, we know that Rev Ed read, because he, in his post 5, attempted to answer Jim's question, from post 1, which we know because that's what he did, we all saw him, like in RONR, at the bottom of p. 646.

to justify Rev Ed's statement?

But David you saw it happen right there in post 1 and the direct, irrefutable evidence in post 5 of Rev Ed's having flagitiously and without trace of disingenuousness read selfsame Jim's post 1! Which predispositively proves that you read them both, and might thereby establish you as the preeminent authority on Jim and Ed, except maybe for Trina and Edgar and g40.

In other words ... just a minute, I'll get some -- !

________

N. B. I invented "predispositively," because, unlike a mountain, it wasn't there.

Yet.

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Guest Nancy N.

So let me get this straight -- you are asking me if Jim A said anything to justify Rev Ed's statement?

Here, David, I'll attempt to break it down for you in my effort to avoid the current Robert's Rules Website Forum (RONR MB) style:

First Jim asked about his 51%, or majority, or both, of 145 (later, post 7, alluding to his attorney's august polymathic punditry as an authority on 4th-grade arithmetic (without a breath of censure, if you get me)). Didn't want it fixed, mind you, just asked us how to figure it, maybe figuring to get the world's premier Internet parliamentary forum up and squabbling with a lawyer about fractions and maybe riling him so's he's getting us all slapped in irons for practicing law without a license.

Then Mr. Ed from his Toronto vantage keenly observes the 51% or majority or both mudpile, which you had remarked on three hours earlier so needed repeating, and he proposes an improvement. Where does Rev get that Jim might remotely think that "'aa majority vote of the membership' which would mean more than half the members" "would make life a lot easier"?? That's what I asked you.

And it's you that I asked because you wrote post 6 in response to post 5, showing that you knew what Rev Ed was thinking and what Jim A. was thinking before that. Q. Ed. D. Though I'm disappointed that while you were on a roll you went and dropped the ball on knowing what I was thinking, which could have got you maybe some kind of precognitive trifecta, although with your stake coming out of your aspiring parliamentarian's $4.50 an hour bill, what a wasted effort.

Finally, my parenthetical cavil in post 11 was to Rev's confidence that "a majority vote of the membership" has to unambiguously and inarguably mean "of the entire membership," which I don't think.

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Nancy, aren't you up a little later than usual?

Whatever Rev Ed may have thought Guest Jim A may have posted to inspire him (Rev Ed) to reply to his (Jim A's) post in the manner he (Rev Ed) did is unknown to me. Heck, I still don't even know what Jim A's bylaw actually says, or what his organization may desire of said bylaw. I just believe that, given the scant and interpretive wording of it we have received so far, I'd be inclined to suggest a change is warranted. Whether that change is consistent with what Rev Ed somewhat suggested is up to Jim A's membership to determine and decide. But if it were up to me.......

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The bylaws say "...of not less than 51% of the members." No's, abstentions, and non-votes are essentially all the same, as only the ayes count. The vote was 73 ayes out of 145 members. The question was, does that count as passing, since 51% of 145 is not 74, it's 73.95? A majority is clearly 73 or more, since 72 would be less than half of the members (145/2 = 72.5). The Secretary said it passes, as it was more than a majority and the 51% being a fractional number did not matter; he took majority "plus one" to the next whole number.

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Here's an example of where all this bad logic falls apart. First, let's clarify something. Majority means "more than half". Half of 145 is 72.5, so more than half means more than 72.5. It could be 72.500000000000000001. It's at least 72.5. With a majority vote required, 73 votes would indeed be enough to adopt the motion. However, with a majority "plus one" (now we're talking about at least 72.5+1 which equals 73.5), 73 votes still fails to adopt.

Discarding the RONR default of a majority (more than half) in favor of "not less than 51%" means we've got some additional math to do. Let's say there are 1000 members. A majority vote (more than half) would then mean more than 500 votes (i.e. 501 or more). Even a majority "plus one" brings you up only to (more than) 501 votes. But 51% of 1000 is 510, and as you can see, there are 9 more affirmative votes involved there that must be attained to adopt the motion. I know you don't have 1000 members, but this is to illustrate that "not less than 51%" means something entirely different than a majority, or even a majority "plus one."

In your case, out of 145 votes, "not less than 51%" (which is 73.95) clearly means NOT 73. It means at least (not less than) 73.95 votes. And unless you do allow fractional voting due to some membership differentiation, we're talking about 74 votes or more.

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The bylaws say "...of not less than 51% of the members." The vote was 73 ayes out of 145 members. The question was, does that count as passing, since 51% of 145 is not 74, it's 73.95? The Secretary said it passes, as it was more than a majority and the 51% being a fractional number did not matter; he took majority "plus one" to the next whole number.

The secretary is wrong. You need at least 73.95 votes. You only got 73 votes. It's as simple as that.

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It would take at least 73.95 votes. If your voters come in integer numbers, that means a minimum of 74 votes.

The secretary is wrong. You need at least 73.95 votes. You only got 73 votes. It's as simple as that.

I detect a certain similiarity between post #2 and post #21 ;) -- Jim A, are you still unconvinced?

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Since this was an actual event (not just a hypothetical inquiry, as it rather appeared to be at the beginning of this thread), the question probably should be asked -- was the outcome of the vote announced by the chair? Did he/she announce that the motion was adopted?

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It was announced that it was adopted a few years ago and is being challenged now. However, there may be another factor, which is that there were only supposed to be 143 voting members, not 145, so 51% would indeed be 73.

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