Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Voting Method


Recommended Posts

An organization receives membership applications for new members and they are presented to the membership for a vote. The By Laws on address the method of voting by saying "Three negative votes (black balls) are required to black ball a proposed member. A black balled proposed member may be brought back for a second vote within three months. If she isn ot voted in at this time, she cannot be proposed for membership again". There will be a vote for new members tomorrow night. There is a proposed member whom some do not want in the organization for legitimate reasons. The President has said that there will be a voice vote and members will be warned not to vote negative for frivilous reasons. The group has voted by voice vote on ocassion and by box with black and white balls. The President says she will need a motion to vote by box (black and white balls). Is this true?

Link to post
Share on other sites

The group has voted by voice vote on ocassion and by box with black and white balls. The President says she will need a motion to vote by box (black and white balls). Is this true?

This is ultimately a question of Bylaws interpretation (see RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation), but based solely on the facts presented, it looks that the Bylaws require the vote to be by the method of casting white and black balls.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Guest

Close review of the by Law show that the section referencing Roberts Rules of Order does not say newly revised. Would this make any difference in the above opinions that black and white balls were the voting method indicated in the By Laws?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Edgar

The President has said that there will be a voice vote and members will be warned not to vote negative for frivilous reasons.

It's very unlikely that your president has this authority. Assuming the method of voting prescribed in the bylaws is ambiguous (and I think a case could be made that the term "black ball" is being used metaphorically), the method of voting is for the assembly to determine, not for the president to impose.

(And the edition of Robert's Rules cited in the bylaws is immaterial in this instance.)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Close review of the by Law show that the section referencing Roberts Rules of Order does not say newly revised. Would this make any difference in the above opinions that black and white balls were the voting method indicated in the By Laws?

No, for several reasons. Firstly, when Bylaws reference Robert's Rules of Order they are understood to mean the current edition (Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, 11th ed.) unless the Bylaws specify a particular edition (such as the 4th, 6th, etc.). Secondly, this is really about interpreting your Bylaws anyway, so it would not matter what edition of RONR you were using - the Principles of Interpretation are simply for guidance. Finally, while the Principles of Interpretation were not added to Robert's Rules of Order itself until recently (the 9th or 10th edition, I believe), they were originally presented in General Robert's Parliamentary Law (1923), and they have not changed too much since then.

Also, don't get too carried away with my off-the-cuff suggestion. I've only seen a few sentences of your Bylaws, and has Edgar has shown, there is more than one reasonable interpretation. As he wisely points out, however, it still wouldn't be up to the President.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...