Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Vote Without a Formal Motion


Guest Kristin

Recommended Posts

Guest Kristin

We had a meeting recently and no one person moved to approve the motion. The Chair simply stated 'all in favor of approving the document' and there was unanimous vote to approve. Since no one individual moved and then received second, does the vote still stand? Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites

We had a meeting recently and no one person moved to approve the motion. The Chair simply stated 'all in favor of approving the document' and there was unanimous vote to approve. Since no one individual moved and then received second, does the vote still stand? Thanks!

Barring any (or all) of the many details you have left out, yes. This is referred to as unanimous consent (or general consent) in RONR (see p. 54, 11th Ed.). When you tell us more about what really happened, you may get a different answer.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Kristin

Can you tell me what further details you need?

The CEO presented the board with a strategic plan that was discussed in detail. The next step was for the board to pass the plan so it can be put into action. The Chair stated "All in favor of approving the plan, say aye (all said aye), all opposed nay (none), any abstaining (no), with a unanimous vote, the board approves the plan."

Is there anything other information needed?

Link to post
Share on other sites

It all sounds proper so far, assuming this was a Board meeting with about a dozen or fewer members in attendance. A look at p. 488 (RONR 11th ed.) with note of the 3rd and 4th bullets will show you that informal discussion with no motion pending is allowed, as is a vote with no formal motion having been made.

Regardless, at this point it is almost certainly too late to raise a Point of Order about it. And besides, in the face of a unanimous vote (a vote actually having been taken), I don't see as there's any reason to worry about it now, unless the Board overstepped its authority in some way, or otherwise violated some important rule (ref. p.251, RONR 11th) . Everyone liked the strategic plan of the CEO, so time to move on.


Edited to add: BTW it is not proper for the chair to call for abstentions. Just thought I'd mention that. (RONR 11th ed., p. 45 ll. 14-19)

Edited by David A Foulkes
Link to post
Share on other sites

According to RONR, unanimous consent is used in cases where there seems to be no opposition in routine business, or on questions of little importance. It can be used to adopt a motion without putting the motion to a vote, or to take action without the formality of a motion.

if there hasn't been a motion made, the chair should either ask for a motion, or at least put the question, assuming such a motion. Typically, the chair would state "If there is no objection," (pause), then state the motion, or "Is there any objection to..." (pause), and then "the chair hears no objection, and the motion is adopted".

The idea here is that "Action in this manner is in accord with the principle that rules are designed for the protection of the minority and generally need not be strictly enforced when there is no minority to protect". Apparently, there was no minority to protect in guest_Kristin's association, if no one voted against it.

I'm not sure if the Chair was using a slightly warped version of unanimous consent, if the Chair just forgot to have an actual motion, or if this was a small board meeting. However, as no one objected at the time...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another (but almost verbosely identical) way to look at this, entirely in harmony with the views of my esteemed and overpaid colleagues, is to bear in mind that a "motion is a formal proposal ... that the assembly take certain action (p. 27, though I liked it better when it was on p. 26, because 27 is not divisible by 5)." Once ...

the Chair stated "All in favor of approving the plan, say aye

, you had a motion definitively, if implicitly, in progress; it was actually implicitly in progress when your assembly began to discuss what to do, because that's what a motion does.

(all said aye), all opposed nay (none), any abstaining (no), with a unanimous vote, the board approves the plan."

Is there anything other information needed?

BTW, "abstaining" and "unanimous" is gibberish.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you tell me what further details you need?

The CEO presented the board with a strategic plan that was discussed in detail. The next step was for the board to pass the plan so it can be put into action. The Chair stated "All in favor of approving the plan, say aye (all said aye), all opposed nay (none), any abstaining (no), with a unanimous vote, the board approves the plan."

Is there anything other information needed?

Nothing egregious in that procedure, and the plan appears to have been duly approved. The fact that you were discussing it at all means that an implied motion occurred, or the chair assumed it, or, as is quite likely, the matter came up at its appointed place on an agenda, and the assembly began to consider it. That's essentially what's supposed to happen, so no harm was done if the chair didn't follow the script exactly.

I'd say the most offensive thing the chair did in that whole scenario was calling for abstentions, which is improper, and a pointless waste of time.

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...