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Abstaining from voting


Guest johanijo

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Guest johanijo

There was a recent debate in my last meeting that you must explain your abstention. If you do not have a reason for abstaining than you must vote yes or no. This is not what I was taught and if this is the case where can I find the documentation to back this up in Robert Rules of Order?

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A slightly indirect documentation statement is that a member cannot be compelled to vote: p. 407. Telling a member he MUST "explain or vote" sounds like "compelling" to me.

Ask the person who thinks that you have to explain whether he plans to call up all the people who abstained by not even showing up at the meeting.

Also ask him how he would enforce his "explain or vote" rule. Or at the least show you where in RONR he finds such a rule. He won't be able to, of course.

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There was a recent debate in my last meeting that you must explain your abstention. If you do not have a reason for abstaining than you must vote yes or no. This is not what I was taught and if this is the case where can I find the documentation to back this up in Robert Rules of Order?

No that's a complete fiction.

Nobody who abstains, and for that matter nobody who votes, is even allowed to "explain" their vote or abstention, except by doing so during debate. And nobody can be compelled to take part in debate. So that's just preposterous.

Someone with an opinion on an issue should express it by voting. That's the right thing to do. But someone who chooses to abstain for whatever reason is under no obligation to reveal that reason, or even to have a reason. They may simply not care about the issue at all.

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