Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Ballot or role call vote?


Recommended Posts

Having an issue about how the vote should be taken. I am making a proposal that some don't like and they want a role call vote so they can see how everyone voted I want ballot vote cause it's no ones business. Our by laws don't state which way it should go. The reason they want to know how people vote is so they can ultimately confront that person. What is the rule?

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the meeting, any member may move to take the vote in a specific manner. If there are competing proposals, then they should be voted on one at a time, beginning with the most time-consuming method. The first to receive a majority will be the chosen method.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Majority rules provided the bylaws don't require a specific method of voting on the question or the bylaws require a higher or lower vote to order the vote be held by ballot or roll call. Move to have the vote be taken by ballot and if a majority are in favor of doing this then it will be taken by ballot. If the group wanting the vote be held by roll call are able to get a majority in favor of this then the vote will be held by roll call.

Link to post
Share on other sites

At the meeting, any member may move to take the vote in a specific manner. If there are competing proposals, then they should be voted on one at a time, beginning with the most time-consuming method.

I would think that both roll call and ballot would be pretty time consuming. In your experience which one is more time consuming?

Link to post
Share on other sites

But note this statement in RONR, 11th ed. about roll call votes:

"It is usually confined to representative bodies, where the proceedings are published, since it enables constituents to know how their representatives voted on certain measures. It should not be used in a mass meeting or in any assembly whose members are not responsible to a constituency." (p. 420, ll.5-9, emphasis added).

So, if your organization is similar to most ordinary societies whose members are not responsible to some constituency, you might try raising a point of order and cite this passage if a motion is made for a roll call vote. If the chair, or ultimately enough members, agree with you, you might get the motion ruled dilatory.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Continuing Bruce's thought, later on page 420, it is stated that in a society having a large membership but small attendance, a motion to order a roll call vote is dilatory, but the same result can be achieved through the use of a signed ballot. A ballot vote is taken, but each member signs his name on the ballot. Each member's vote is then recorded in the minutes, the same as it would be for a roll call vote.

Tying this into Mark's original question:

A motion to take a roll call vote in a meeting of the full assembly is usually dilatory. In this case, a motion to take a ballot vote (which would be secret) or a signed ballot vote (which has the names of all members who voted and how they voted in the minutes) can be adopted by a majority vote. If both are suggested by different members, then the chair decides which method is voted on first, which should be the signed ballot, since it will take more time.

If instead this is an assembly that represents a constituency -- such as a convention of delegates or a board of directors -- then you can have a roll call vote instead of a signed ballot, but the motion to take either a roll call or (secret) ballot vote still must be adopted by a majority vote before that kind of vote on the main motion is taken.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason they want to know how people vote is so they can ultimately confront that person.

If there is a possibility that this confrontation could occur in the meeting itself, would any of you guys rule this out of order from get-go? I think I might if I was presiding and felt that might be the case, subject to appeal, blah blah blah.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is a possibility that this confrontation could occur in the meeting itself, would any of you guys rule this out of order from get-go? I think

Well, "confront" is the word used by the OP. I doubt those calling for a roll-call vote would admit to that motive. ("We wanna know who votes 'yes' so we can beat 'em up!")

In any case, if only "some" want a roll-call vote, there won't be a roll-call vote.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If there is a possibility that this confrontation could occur in the meeting itself, would any of you guys rule this out of order from get-go? I think I might if I was presiding and felt that might be the case, subject to appeal, blah blah blah.

If the confrontation itself occurred during the meeting, I would take the necessary steps to restore order. But since there are legitimate reasons to have a roll call or signed ballot vote, I'm not sure the chair could rule it out of order ahead of time. If I knew when the motion was made that this was likely the only reason for publicizing the members' votes, I would caution the members that isn't a good reason, which should hopefully encourage them to withdraw the motion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

. . . the same result can be achieved through the use of a signed ballot.

I'd be very reluctant to introduce the notion of a "signed ballot" as I can easily imagine unintended consequences the next time a ballot vote is required.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If the confrontation itself occurred during the meeting, I would take the necessary steps to restore order. But since there are legitimate reasons to have a roll call or signed ballot vote, I'm not sure the chair could rule it out of order ahead of time. If I knew when the motion was made that this was likely the only reason for publicizing the members' votes, I would caution the members that isn't a good reason, which should hopefully encourage them to withdraw the motion.

I should add to post #8 that I would rule it out of order based upon what Bruce cited in post #6 and take my chances on appeal.....thinking bad things might happen would not be quite enough to actually state when ruling a motion out of order.

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...