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What is a secret ballot?


Guest Xeriza

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What is a secret ballot?

What are the ways officers can be elected? Secret ballot, written ballot, oral vote?

I'm completely new and learning. Please be patient with me and kindly help me to understand.

Thank you.

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What is a secret ballot?

A vote by ballot is, by definition, secret in that there should be no way of telling how any member voted. Typically, voting by ballot uses pieces of paper but you could also use balls (e.g. white for "yes" and black for "no") which is where the word "ballot" originally comes from (as well as the expression "blackballed").

Voting by ballot is the preferred method for elections and is often required by the bylaws of an organization.

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A vote by ballot is, by definition, secret in that there should be no way of telling how any member voted. Typically, voting by ballot uses pieces of paper but you could also use balls (e.g. white for "yes" and black for "no") which is where the word "ballot" originally comes from (as well as the expression "blackballed").

Voting by ballot is the preferred method for elections and is often required by the bylaws of an organization.

Thank you, Edgar, for your reply and the education.

I was reading our state laws. In our state, "secret ballots" are prohibited in public meetings, boards, committees, etc.

1. I imagine this might be so with other states and public meetings. If so, I would conclude that the preferred "ballot" method would be preferred primarily by private societies. Any comment?

2. What are other--preferred--methods of voting?

3. Are votes (on smaller boards and committees--less than 20) recorded in the minutes? Rather, is that way each member voted for an officer recorded in the minutes or only who won?

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I was reading our state laws. In our state, "secret ballots" are prohibited in public meetings, boards, committees, etc.

Well, you'll need to consult an attorney for any legal questions but I suspect those laws apply only to governmental and other public agencies, not to most ordinary organizations and associations (even if their meetings are customarily open to the public).

For most motions, it's enough to just record whether the motion was adopted ("won") or lost. In some cases the number of votes will be recorded and, in rare cases (i.e. for roll-call votes), the minutes will record how each member voted.

You might want to get a copy of RONR In Brief. It will answer all your basic questions and covers the 20% of RONR that you'll use 80% of the time.

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Well, you'll need to consult an attorney for any legal questions but I suspect those laws apply only to governmental and other public agencies, not to most ordinary organizations and associations (even if their meetings are customarily open to the public).

For most motions, it's enough to just record whether the motion was adopted ("won") or lost. In some cases the number of votes will be recorded and, in rare cases (i.e. for roll-call votes), the minutes will record how each member voted.

You might want to get a copy of RONR In Brief. It will answer all your basic questions and covers the 20% of RONR that you'll use 80% of the time.

Thank you for your reply...but, I don't understand why you commented on the "background" and dismissed the questions. *shrugs*

The comment regarding our state laws that apply to this board was not a question. It was informational and useful in framing the questions that followed. I did not ask for legal advice, nor should my statement of fact, be construed as a request for legal opinion.

So, thanks...I guess.

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What is a secret ballot?

A ballot vote is when people write their votes on a sheet of paper (the ballot) and the ballots are collected and counted. A secret ballot is one where nobody knows how anyone else voted (as opposed to, say, a signed ballot, where everyone's name is associated with a ballot).

What are the ways officers can be elected? Secret ballot, written ballot, oral vote?

Secret ballot is generally prefered, because it allows everyone to vote honestly without worrying about hurting anyone's feelings. Voice vote is not preferred, because you need to vote in each candidate in succession, so it can unfairly advantage candidates depending on the order in which they are called.

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A ballot vote is when people write their votes on a sheet of paper (the ballot) and the ballots are collected and counted. A secret ballot is one where nobody knows how anyone else voted (as opposed to, say, a signed ballot, where everyone's name is associated with a ballot).

Secret ballot is generally prefered, because it allows everyone to vote honestly without worrying about hurting anyone's feelings. Voice vote is not preferred, because you need to vote in each candidate in succession, so it can unfairly advantage candidates depending on the order in which they are called.

Unfortunately our state requires all public agencies to vote openly--no secret ballots. I would have preferred otherwise for the reasons you mentioned. Thank you for your response.

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