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Tie breaker clarification

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Hello; My wife and I are on the board of directors for a non profit community theater. we decided to put together a proposal to present to the board about putting on a show in the fall. I as the director, and my wife as the choreographer.

In the proposal, we also had a projected budget as well as a preliminary list of folks that were interested in other production positions. One of those folks is also on the board and had expressed initial interest in being our costumer. This person was sick and could not physically be at this meeting.

All of the above mentioned production positions are paid positions.

There was discussion and a vote. My wife and I were not allowed to vote and had to leave the room while voting took place.

The vote went to a 4 to 4 tie.

When it was suggested by a board member that the missing member could be contacted via text or call to break this tie, it was quickly squashed and the motion tabled until the next months board meeting.

My questions are as follows...According to Roberts Rules...

1. Should my wife and I be told to leave the room during the vote or excluded from the vote due to a conflict of interest?

2. Should the missing board member been able to vote via text or phone call?

3. Does a tie mean that the answer to the proposal should have been no and could not be tabled?

4. Does the missing member being interested in a paying production staff position automatically exempt her from voting if the motion was lawfully tabled until the next meeting? (She will be at the next board meeting)

Thank you!

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1. Should my wife and I be told to leave the room during the vote or excluded from the vote due to a conflict of interest?

2. Should the missing board member been able to vote via text or phone call?

3. Does a tie mean that the answer to the proposal should have been no and could not be tabled?

4. Does the missing member being interested in a paying production staff position automatically exempt her from voting if the motion was lawfully tabled until the next meeting? (She will be at the next board meeting)

Thank you!

1. If you and/or your wife were members of the assembly that was meeting (board of directors?), no. What RONR says is that a member who has a personal or pecuniary interest not in common with other members, regarding the pending question, should refrain from voting, but cannot be compelled to abstain. You retain your right(s) to vote, although it might be a show of good faith not to.

2. If your bylaws do not specifically authorize absentee voting (by text, phone call, email, etc), no.

3. A tie vote defeats the motion. There is no need to "break" the tie. A vote of 4-4 defeats it just as well as a vote of 0-8 would.

4. No, although see #1 above.

It would also appear that the motion to Lay on the Table was improperly used. Not only that, but since the motion of your proposal went to a vote and was defeated, there was in fact nothing to "table" anyway. The motion was not tabled, "lawfully" or not. Since the motion was defeated, it may be Renewed (made again) at the next meeting, however.

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When it was suggested by a board member that the missing member could be contacted via text or call to break this tie, it was quickly squashed and the motion tabled until the next months board meeting.

The motion was defeated. A tie vote defeats the motion. The motion can be brought up again as a new motion at the next meeting. However, if you want to refer a motion to another meeting, you need to make a motion to postpone to a definite time.

1. Should my wife and I be told to leave the room during the vote or excluded from the vote due to a conflict of interest?

RONR recommends that you do not do so as you have a personal interest (i.e. a paycheque in this case) that other members would not receive if the motion passes. But RONR does not prevent you from not voting. Only the By-laws, Declaration/Constitution, or a statute covering the organization can force you to lose your right to vote. Do any of those documents say you cannot vote in this type of situation?

2. Should the missing board member been able to vote via text or phone call?

No. Unless the By-laws specifcally allow for it - and the By-laws would have to detail how to go about this to ensure that the rights of all the members are maintained and that the actual member is voting and not someone else.

3. Does a tie mean that the answer to the proposal should have been no and could not be tabled?

See my comment above. A tie vote defeated the proposal and once the vote was announced, there was no motion to table. Not that the motion to table would be appropriate. You would need a motion to postpone.

4. Does the missing member being interested in a paying production staff position automatically exempt her from voting if the motion was lawfully tabled until the next meeting? (She will be at the next board meeting)

Again, only if the By-laws, Declaration/Constitution, or statute covering the organization state that she would be in a conflict. And that would be the case if the motion was postpone or brought up as a new motion at the next meeting.

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