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Dividing a slate


Guest Kevin

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Having read many other posts to research this subject prior to posting, I do realize that some would prefer the use of the term "slate" to be left out of the these discussions.  However, it is relevant to my question, so please forgive me.

 

Our bylaws provide for a system wherein we use a slate to vote for all offices simultaneously.  The slate, as we use the term, is typically comprised of a single slate (nominee) for each office.  We have encountered a situation where we would like to separate a single slate from the group slate (e.g. we want to vote for the office of president separately from the remaining offices, which we wish to continue to vote on as a group).  What is the appropriate procedure here?  Feel free to ignore our current system as, if necessary, I would suggest amendment to our bylaws.  Quite simply, we want to get this right.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

 

 

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 We have encountered a situation where we would like to separate a single slate from the group slate (e.g. we want to vote for the office of president separately from the remaining offices, which we wish to continue to vote on as a group).

 

In my opinion that can be done on the demand of a single member.

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Our bylaws provide for a system wherein we use a slate to vote for all offices simultaneously.  The slate, as we use the term, is typically comprised of a single slate (nominee) for each office.  We have encountered a situation where we would like to separate a single slate from the group slate (e.g. we want to vote for the office of president separately from the remaining offices, which we wish to continue to vote on as a group).  What is the appropriate procedure here?

 

It will be up to your organization to interpret its own bylaws. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 588-591 for some Principles of Interpretation. Assuming that it would be in order to divide the slate under your bylaws (which is not certain), Division of a Question is likely to be the appropriate tool. Under RONR, a member may move to divide a question if the parts of the question can stand alone (such as electing multiple offices). If the parts of the question involve different subjects, a single member may demand to divide the question. Otherwise, a majority vote is required. Generally, I would consider different offices to be different subjects, but the rule in your bylaws may complicate things. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 270-276 for more information.

 

Feel free to ignore our current system as, if necessary, I would suggest amendment to our bylaws. 

 

Well, in that case, remove the nonsense in your bylaws which provides for "a system wherein we use a slate to vote for all offices simultaneously." You should elect the offices separately. I would note that if your bylaws do not require a ballot vote, the chair may declare candidates elected if they are unopposed, so you wouldn't need to waste time on those offices.

 

I'd also note that it is possible to vote on offices simultaneously without voting on a slate. If you use a ballot vote, members can vote for candidates of their choice for each office, rather than voting "yes" or "no" on the slate.

 

If you insist on keeping a system where you can continue to vote on the remaining offices as a group, I would advise putting in an explicit provision for how to bring up a particular office for separate consideration, and what vote threshold is required to do that.

 

In my opinion that can be done on the demand of a single member.

 

That's certainly my opinion of what RONR requires, but the society may have intended something different if it provided for a system in the bylaws to elect a slate of candidates.

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I'm a little late to this party, but unless Kevin quotes something from the bylaws to indicate that a yes-or-no vote is supposed to be taken on the "slate," I don't think we should assume this is the case. On a ballot vote, the members are free to write in the name of any eligible candidate for each office, regardless of how many offices appear on the same ballot. If the assembly wants to have a separate ballot for the office of president, then it should adopt an appropriate rule or motion to do so, but I don't think Division of the Question would be it.

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If the assembly wants to have a separate ballot for the office of president, then it should adopt an appropriate rule or motion to do so, but I don't think Division of the Question would be it.

 

I agree. If the issue is not that the assembly is voting on a full slate of officers, but that the members are simply voting on the offices on a single ballot (which is perfectly fine), the appropriate tool to change that would be a Motion Relating to Methods of Voting and the Polls.

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