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confirming vote


Guest Jim

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Our by-laws require that on amending the by-laws, that a second meeting be held to confirm the original vote.  There is no other business scheduled at such a meeting.  The question arose as to whether it was necessary to move vote again at the second meeting, since the single purpose of the meeting was to vote on the amendment, and no other business could be schedule.  Is a motion necessary at that second meeting since the question is identical?

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A second, confirming vote would be not only unnecessary, but out of order under RONR. If, as you say, your bylaws require it, then that is what you must do. Whether a new motion is required or not, if I were chair, I would assume the motion (i.e., put the quation to  a vote without a formal motion) unless someone objects..But it really is up to your organziation to decide how to implement this unusual (and it seems to me, rather strange) requirement.

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If you don't make a motion to confirm the original vote how do you plan on confirming the original vote?

 

A motion is simply a proposal that something is done. Surely someone at this second meeting will propose (i.e. make a motion) that the original vote be confirmed.

 

But just what are you "confirming"? Are you simply confirming that the original vote was accurate? That seems kinda silly. Or are you voting a second time (with perhaps different members present) on whether to amend the bylaws? Which makes (a little) more sense.

 

Edited to add: Unanimous consent, as suggested by Mr. Merritt, might be an option though, when it comes to amending bylaws, I think I'd prefer a vote.

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Unanimous consent, as suggested by Mr. Merritt, might be an option though, when it comes to amending bylaws, I think I'd prefer a vote.

I wasn't talking about unanimous consent to confirm, just to proceed to a vote without a formal motion being made. Although given that this is a confirmation of a previous action, UC in lieu of a vote might not be a bad idea. (Even better probably would be to amend the bylaws to get rid if the second vote requirement, unless there is some good reason for it that has not been disclosed.

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Ultimately, as this is not a 'standard' requirement, and seems unique to the organization, then it is up to the organization to decide how to proceed.

 

However, if the By-law clearly states that two votes at two separate meetings are required, then this is what must occur.  If the By-law is clearly written, there is no exception unless the By-law allows for an exception.

 

In a way this situation does make sense when the first meeting is a 'regular' meeting and other issues are being discussed.  There may simply not always be time to do a thorough review of the amendment (members wanting to deal with other issues too, and not wanting to spend all night at a meeting.)  But at a special meeting there are no other issues so members have longer to decide.

 

If the above is the rationale for the confirming votes, I would suggest amending the By-law to require a motion to refer an amendment to a Committee (i.e. the By-law and Rules Committee), or just change the By-law to create a Standing Committee on By-laws and require all amendments to the By-laws to be passed through the Committee first.  I know of other organizations that do this effectively.

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