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Electronic voting between meetings


Guest Amy Maple

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Guest Amy Maple

I serve on a board that has been in the habit of voting via email between meetings. There is nothing in our bylaws to either allow or disallow this practice.

 

When I first inquired about whether or not this was allowed, I was told "We've done it before." Thankfully, another board member replied, "Yes, but that wasn't her question." Since then, we seem to rely more and more on voting via email. Since the decisions are all about money (or more specifically, spending it), I would like to see it addressed in the bylaws moving forward.

 

The topic will be on our next agenda.

 

I have my opinions on the pros and cons of this practice.

 

I am curious to get some feedback on how to best approach the matter.

 

Thank you.

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"It is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is limited to the members of an organization who are actually present at the time the vote is taken in a regular or properly called meeting, although it should be noted that a member need not be present when the question is put. Exceptions to this rule must be expressly stated in the bylaws."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 423

 

You'll need a lot of special rules as well.  The best approach is not to use it, then RONR has all of the rules covered for you.

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I serve on a board that has been in the habit of voting via email between meetings. There is nothing in our bylaws to either allow or disallow this practice.

 

When I first inquired about whether or not this was allowed, I was told "We've done it before." Thankfully, another board member replied, "Yes, but that wasn't her question." Since then, we seem to rely more and more on voting via email. Since the decisions are all about money (or more specifically, spending it), I would like to see it addressed in the bylaws moving forward.

 

The topic will be on our next agenda.

 

I have my opinions on the pros and cons of this practice.

 

I am curious to get some feedback on how to best approach the matter.

 

Thank you.

Have you actually raised a point of order against the practice?  It's a blatant violation of the rules in RONR, and since your bylaws are silent, your parliamentary authority applies.

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