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Latest Crazyness: Must say "Yes", not "Aye"


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A meeting attendee I was chatting with just now said there was a big fight at a recent meeting he was at with someone claiming that RONR now requires (it doesn't of course) that one vote affirmative by saying "Yes", not "Aye".

 

Anybody else run into this one?

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A meeting attendee I was chatting with just now said there was a big fight at a recent meeting he was at with someone claiming that RONR now requires (it doesn't of course) that one vote affirmative by saying "Yes", not "Aye".

 

Anybody else run into this one?

 

Nope.

 

Although I see plenty of assemblies which insist on saying "Nay" instead of "No."

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While there is certainly nothing wrong with an organization creating its own rules regarding what constitutes a 'yes' vote or a 'no' vote, RONR would not support any specific version.  The last time I check RONR would support anything that was clear - i.e. 'yes', 'aye', 'agree', etc. to support a motion.  I might be wrong here, but as long as a member's vote is clear, I don't think RONR has an issue.

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While there is certainly nothing wrong with an organization creating its own rules regarding what constitutes a 'yes' vote or a 'no' vote, RONR would not support any specific version.  The last time I check RONR would support anything that was clear - i.e. 'yes', 'aye', 'agree', etc. to support a motion.  I might be wrong here, but as long as a member's vote is clear, I don't think RONR has an issue.

 

RONR is quite clear that the appropriate words to use when voting are "aye" for voting in the affirmative and "no" for voting in the negative.

 

Nonetheless, a member's vote should be counted so long as the intent is clear, unless the society has adopted rules specifically providing otherwise.

Edited by Josh Martin
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The Everything Robert's Rules Book: All you need to organize and conduct a meeting (Everything®) by Barbara Campbell (Aug 18, 2004) on p. 244, in the Appendix Glossary of Terms, says "aye: A 'yes' vote is sometimes referred to in discussion as an 'aye' vote."  But on p. 235 it says: "...vote by saying, 'All those in favor of [John Smith] for president, say "aye."'"

Robert's Rules of Order 2nd edition p. 96, on voting by Yeas and Nays (roll call), says "each member, as his name is called, rises and answers *yes* or *no*, and the clerk notes his answer."

RONR, 11th ed., p. 420, l. 22-25 speaks of a signed ballot where "the voter writes 'yes' or 'no' on the ballot and signs it."

RONR, 11th ed., p. 420, l. 32ff gives and example for a roll call vote: "As many as are in favor...will, as their names are called, answer aye [or 'yes,' or 'yea']; those opposed will no [or 'nay'].

See also my article in AIP's Parliamentary Journal, January 2010: History of "Aye" and "No".  Or ask me for a copy.
 

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