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When does membership voting rights end?


Guest Debbie W

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Our organization year runs from September 1st through August 31st of the following year. Although someone might choose to pay their dues early, officially the dues do not have to be paid until after the September 1st date. The BOD's have called for a general membership meeting to be held in August (2014) to handle new business for the September 2014 - August 2015 membership year.

My question is: If my membership is paid for the CURRENT 2013-2014 term year and the meeting is being held DURING this term year, although for business relating to the following 2014-2015 term, do I still get a vote?

The organization is informing members that they MUST pay their dues for the 2014-2015 year PRIOR to being allowed to vote on the proposed changes for the upcoming (14-15) competition year.

Thank you for your time.

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I doubt there is a RONR citation that is going to point out the obvious fact that if the year is from 9/1-8/31 and the meeting is in August the members would still retain their rights.  Even if you wanted to support their position members don't lose any rights even if they are in arrears with their dues unless they bylaws say so (RONR p. 406 ll. 25-30).

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Timothy and Chris. Thank you both for your time and replies. They gave me an idea of what "officially" could be read into things.

 

Please bear in mind that you might have to vigorously assert, and defend, your membership rights, and the membership rights of everyone else who is still a member as of the time the meeting occurs.

 

You might prepare yourself by looking up the powerful motions of Raising a Point of Order, to rectify a violation of the rules, and to Appeal the chair's ruling, if he rules against your point of order (if you don't know about them already).

 

You might also contact your fellow members before the meeting, making sure that they do recognize that their membership rights are full and valid as long as their memberships are, and no one can take that away from them.  (Unless you let them get away with it..)

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  • 2 weeks later...

 Even if you wanted to support their position members don't lose any rights even if they are in arrears with their dues unless they bylaws say so (RONR p. 406 ll. 25-30).

 

I know that guest Debbie's meeting has probably already taken place, but for the benefit of others facing a similar situation, RONR provides in one other place that members do not lose voting rights just because their dues are delinquent.  The footnote on page 6 provides that "Members in good standing are those whose rights as members of the assembly are not under suspension as a consequence of disciplinary proceedings or by operation of some specific provision in the bylaws.  A member may thus be in good standing even if in arrears in payment of dues. . . .".  (Emphasis added). 

 

It is a common misconception that a member is not in good standing and loses his or her voting rights if delinquent in payment of the dues.  That is not true unless the bylaws contain a provision specifically suspending a member's rights if delinquent in the payment of dues.  It is common for organizations to provide a grace period for payment of dues, after which the member is dropped from the rolls or has his or her voting rights suspended.  Check your bylaws. That's where you will find it.

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