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Electronic Voting


Guest Jason F.

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Guest Jason F.

My organization is looking to change their structure/constitution/bylaws.  Our governing document does not address electronic votes. 

 

When we are meeting in person the organization requires 51% of the membership present in order to vote and 2/3 of that group to pass a change like this.  They are going to do an electronic vote and say that 2/3 of the votes need to be in the affirmative, with no regard to the number of votes cast.  If five members vote out of the 150 members, and three vote in the affirmative, the changes will pass.  This does not seem correct to me.

 

Is there anything that specifically addresses this?

 

Thanks in advance.

Jason

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Unless your bylaws or special rules say otherwise, the standard vote threshold is a "majority of the votes cast".  An abstention is not a vote.  Neither, of course, are those who don't vote.  Regardless of how many members you have or how many show up at a meeting, a vote of 1-0 is a majority of the votes cast.

 

The same rule applies when calculating whether you have a two-thirds vote:  It is at least two-thirds of the votes cast (excluding blanks and abstentions).

 

If you want to base the vote threshold on the total membership or the number of members present, you must say so in your bylaws or special rules of order.

 

Edited to add:  Are you sure that your bylaws say a vote of "51% of the members present"?   That language appears sometimes, but it is not standard.  A majority is simply "more than half", not 51 %.  It is more common for bylaws to call for a "majority", not 51 %.  Some further define what the majority vote shall be based on (such as members present and voting, members present, or of the entire membership). 

 

A majority of 150 is 76, but 51% of 150 is 77.

Edited by Richard Brown
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"When we are meeting in person the organization requires 51% of the membership present in order to vote and 2/3 of that group to pass a change like this."

 

 

Although definitely open to interpretation by the organization's membership, this statement seems to indicate that they are not using RONR's standard voting definition.

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My organization is looking to change their structure/constitution/bylaws.  Our governing document does not address electronic votes. 

 

They are going to do an electronic vote 

 

If by an "electronic vote" you mean an absentee vote, you can't do it until you amend your bylaws. Or are you asking about amending your bylaws (at an "in person") meeting in order to permit absentee (e.g. electronic) voting later?

 

If you are amending your bylaws you can establish whatever voting requirements you want.

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"When we are meeting in person the organization requires 51% of the membership present in order to vote and 2/3 of that group to pass a change like this."

 

 

Although definitely open to interpretation by the organization's membership, this statement seems to indicate that they are not using RONR's standard voting definition.

 

Unfortunately, RONR is listed in our bylaws of how we are suppose to run things, but they use it "loosely" I have been told.

 

Thanks all for your feedback.

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If five members vote out of the 150 members, and three vote in the affirmative, the changes will pass.  This does not seem correct to me.

 

 Maybe it will help if you look at it that 145 members don't give a hoot either way, it might seem more palatable.

(with due regard for the fact that 3-2 is not 2/3 as Mr Brown pointed out above)

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