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Elected to 2 positions


Guest Sandy

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I was nominated for, and elected to, two positions on an executive board.  I will choose one per Robert's rules, but the question is: For the position I did not choose to take, does the person who received the second highest number of votes automatically assume the position?  I say "yes", but the president is treating is as a simple vacancy and feels that the board can just appoint someone to fill the other position. Is there a reference I can sight for her to settle this?

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I say "yes", but the president is treating is as a simple vacancy and feels that the board can just appoint someone to fill the other position.

 

Well, I'm afraid you're both mistaken.

 

The second-place finisher (who lost) doesn't get to win.

 

And the board doesn't get to fill the vacancy.

 

What you have is an incomplete election so you'll need to vote again. See p.440.

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I will choose one per Robert's rules . . .

Your rules may prohibit the same person from holding more than one office but RONR doesn't (though some combinations, such as president and vice-president or, less so, president and secretary, are problematic). In small societies it's not unusual for the same person to, for example, serve as both secretary and treasurer.

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If the election was held on a single combined ballot for multiple offices, one person cannot be elected to more than one office at a time.  If one candidate received a majority vote for more than one office, then Sandy is right--per RONR, the victor must choose one of the offices.  

 

Since a winning candidate for any office must receive a majority (more votes than all other candidates combined), it is mathematically impossible for the second-place candidate to also have received a majority, so the election for that office remains incomplete.  The mid-term vacancy-filling provision cannot be used, and the election must be completed for that office.

 

In the next round election, any eligible candidate may run, and nominations can be reopened.  The second-place candidate from the first round may well be elected this time, and, as Edgar Guest points out, OP Sandy may also run for that second office, perhaps winning that one as well (unless the bylaws do not permit holding more than one office at a time).

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Is there a reference I can sight for her to settle this?

 

Yes.

 

"When voting for multiple offices by a single ballot, the members are not able to take the result for one office into account when voting for another office. For this reason, a candidate is never deemed elected to more than one office by a single ballot unless the motion or rules governing the election specifically provide for such simultaneous election. When there is no such provision, a candidate who receives a majority for more than one office on a single ballot must, if present, choose which one of the offices he will accept; if he is absent, the assembly decides by vote the office to be assigned to him. The assembly then ballots again to fill the other office(s). (The assembly is free, however, to elect the same person to another office on a subsequent ballot, unless the bylaws prohibit a person from holding both offices simultaneously.)" (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 440)

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Thank  you all for your responses. A follow-up question, if I may.  I am trying to educated myself as well as resolve this issue. 

 

In regards to when it is OK to suspend Roberts Rules; Is this an situation an instance where it would be allowed to suspend Roberts Rules if 2/3 of the board voted in favor or do election procedures fall outside of the list of circumstances for which suspension is allowed?

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Thank  you all for your responses. A follow-up question, if I may.  I am trying to educated myself as well as resolve this issue. 

 

In regards to when it is OK to suspend Roberts Rules; Is this an situation an instance where it would be allowed to suspend Roberts Rules if 2/3 of the board voted in favor or do election procedures fall outside of the list of circumstances for which suspension is allowed?

 

If you are asking if a board can suspend the rules that prevent it from doing something it has no authority to do the answer is no, it can't.

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By the way, there are a number of facts missing that may well be significant.

 

You say you "will choose one" of the positions to which you were elected. What does this mean? Were you at the meeting? If so, did you make the choice then? In any case, what action did the assembly take, or did it just adjourn without completing the election? When's its next meeting?

 

What do your bylaws say about terms of office? Do officers serve only for a fixed term or is provision made for continuance in office until a successor is elected?  

 

Maybe there is a vacancy in the office not filled, and maybe there isn't.

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Thank  you all for your responses. A follow-up question, if I may.  I am trying to educated myself as well as resolve this issue. 

 

In regards to when it is OK to suspend Roberts Rules; Is this an situation an instance where it would be allowed to suspend Roberts Rules if 2/3 of the board voted in favor or do election procedures fall outside of the list of circumstances for which suspension is allowed?

 

They fall outside the list of things that  board has any authority over to begin with.  Election rules are the province of those doing the electing: the membership.  The board is not involved.

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