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I wondered what Robert's Rules has to say about meeting and voting by email. I found this link (http://ualr.edu/jdberleant/papers/email-meetings.html#ref1), which aligns with my previous experience on boards and committees, but the rulesonline.com site doesn't seem to have any mention of email.

 

In my particular situation, I attended our homeowners association board meeting to ask for clarification on one of their covenants. They talked like they would handle it via email to expedite matters, which I thought would mean a formal discussion in the minutes and a vote via email. Instead, they discussed it informally and I just got a reply from the president with what I assume was the consensus (no vote was made). The president is telling me now that there's no voting via email. I also don't know if they will show me the email thread, so at this point the process has not been transparent or open. I asked to see their emails on the topic but so far I've not been given them. I thought if you had a email discussion with a quorum of members, then it was to be available to review.

 

Jeremy

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You can't conduct business via email unless your bylaws specifically provides for it (RONR p. 98).  However, even if email voting was permitted for the Board you wouldn't have any right (under RONR) to see the email thread unless you are a Board member.  Of course, your rules may grant you rights RONR doesn't.

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If you would like to see some up-to-date rules for e-mail "meetings" that can include voting, click on this puppy: <<  https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/88311344/E-Meetings%202012.docx >>

 

Note: these are not RONR's rules but serve to show how well RONR can work in an e-mail context,  with just a little tweaking.  It is quite remarkable how well RONR can "fit" in to an electronic context.

 

And click here, too.

 

(Dropbox works well, too.)

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I wondered what Robert's Rules has to say about meeting and voting by email.

 

RONR also says this for groups that conduct business that way:

 

"A group that attempts to conduct the deliberative process in writing—such as by postal mail, electronic mail (e-mail), or facsimile transmission (fax)—does not constitute a deliberative assembly. When making decisions by such means, many situations unprecedented in parliamentary law will arise, and many of its rules and customs will not be applicable (see also pp. 97–99)."  RONR (11th ed.), p.1 fn.

 

Your group seems to have avoided that pitfall.

 

The president is telling me now that there's no voting via email.

Edited by George Mervosh
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I thought if you had a email discussion with a quorum of members, then it was to be available to review.

 

The quorum refers to the number of members who must be present at a meeting in order for any substantive business to be conducted. The exchange of e-mail messages among board members does not constitute a meeting of the board (so the word "quorum" doesn't apply) and nothing in RONR gives anyone the right to view those messages.

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I thought if you had a email discussion with a quorum of members, then it was to be available to review.

As Mr. Guest pointed out in his post above, there is no such rule in RONR.  You might be thinking of public bodies which might be subject to open  meetings (sunshine) laws.

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In California as well as many other states, homeowners associations are subject to sunshine laws as well including email meetings where a quorum of board members discuss an item of business.

 

What transforms the exchange of e-mail among individual board members into an "e-mail meeting"?

 

(Note: this is a rhetorical question, outside the scope of this forum.)

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  • 4 years later...
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1 hour ago, Guest Alejgia said:

Are motions voted by email still not allowed unless their use is specifically allowed in the bylaws?

That is correct. They are still not allowed unless their use is specifically allowed in the bylaws or applicable law or regulation.

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