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Guest Sidney R.

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Guest Sidney R.

If a board convenes a properly called telephonic meeting (quorum not an issue) and determines during that meeting that there will be action requiring a vote and that the vote will take place by accessing and submitting an electronic ballot at the conclusion of the call (and through the weekend), then if a member has not submitted a ballot (voted) has that member abstained from the vote? Or is something more affirmative required by that member to record an abstention? If not abstention, then how is it recognized?
 

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56 minutes ago, Guest Sidney R. said:

If a board convenes a properly called telephonic meeting (quorum not an issue) and determines during that meeting that there will be action requiring a vote and that the vote will take place by accessing and submitting an electronic ballot at the conclusion of the call (and through the weekend), then if a member has not submitted a ballot (voted) has that member abstained from the vote? Or is something more affirmative required by that member to record an abstention? If not abstention, then how is it recognized?
 

Someone who quietly fails to vote has abstained from voting just as surely as (albeit more decorously than) someone who jumps up and down and yells "I ABSTAIN!".

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Guest Sidney R.

Very helpful. Thank you. So do I need to verify that the electronic ballot was received to properly and finally note abstention? Is there such thing as vote not cast because board member did not participate? And is that different from abstention?

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1 hour ago, Guest Sidney R. said:

Very helpful. Thank you. So do I need to verify that the electronic ballot was received to properly and finally note abstention? Is there such thing as vote not cast because board member did not participate? And is that different from abstention?

RONR has no rules related specifically to electronic "ballots".   In my limited experience with electronic voting, the word "ballot" has no meaning.  

And if the party abstains from casting a vote, then you might not receive anything, so I'm not sure how you could verify that something that did not happen happened properly.  You could publish a list of members, showing who sent a transaction (ballot) and who did not.  But you should allow people who wish to abstain, but conceal the fact that they abstained, to be able to do so--the equivalent of casting a blank ballot. They would be appear as a Yes on the transaction list, but their abstention would not be counted as a vote.

We can only hope that whatever "electronic" voting system you use is secure and robust enough to meet the qualifications that one would expect in an election: Making sure that all qualified members may vote, that no non-members may vote, that no one may vote more than once, that all votes are properly recorded and transmitted with no possibility of hacking, tampering, or inadvertent loss or damage (at least not without being detected), that each member's vote is kept secret and not linked to their identity, and similar considerations that would apply to paper ballots. 

But we don't know.  We hope you know.

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3 hours ago, Guest Sidney R. said:

Is there such thing as vote not cast because board member did not participate?

And is that different from abstention?

Think of it this way.

***

• "Abstention" is the status of someone/everyone who took no action (when a vote was conducted) (and who could have voted).

• One need not say or do anything, in order to abstain.  Complete silence (when doing a voice vote) is okay. Complete disregard (when doing a written ballot) is okay. It is all "abstaining". No overt declaration is required, in order to abstain.

• Determining "who abstained" is done after the close of the voting period, by (a.) tallying up those who did vote, and (b.) applying logic ("Exclusive 'OR'" in Boolean terms) to a master roster of all eligible voters.

 

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11 hours ago, Guest Sidney R. said:

If a board convenes a properly called telephonic meeting (quorum not an issue) and determines during that meeting that there will be action requiring a vote and that the vote will take place by accessing and submitting an electronic ballot at the conclusion of the call (and through the weekend), then if a member has not submitted a ballot (voted) has that member abstained from the vote? Or is something more affirmative required by that member to record an abstention? If not abstention, then how is it recognized?
 

Do your bylaws permit this form of absentee voting and also permit board meetings to be held by telephone?

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8 hours ago, potzbie said:

• Determining "who abstained" is done after the close of the voting period, by (a.) tallying up those who did vote, and (b.) applying logic ("Exclusive 'OR'" in Boolean terms) to a master roster of all eligible voters.

I can only imagine how much we've all had a great desire to "apply logic to a master roll of all eligible voters" at the first opportunity, but I don't see what the "exclusive or" operation has to do with figuring out who has abstained from a vote.

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16 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

I can only imagine how much we've all had a great desire to "apply logic to a master roll of all eligible voters" at the first opportunity, but I don't see what the "exclusive or" operation has to do with figuring out who has abstained from a vote.

The result of the Boolean operation of exclusive or (XOR) is TRUE if one and only one of the two inputs is TRUE, and FALSE otherwise:

  • F xor F = F
  • F xor T = T
  • T xor F = T
  • T xor T = F

If you had a list A of members with a value of TRUE for each member who voted and FALSE for each member who did not, and you XOR that list with a list B of all members who were eligible to vote (presumably TRUE for all members), the resulting array of members C would have a value of TRUE only for those who did not vote, and FALSE for those who did--i.e., a list of those who abstained.

I would not be surprised if that dampened, to some extent, your desire to apply logic to a master roll of all eligible voters, possibly allowing an opportunity or two to slip by. :)

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