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phopkinsiii

Elections and Order of Business

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We have a club election coming up and I have a question about the order of business. Our chairman plans to hold the elections at the beginning of the meeting during the refreshments. I'm concerned about the distractions and uncontrolled chaos around the secretary's table that would make it hard to control ballots and verify eligible voters. We vote by written ballot;nominations were made at the last meeting.

Two questions:

Is it proper or advisable to hold elections in this environment?

Absent a published agenda which our chairman has steadfastly refused to produce, does RONR offer any guidance as to what point in a meeting elections should be held: during new business, unfinished business, etc.? We do have an order of business published in our Standing Rules of Order which I pasted verbatim below.

Thanks.

Refreshments and Roundtable Discussion (6:00 – 6:30)

Educational Program/Speaker 6:30-7:15

Call to Order (President or Presiding Officer) 7:15-7:20

Invocation 7:15-7:20

Pledge of Allegiance 7:15-7:20

Recognition of New Members and Guests (President) 7:20-7:30

Reading of the minutes (Secretary) 7:30-7:35

Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer) 7:35-7:40

Committee Reports (Committee Chairs) 7:40-7:50

Break 7:50-8:00

Board of Directors Reports (President) 8:00-8:10

Other Officers Reports 8:10-8:20

Unfinished Business 8:20-8:45

New Business 8:45-9:00

Adjournment (President) 9:00

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You can conduct the election pretty much at any time during the meeting that the assembly desires (or that the chair desires if there is no objection).

When the bylaws call for elections at a specific meeting, the elections become a special order of business for that meeting. With an order of business (agenda) like yours that does not follow the standard order in RONR and has no place for special orders, RONR says on page 367 that they should be taken up prior to unfinished business.

Edited to add: I note that your order of business calls for refreshments prior to calling the meeting to order. if the elections are supposed to be conducted at this meeting, the meeting should be called to order prior to voting.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

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If this is a ballot vote, it is usually a good idea to hold it early in the meeting.  It might be advisable to set a time for the polls to be opened and closed and recess the meeting to serve refreshments and cast ballot votes. 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Balloting is official business and should not take place outside a business meeting without proper notice. I'd be pretty unhappy that I missed the election because I decided to skip the refreshments and chitchat before the established time of the call to order.

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10 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

Balloting is official business and should not take place outside a business meeting without proper notice. I'd be pretty unhappy that I missed the election because I decided to skip the refreshments and chitchat before the established time of the call to order.

The polls may be open at a specific time, set by the assemble, by majority vote.  The polls may be closed at a specific time, set by the assembly by a 2/3 vote.   The polls may be opened in a meeting and remain opened even if the meeting is not in session.  The polls may still remain open when the assembly returns to session. 

As noted, unless rules provide otherwise, that is in the control of the assembly.  If you are not there during the time that the polls are open, or the assembly declines to reopen the polls to permit you to vote, you have lost the opportunity to vote.

In other words, you snooze, you lose. 

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11 hours ago, J. J. said:

The polls may be open at a specific time, set by the assemble, by majority vote.  The polls may be closed at a specific time, set by the assembly by a 2/3 vote.   The polls may be opened in a meeting and remain opened even if the meeting is not in session.  The polls may still remain open when the assembly returns to session. 

As noted, unless rules provide otherwise, that is in the control of the assembly.  If you are not there during the time that the polls are open, or the assembly declines to reopen the polls to permit you to vote, you have lost the opportunity to vote.

In other words, you snooze, you lose. 

Sure, but this would still require previous notice so people don't show up at the normal starting time and discover the election is over, no?

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1 minute ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Sure, but this would still require previous notice so people don't show up at the normal starting time and discover the election is over, no?

It would have to be within the meeting, and if that order of business is used, so yes.  However, as the order of business does not not apply before the meeting is called order, there would be no problem with calling the meeting to order at 7:30 AM, having held off on the refreshments until some later point. 

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