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Bylaws Committee Chair


Guest Betty Thompson
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Some of our church bylaws, such as to adopt an amendment to a bylaw, require a vote by those "present and voting."  When voting on other motions (such as amending the amendment, waiving some standing rules, referring to the committee, or adjourning) is voting just by those present (unless specifically mentioned in the bylaws)?

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Our church Bylaws require a "present and voting" vote in four instances, including adopting amendments to the Bylaws.  For other votes (such as to set aside some standing rules, amend an amendment to the Bylaws, refer to committee, or to adjourn, as examples), where voting method is not specified, is the vote counted by members "present" or "present and voting"?

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2 hours ago, Guest Betty Thompson said:

Some of our church bylaws, such as to adopt an amendment to a bylaw, require a vote by those "present and voting."  When voting on other motions (such as amending the amendment, waiving some standing rules, referring to the committee, or adjourning) is voting just by those present (unless specifically mentioned in the bylaws)?

“Present and voting” is the default in RONR.

Edited by Josh Martin
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3 hours ago, Guest Betty Thompson said:

Some of our church bylaws, such as to adopt an amendment to a bylaw, require a vote by those "present and voting."  When voting on other motions (such as amending the amendment, waiving some standing rules, referring to the committee, or adjourning) is voting just by those present (unless specifically mentioned in the bylaws)?

No, whenever RONR uses the word majority without further conditions, it means majority of those present and voting.  Same for a 2/3 vote--it means at least 2/3 of those present and voting.

The effect of this language is that people who are present but abstain from voting have no effect on the result one way or the other.

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48 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

No, whenever RONR uses the word majority without further conditions, it means majority of those present and voting.  Same for a 2/3 vote--it means at least 2/3 of those present and voting.

The effect of this language is that people who are present but abstain from voting have no effect on the result one way or the other.

The word "vote" was left out of majority vote.

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4 hours ago, Guest Betty Thompson said:

Some of our church bylaws, such as to adopt an amendment to a bylaw, require a vote by those "present and voting."  When voting on other motions (such as amending the amendment, waiving some standing rules, referring to the committee, or adjourning) is voting just by those present (unless specifically mentioned in the bylaws)?

I agree with the other responses but will point out that the vote required in various situations might be dictated by the bylaws.  If the bylaws require a certain vote threshold based on members present or of the entire membership, that would supersede the RONR default.

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On 10/23/2017 at 8:21 PM, Hieu H. Huynh said:

The word "vote" was left out of majority vote.

Good catch!  Thanks.

Edited to add:   Grrrrr, what fresh hell is this?? It is now impossible for me to edit my own message to fix the error!  This blurs the line between bugs and features, for sure.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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