Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
ciat_conlin

Combination Show of Hands/Nay Voting System?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I apologize if this is something rather obvious, but I can't quite seem to find it anything like this in RR. I sit on a student government body in which the prompt is essentially "All those in favor raise your hand, all those opposed say "No."" This seems a bit of a mishmash of procedures, as well as having a tendency to confuse things on close votes, made worse by the fact that our chair refuses to call roll calls. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Raise a point of order that the standard voting method for motions requiring a majority vote to adopt is a voice vote.  If he's uncertain of the result of the voice vote he or another member (if they feel it's too close) can demand a division (a rising vote).  Raising hands is fine for a very small body so I don't know if it's appropriate ever in your group.  A roll call shouldn't be used unless your rules require it or a motion to take one is adopted.  But mixing two different methods isn't a procedure you'll find in RONR.

Edited by George Mervosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are you the only member that has this concern?  If so, you may need to accept this is a custom that the others have no issue with but be prepared to call for a "division" (RONR pp. 51-52) if the results of the vote are inconclusive.  If you aren't the only member concerned with this you all might want to approach the Chair informally and point out that the voting procedure can be a bit confusing and request the vote be taken by one method or the other.  If this doesn't get the Chair to change his ways; after the next time he holds a vote like that you can raise a parliamentary inquiry (RONR pp. 293-294) as to whether the previous vote should have been held by a voice vote or by a raising of hands.  Hopefully this (more formal) approach will get his attention and he will hold further votes by one method or the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, I am assuming that your parliamentary authority is the most recent edition of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR).

Voting by a show of hands is only for "very small" assemblies, and even then only to be used "if no member objects" (RONR pg. 409, ll. 32-36).  So, if you are a member and you object, that method cannot be used.

The usual form of voting on any matter that requires a majority vote is by voice, and the question should be put as follows: "The question is on the adoption of the following resolution: [reading it]. Those in favor of adopting the resolution that was just read, say aye. ... Those opposed, say no." If the resolution has been read very recently and there appears to be no desire to have it read again, the chair may use this form: "The question is on the adoption of the resolution last read. Those in favor of adopting the resolution, say aye. ... Those opposed, say no" (RONR pg. 45, ll. 31-34).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your answers! I checked over the constitution for the body and votes are supposed to be taken by show of hands...the combination voice vote-hands procedure has only been in place with the newest chair. We're roughly 20 members in the assembly, so they may opt just to change to the voice vote, but the combination always seemed a bit odd to me. I'll bring it up with them next week; going to suggest they inform members of the possibility of calling "Division" on close votes as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, ciat_conlin said:

Thank you for your answers! I checked over the constitution for the body and votes are supposed to be taken by show of hands...the combination voice vote-hands procedure has only been in place with the newest chair. We're roughly 20 members in the assembly, so they may opt just to change to the voice vote, but the combination always seemed a bit odd to me. I'll bring it up with them next week; going to suggest they inform members of the possibility of calling "Division" on close votes as well.

Maybe you had better quote exactly what your constitution says about votes being taken by show of hands.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Maybe you had better quote exactly what your constitution says about votes being taken by show of hands.  :)

Boy, I'm glad he (or she:  isn't "ciat" the Celtic word for "gladiola"? I left my Celtic-English / English-Celtic dictionary in the Consultation Room of my winter home in Tierra del Fuego) or she was so accommodating.

(They say one way to defer mental decay accompanying advancing age is mental exercise, and one recommended specific is learning a new language:  I'm trying out Sarcasm.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Gary c Tesser said:

(They say one way to defer mental decay accompanying advancing age is mental exercise, and one recommended specific is learning a new language:  I'm trying out Sarcasm.)

On what planet is Sarcasm a new language for you? Oh, wait -- that was the sarcastic part. Time to bone up on my metalanguage skills.

(Also, you're supposed to be postponing mental decay, not deferring it: "The expression 'to defer' should be avoided, since it is often subject to vague usage." [RONR, 11th ed., pp. 179-180.] I would highly recommend indefinite postponement, if at all possible. :-))*

* That's not a double-chin-with-unruly beard emoticon; it's an ordinary smiley followed by a closing parenthesis followed by a footnote marker, a typographical combination which ought to be familiar to all civilized writers in the Internet age but which has, sadly, been oft neglected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...