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Guest Jack

Can members vote up/down one position without nominating another member?

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Guest Jack

We have a nomination for an officer position that will generate discussion as this person is controversial. The election process clearly states there is to be no discussion of each officer position and you cannot vote against a person without voting for someone else. 

I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? 

Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor.  So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for.  However, no one wants to nominate anyone else.  If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?

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In answer to the second question, the ballot contains the nominee's name and a blank for a write in candidate.  Blank ballots or dilatory ones such as "None of the above" or "Not him" are not counted when determining a majority vote.

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As to your first question, nominations are considered debatable by RONR. Therefore discussion of the merits of candidates - but never to the extent of personal attacks or denigration of character - is permitted under the rules in RONR. However, you organization appears to have rules of some form to the contrary. I'm not sure where "the election process" fits into the hierarchy of rules as defined by RONR, but if this prohibition of discussion is not in your bylaws, it would be possible to suspend that rule and allow discussion of the nominees.

Saint Cad has answered your second question. With a ballot vote, there should always be space for write-in candidates, unless your rules prevent write-in votes.

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1 hour ago, Guest Jack said:

I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? 

 

I don't know; it appears in your organization's rules.  Where in your rules does it appear?

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2 hours ago, Bruce Lages said:

As to your first question, nominations are considered debatable by RONR. Therefore discussion of the merits of candidates - but never to the extent of personal attacks or denigration of character - is permitted under the rules in RONR. However, you organization appears to have rules of some form to the contrary. I'm not sure where "the election process" fits into the hierarchy of rules as defined by RONR, but if this prohibition of discussion is not in your bylaws, it would be possible to suspend that rule and allow discussion of the nominees. . . . (Emphasis added)

1

It seems to me that a rule prohibiting "debate" or discussion on nominees, even if contained in the bylaws, is in the nature of a rule of order and could be suspended by a two-thirds vote.

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4 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

We have a nomination for an officer position that will generate discussion as this person is controversial. The election process clearly states there is to be no discussion of each officer position and you cannot vote against a person without voting for someone else. 

I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? 

I don’t know. Your organization adopted this rule. Ask them.

4 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor.  So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for.  However, no one wants to nominate anyone else.  If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?

If they refuse to nominate someone else, the only other option would be to write-in someone else. The bottom line is that you have to elect somebody. So the only way to not vote for this person is to vote for someone else.

Your organization didn’t make up that rule. That’s in RONR as well.

1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

It seems to me that a rule prohibiting "debate" or discussion on nominees, even if contained in the bylaws, is in the nature of a rule of order and could be suspended by a two-thirds vote.

I agree.

Edited by Josh Martin

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8 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor.  So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for.  However, no one wants to nominate anyone else.  If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?

Well, here's the thing.  There's a job to be done, and there's someone willing to do it.  If you don't want them to be given the job, you're left with: who will do it?  So choose that person, or volunteer.  If there's only one person under consideration, and the job must be filled, it doesn't matter how much you don't want them, you're out of options.

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15 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

We have a nomination for an officer position that will generate discussion as this person is controversial. The election process clearly states there is to be no discussion of each officer position and you cannot vote against a person without voting for someone else. 

I have two questions: first, why can't we have discussion? 

Second, no one will nominate anyone else from the floor.  So we have one person nominated that some people won't vote for.  However, no one wants to nominate anyone else.  If board members are not allowed to vote a "yes or no" on a position how do they vote (or not vote) on this individual?

A Yes/No vote on elected office is not permitted.

If they don't want this person, their only option (other than abstaining) is to nominate or write in someone else--someone eligible to hold the office.  Voting for Mickey Mouse won't help.

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Guest Jack

If no one nominates anyone else how does the chair ask for the vote?  If the board must vote for a person but they don't want to vote for a specific individual, how do they vote "no"?

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If your bylaws require that the vote be by balloe, a ballot vote must be conducted even if there is only one nominee.  Unless prohibited by your bylaws, members may still write in the names of other persons who they prefer to elect.

If a ballot vote is not required and the assembly has not ordered a ballot vote by motion, and there is only one nominee, the president simply declares the lone nominee elected.

From page 441-442 of RONR"If the bylaws require the election of officers to be by ballot and there is only one nominee for an office, the ballot must nevertheless be taken for that office unless the bylaws provide for an exception in such a case. In the absence of the [page 442] latter provision, members still have the right, on the ballot, to cast "write-in votes" for other eligible persons."

From page 443:  "If only one person is nominated and the bylaws do not require that a ballot vote be taken, the chair, after ensuring that, in fact, no members present wish to make further nominations, simply declares that the nominee is elected, thus effecting the election by unanimous consent or "acclamation."
 

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3 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

If no one nominates anyone else how does the chair ask for the vote?

A ballot vote would be taken, if the bylaws require it or if the assembly orders it. Members vote for the candidate of their choice on the ballot. Write-in votes are allowed.

3 hours ago, Guest Jack said:

If the board must vote for a person but they don't want to vote for a specific individual, how do they vote "no"?

They don’t. When the bylaws provide that certain officers shall be elected, you have to elect someone to those offices. You can’t vote “no.” If you don’t like the person who is running, the only way to vote against him is to vote for someone else.

Members could turn in a blank ballot if they wish, but this is treated as an abstention, not as a “no” vote, and will not be counted in determining the result.

Edited by Josh Martin

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