Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums
Guest Steve

Failed to use secret ballot to expel member

Recommended Posts

Guest Steve

Hi everyone,

Our bylaws require that for us to expel a member, the vote must be by secret ballot at a regular meeting of our Board of Directors. At our last regular meeting, we expelled a member, but did not do so via secret ballot. The error was not caught until after the meeting.  Our bylaws also require that except in cases of a secret ballot, the minutes should record how each board member voted.

If this were not a disciplinary matter, I'd advise the chair that since no one raised a point of order at the time, the vote stands. However, since this IS a disciplinary matter, we want to be squeaky clean.  So:

Does the error invalidate the vote? In other words, is the person still a member?

If the vote is not valid, does it get recorded in the minutes? If so, how? 

Thank you for your thoughts and advice!

-Steve

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it's a bylaw compliance issue, a point of order is timely so long as the breach remains.  To me, that seems to mean so long as the member remains expelled, so I believe a point of order can be raised.  But my betters may disagree, stay tuned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

If it's a bylaw compliance issue, a point of order is timely so long as the breach remains.  To me, that seems to mean so long as the member remains expelled, so I believe a point of order can be raised.  But my betters may disagree, stay tuned.

Well, I don't consider myself your "better" but I also don't disagree. 😉. 

Edited to add: I believe RONR is pretty clear that a bylaw requirement of a ballot vote cannot be waived.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Edited to add: I believe RONR is pretty clear that a bylaw requirement of a ballot vote cannot be waived.

It's very clear:  "A rule in the bylaws requiring that a vote—such as, for example, on the election of officers—be taken by (secret) ballot cannot be suspended, however, unless the bylaws so provide (see also Voting by Ballot, pp. 412–13). "  RONR (11th ed.), p. 263.    While the citation notes, as an example, an election, it applies any time a vote by ballot is required by the bylaws.

Edited by George Mervosh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Steve

Thanks for all the quick answers!  To be clear, we did not purposely try to get around the requirement ( by suspending the rules or otherwise). It was totally an oversight/mistake by an inexperienced board that we are now trying to correct without doing more parliamentary damage, so to speak.

 

What I think I am hearing is that since the bylaws require a secret ballot, the fact that we did not do it that way makes the vote “invalid,” and the individual is still technically a member.  We can certianly address this the correct way at our next regular board meeting. So next question is, how would this mistake get recorded in the minutes, if at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Guest Steve said:

So next question is, how would this mistake get recorded in the minutes, if at all?

"At all"??!?  Yes, of course. It happened.

Record it exactly how it was done -- however wrongly.

Then, in the minutes of the meeting at which you correct the action (i. e., and also e.g, for others, as soon as possible), you jump up and down about it.  Also nothing prohibits your organization from making a marginal note at the minutes of the meeting when you didn't vote by secret ballot.  I'm leaving something out so that my betters (the people who like the horses I recommend) have something to add besides rephrasing what I said (grump, gripe).

Your pal,

Gary c Tesser

Edited by Gary c Tesser
finish the answer, but I wanted to get in first, since I hardly get to at all lately.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Guest Steve said:

What I think I am hearing is that since the bylaws require a secret ballot, the fact that we did not do it that way makes the vote “invalid,” and the individual is still technically a member.

The vote is invalid, but the error won’t fix itself. The chair should rule at the next meeting that the vote is null and void.

41 minutes ago, Guest Steve said:

So next question is, how would this mistake get recorded in the minutes, if at all?

Exactly how it occurred. The minutes are a record of what was done, whether or not what was done was proper.

The minutes of your next meeting will include the chair’s ruling on this subject, along with his reasoning.

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...