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Bryce Frederick

Elections by ballot: suspending the rules, majority vs. plurality

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4 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

No

Why not?  Or, rather, why isn't the answer "that's a matter of bylaw interpretation," as I thought you said in your previous reply.

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12 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Why not?  Or, rather, why isn't the answer "that's a matter of bylaw interpretation," as I thought you said in your previous reply.

Because there is a difference between a majority vote and a vote of a majority of the members present.

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3 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Because there is a difference between a majority vote and a vote of a majority of the members present.

Okay, got it now.  Thanks.

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23 hours ago, jstackpo said:

Or more exactly, 11 positions to fill, 30 (or more) candidates, and 300 (!) voters.  With those numbers, voice elections (unless there was overwhelming agreement on some candidates) would be dubious at best.

Thanks. It will be ballot voting, and I'm only guessing on the number of candidates. 

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22 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Returning to the questions originally asked:

1.  I think this rule requiring the vote of a majority of the members present to "decide any question" is a rule in the nature of a rule of order, and therefore (as far as the rules in RONR are concerned) is a rule which can be suspended by a two-thirds vote. Your association will have to decide for itself the question as to whether or not this rule in the bylaws applies to parliamentary motions such as a motion to Suspend the Rules.

2.  If only a majority vote was required to elect the 11 committee members, I don't think that there would necessarily be a problem. However, since your rule requires the vote of a majority of the members present, abstentions will make it more difficult. As previously noted, I think that, if the rules in RONR are controlling, this vote requirement in your bylaws can be suspended so as to allow for the election of committee members by either a majority or plurality vote. 

Thanks for your help. I'm still trying to get my head around all of this, but I trust the experts!

With as many potential nominees as we have, it would take many separate ballots (I think) to reach a majority for all 11 candidates. So even though it goes a bit against sense of what seems right, suspending the rules and going with a plurality vote ought to go better (or at least more easily).

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3 hours ago, Bryce Frederick said:

With as many potential nominees as we have, it would take many separate ballots (I think) to reach a majority for all 11 candidates. So even though it goes a bit against sense of what seems right, suspending the rules and going with a plurality vote ought to go better (or at least more easily).

Hold on a second.  I thought it had been made clear that nothing short of a bylaws amendment can reduce the threshold for election to anything below a majority.  Suspension of the rules cannot achieve this.

Edited by Gary Novosielski

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13 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Hold on a second.  I thought it had been made clear that nothing short of a bylaws amendment can reduce the threshold for election to anything below a majority.  Suspension of the rules cannot achieve this.

 

1 minute ago, jstackpo said:

Agreed - page 405, lines 2-6

I disagree. We're not dealing here with an election of officers.

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Although likely too late for this year, because it would require a by laws change,, I may have a solution.

I was in a political organization that has to send a large number of delegates to a state convention. The number changes every time but is usually around 23. The solution was slates of candidates. There is a candidates committee that assembles one slate, and then any member can propose a slate from the floor. All slates have to be for the full number of delegates. The only odd thing is that an individual candidate can be on multiple slates. I once found myself on two opposing slates, so I knew I was elected either way.

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

 

I disagree. We're not dealing here with an election of officers.

Yes--a committee and not officers. I'm basing my current view that it's okay based Daniel H. Honemann's earlier comments about page 17, lines 19-27 and some other posts. 

Thanks!

 

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On 1/13/2018 at 1:44 PM, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Because there is a difference between a majority vote and a vote of a majority of the members present.

So being pedantic, wouldn't the motion to suspend the rules only require a majority of those present, not a 2/3 vote?

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9 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Hold on a second.  I thought it had been made clear that nothing short of a bylaws amendment can reduce the threshold for election to anything below a majority.  Suspension of the rules cannot achieve this.

For officers, yes.  I think these are members of a committee; it is a different standard. 

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4 hours ago, SaintCad said:

So being pedantic, wouldn't the motion to suspend the rules only require a majority of those present, not a 2/3 vote?

I think that would be correct, unless the bylaws say something differently, i.e. exempts the ability to suspend the rules from the majority of members present requirements.

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4 hours ago, SaintCad said:

So being pedantic, wouldn't the motion to suspend the rules only require a majority of those present, not a 2/3 vote?

I would tend to think so, but ultimately whether that bylaw applies to parliamentary motions is a matter of bylaw interpretation, I think.

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2 hours ago, Joshua Katz said:

I would tend to think so, but ultimately whether that bylaw applies to parliamentary motions is a matter of bylaw interpretation, I think.

I agree. I personally do not believe that bylaw provision was intended to apply to parliamentary motions, but it isn't my decision to make.

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9 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I agree. I personally do not believe that bylaw provision was intended to apply to parliamentary motions, but it isn't my decision to make.

While that might have been the intent that this rule not apply to parliamentary motions, that is the effect.

A statement in the bylaws that is clear, e.g., "All motions shall be adopted by a vote of a majority of the members present," does not leave room for interpretation. 

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4 hours ago, J. J. said:

While that might have been the intent that this rule not apply to parliamentary motions, that is the effect.

A statement in the bylaws that is clear, e.g., "All motions shall be adopted by a vote of a majority of the members present," does not leave room for interpretation. 

The relevant language in these bylaws, we are told, is as follows:

"The vote of a majority of the members present in person at any annual or special meeting and entitled to vote thereat shall decide any question brought before such meeting . . ."

When this is read in context, it may or may not be entirely clear that it is to apply to parliamentary motions as well as to main motions. As has previously been noted quite a number of times in this thread, those of us here on the Forum who haven't read these bylaws in their entirely, and who know virtually nothing about this organization, are simply not in a position to render an informed and reliable opinion concerning the matter. 

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1 minute ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

The relevant language in these bylaws, we are told, is as follows:

"The vote of a majority of the members present in person at any annual or special meeting and entitled to vote thereat shall decide any question brought before such meeting . . ."

When this is read in context, it may or may not be entirely clear that it is to apply to parliamentary motions as well as to main motions. As has previously been noted quite a number of times in this thread, those of us here on the Forum who haven't read these bylaws in their entirely, and who know virtually nothing about this organization, are simply not in a position to render an informed and reliable opinion concerning the matter. 

 

My answer deals with the "intent" of the rule, as opposed to the plain meaning.  A rule, given as an example,  that says, "All motions shall be adopted by a vote of a majority of the members present," and nothing else, means just that, even if the intent was to exempt motions that RONR states require a different standard* (p. 588,  ll. 26-28). 

 

*which is all of them. 

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