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Early Officer Elections

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1 hour ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I am reading the hardcover 11th Edition dated 2011. What I am looking for is a citation that any action taken in violation of a rule which cannot be suspended creates a continuing breach. This case of early elections doesn't appear to fall under any of the timeliness exceptions listed on Page 251.

How about this response by Mr. Honemann:

 

6 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Mr. Gerber is right, and I was wrong.

I agree that a rule in the bylaws stating that elections are to be held at a meeting in April is not a rule that can be suspended at a meeting in February. “Rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended.” (RONR, 11th ed., p. 264, ll. 29-30)  (Emphasis added by RB)

My thanks to Mr. Gerber for reminding me of this, and my apologies to Guest Karen (and everyone else) for my having previously indicated otherwise.

 

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2 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I am reading the hardcover 11th Edition dated 2011. What I am looking for is a citation that any action taken in violation of a rule which cannot be suspended creates a continuing breach. This case of early elections doesn't appear to fall under any of the timeliness exceptions listed on Page 251.

The rule that prevents suspending a rule which has effect outside of the current session is a rule which protects absentees. Suspending a rule for the April meeting (which is essentially what was done) violates the rights of the members who would be present at the April meeting, and there presumably is at least some variation between the members present at the April meeting and the members present at the February meeting.

Additionally, one could argue that holding the election two months earlier than the time prescribed in the bylaws means that the election conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force - namely, the election that elected the current officers.

1 hour ago, Guest Karen said:

Is it true that the time set in the bylaws to conduct elections can be suspended?

No, at least not in the sense of holding the election earlier. When the election is pending at the proper time, the assembly may postpone the election in order to hold the election later.

1 hour ago, Guest Karen said:

What options, if any, does the assembly have to correct the matter, if it needs to be corrected?

It does need to be corrected. The election is null and void and there is a continuing breach. At the next meeting, a member of the assembly should raise a Point of Order that the election is null and void. The chair will rule on this point. If he rules it not well taken (meaning he disagrees), a member may Appeal from the decision of the chair. If this is seconded, the decision will be placed before the assembly. After it is determined that the election is null and void, the assembly will need to proceed to hold a new election.

1 hour ago, Guest Karen said:

Can there be a simple 2/3 vote to suspend the rule of when to hold the election?

No. If the assembly wishes to hold its elections in February instead of in April, it will need to amend the bylaws.

Edited by Josh Martin

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26 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

The rule that prevents suspending a rule which has effect outside of the current session is a rule which protects absentees. Suspending a rule for the April meeting (which is essentially what was done) violates the rights of the members who would be present at the April meeting, and there presumably is at least some variation between the members present at the April meeting and the members present at the February meeting.

Additionally, one could argue that holding the election two months earlier than the time prescribed in the bylaws means that the election conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force - namely, the election that elected the current officers.

No, at least not in the sense of holding the election earlier. When the election is pending at the proper time, the assembly may pow stpone the election in order to hold the election later.

It does need to be corrected. The election is null and void and there is a continuing breach. At the next meeting, a member of the assembly should raise a Point of Order that the election is null and void. The chair will rule on this point. If he rules it not well taken (meaning he disagrees), a member may Appeal from the decision of the chair. If this is seconded, the decision will be placed before the assembly. After it is determined that the election is null and void, the assembly will need to proceed to hold a new election.

No. If the assembly wishes to hold its elections in February instead of in April, it will need to amend the bylaws.

In view of my past performance in this conversation, I ought to leave it well enough alone, but I must say that I do not agree with what is said in the first paragraph above. I might agree with what is said in the second paragraph were it not for the fact that, based upon what has been posted, this does not appear to be the case. I gather that the officers elected in February will not take office until the time when they would if the election were held in April.

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1 hour ago, Guest Karen said:

Thisis good information, but I'm getting a bit lost in my direction.  I think the simple issue is whether or not the early election is valid.  Is it true that the time set in the bylaws to conduct elections can be suspended? What options, if any, does the assembly have to correct the matter, if it needs to be corrected?  Can there be a simple 2/3 vote to suspend the rule of when to hold the election?  If the election is valid, then where in RONR is the early election process supported.  The teen assembly will be meeting again soon.  

No, it appears that the rule cannot be suspended, except at the session to which it applies, which does you no good.

“Rules that have their application outside of the session which is in progress cannot be suspended.” [RONR, 11th ed., p. 264, ll. 29-30]

It appears that the only remedy is to hold the election at the meeting specified in the bylaws.  Once the election is pending, it could be postponed, but moving it earlier violates your rules.  

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16 hours ago, Shmuel Gerber said:

Are you looking in the Deluxe Edition?

 

4 hours ago, Guest Who's Coming to Dinner said:

I am reading the hardcover 11th Edition dated 2011. What I am looking for is a citation that any action taken in violation of a rule which cannot be suspended creates a continuing breach. This case of early elections doesn't appear to fall under any of the timeliness exceptions listed on Page 251.

I hope you realize that my reference to the Deluxe Edition, the contents of which are identical to the hardcover and paperback editions, was entirely facetious.

The book (all 11th editions) says, "The only exceptions to the rule that a point of order must be made at the time of the breach arise in connection with breaches that are of a continuing nature, in which case a point of order can be made at any time during the continuance of the breach. Instances of this kind occur when: ... (a-e) ... In all such cases, it is never too late to raise a point of order since any action so taken is null and void."

It says that a point of order concerning the listed actions can be raised at any time because such actions are null and void. It doesn't say that the actions listed are the only possible ones that give rise to a continuing breach. In my mind there is no question that when an assembly takes action that is null and void because it lacked the power and authority to take it, there is no time limit on when a point of order concerning the matter can be raised (during the continuance of the breach). And, in my opinion, conducting regular elections for officers at a meeting before the meeting prescribed for them in the bylaws is something that the assembly simply lacks the power to do.

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2 hours ago, Guest Karen said:

Thisis good information, but I'm getting a bit lost in my direction.  I think the simple issue is whether or not the early election is valid.  Is it true that the time set in the bylaws to conduct elections can be suspended? What options, if any, does the assembly have to correct the matter, if it needs to be corrected?  Can there be a simple 2/3 vote to suspend the rule of when to hold the election?  If the election is valid, then where in RONR is the early election process supported.  The teen assembly will be meeting again soon.  

Guest Karen, as I believe the recent posts by Mr. Gerber, Mr. Honemann, Mr. Martin and Mr. Novosielski have pointed out, and as I stated in the very first response to your initial question back 20 something posts ago on page one of this thread, the election in February is not valid. The bylaw provision requiring elections in April cannot be suspended. The assembly can correct the problem by conducting the elections in April as the bylaws require.  An election held prior to April is null and void and is subject to a point of order as long as the breach continues.  The early election is not supported anywhere in RONR but is instead specifically prohibited. 

I will leave it to others to discuss whether the assembly, in April, may merely ratify the February elections or must actually conduct new elections.  I think, based on the language on pages 124-125, that a motion to ratify would not be in order but I'm interested in what others have to say.   Even if new elections must be conducted, it is certainly permissible for the members to privately discuss the situation among themselves in advance of the April meeting and agree that when the April elections come around, they will just elect the same people as they did in February.   There can be no guarantee, however, that the outcome will be the same.  Enough members may insist on a "do over" that the April results will be different.

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50 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

In view of my past performance in this conversation, I ought to leave it well enough alone, but I must say that I do not agree with what is said in the first paragraph above. I might agree with what is said in the second paragraph were it not for the fact that, based upon what has been posted, this does not appear to be the case. I gather that the officers elected in February will not take office until the time when they would if the election were held in April.

 

1 hour ago, Josh Martin said:

The rule that prevents suspending a rule which has effect outside of the current session is a rule which protects absentees. Suspending a rule for the April meeting (which is essentially what was done) violates the rights of the members who would be present at the April meeting, and there presumably is at least some variation between the members present at the April meeting and the members present at the February meeting.

Additionally, one could argue that holding the election two months earlier than the time prescribed in the bylaws means that the election conflicts with a main motion previously adopted and still in force - namely, the election that elected the current officers.

 

I agree with Josh on the first part.  The bylaws require that some action take place at a specified meeting, that creates a right for absentees.  Any one in the organization may choose not to attend the earlier meetings believes that there will be no election of officers, for the next term, until the election meeting as established in the bylaws (p. 87, ll. 6-11).  When pending that event could be postponed. 

I agree with Dan, however, to the extent that holding an election is different than when that election will go into effect (p. 111, ll. 23-30, and the second footnote).  This election would not necessarily go into effect until the time determined in the bylaws. 

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2 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

Guest Karen, as I believe the recent posts by Mr. Gerber, Mr. Honemann, Mr. Martin and Mr. Novosielski have pointed out, and as I stated in the very first response to your initial question back 20 something posts ago on page one of this thread, the election in February is not valid. The bylaw provision requiring elections in April cannot be suspended. The assembly can correct the problem by conducting the elections in April as the bylaws require.  An election held prior to April is null and void and is subject to a point of order as long as the breach continues.  The early election is not supported anywhere in RONR but is instead specifically prohibited. 

I will leave it to others to discuss whether the assembly, in April, may merely ratify the February elections or must actually conduct new elections.  I think, based on the language on pages 124-125, that a motion to ratify would not be in order but I'm interested in what others have to say.   Even if new elections must be conducted, it is certainly permissible for the members to privately discuss the situation among themselves in advance of the April meeting and agree that when the April elections come around, they will just elect the same people as they did in February.   There can be no guarantee, however, that the outcome will be the same.  Enough members may insist on a "do over" that the April results will be different.

I agree that the elections in February cannot be ratified, but a new election will be required only if a point of order challenging the validity of the February election is in fact properly raised and determined by the assembly to be well taken.

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6 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree that the elections in February cannot be ratified, but a new election will be required only if a point of order challenging the validity of the February election is in fact properly raised and determined by the assembly to be well taken.

I think I agree, but if no point of order is raised prior to or at the April meeting, and no election is held at the April meeting,  won't the breach continue for the remainder of the supposed term of those officers, thus enabling someone to raise the point of the order well into the term?  It seems to me that a new election should be held in April regardless of whether a point of order is raised.  If no member raises a point of order, shouldn't the chair do it on his own?   Or does the breach "cure itself" if no point of order is raised at or prior to the April meeting?

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18 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I agree that the elections in February cannot be ratified, but a new election will be required only if a point of order challenging the validity of the February election is in fact properly raised and determined by the assembly to be well taken.

That might not be the best way to do it, if this conference is one of delegates.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

I think I agree, but if no point of order is raised prior to or at the April meeting, and no election is held at the April meeting,  won't the breach continue for the remainder of the supposed term of those officers, thus enabling someone to raise the point of the order well into the term?  It seems to me that a new election should be held in April regardless of whether a point of order is raised.  If no member raises a point of order, shouldn't the chair do it on his own?   Or does the breach "cure itself" if no point of order is raised at or prior to the April meeting?

Well, I suppose that if a point of order is going to be raised, it will most likely be raised at the next meeting (I guess it's the one in April).

The fact is that this group has been getting along just fine over the past few years holding these elections in February, and they may just decide that one more year of smooth sailing won't cause any problems.

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2 hours ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

Well, I suppose that if a point of order is going to be raised, it will most likely be raised at the next meeting (I guess it's the one in April).

The fact is that this group has been getting along just fine over the past few years holding these elections in February, and they may just decide that one more year of smooth sailing won't cause any problems.

If this conference is a delegate body, a challege to the member being seated could be raised.

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Guest Zev

What I do not like is the possibility that come April a Point Of Order is raised, the chair rules that it is not well taken, a temporary majority fails to overturn the ruling and now we have what I consider to be a bad precedent. The bylaws must mean something and there must a practical effect. My preference is for this group to simply change their bylaws to conduct their election in February and be done with it.

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Guest Karen

The June conference is a delegate conference where the president elect will serve as the delegate.  I am concerned about the protection of absentees and the continuation of breach.

If a member calls for a point of order, at the next upcoming meeting in March, then the president can decide if the point is or is not well taken.  If a member appeals the decision of the chair, then the assembly will decide to redo the election or not. The decision of the assembly will be final. If the decision is to redo the election, then the members can simply get together, in advance of the April election to decide how they will vote, realizing that no outcome is certain.

They should make it a priority to amend the bylaws to reflect when elections really need to be held.  Is that a pretty clean route to go?

 

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7 minutes ago, Guest Karen said:

The June conference is a delegate conference where the president elect will serve as the delegate.  I am concerned about the protection of absentees and the continuation of breach.

If a member calls for a point of order, at the next upcoming meeting in March, then the president can decide if the point is or is not well taken.  If a member appeals the decision of the chair, then the assembly will decide to redo the election or not. The decision of the assembly will be final. If the decision is to redo the election, then the members can simply get together, in advance of the April election to decide how they will vote, realizing that no outcome is certain.

They should make it a priority to amend the bylaws to reflect when elections really need to be held.  Is that a pretty clean route to go?

 

You say that the June conference is a delegate conference where the president-elect will serve as a delegate. You have also previously indicated that the organization with which we are now concerned is an organization of teenagers which is a component of an adult organization, and that the teens received the directive to conduct the election early from the adults.

Is this delegate conference to be held in June a conference run by the adult organization previously referred to? 

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Guest Karen

Yes.  The conference is somewhat run by the adults, but the teens have pretty significant roles  at the regional and national levels and in their committee assignments.

 

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Well, then, since the teens received the directive to conduct their election early from the adults so that the president-elect could be identified as a delegate, I doubt that there is much of a chance that the adults will be challenging his or her credentials. :)

In any event, you are essentially right about what should happen if a point of order is properly raised concerning the validity of the February election. The presiding officer should rule on it, and this ruling may be appealed, in which event the assembly will decide the question concerning the election's validity. If it is determined to be invalid, then an election should be conducted at the April meeting.

And yes, the bylaws should be amended so that they provide for holding elections when they should be held.

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