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Majority vote versus Majority vote of the entire membership


Larry R.
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Majority vote with notice, for a council of 7, means more yes votes than no votes, provided previous notice of the motion has been given. Even a 1-0 vote would suffice.

Majority vote Vote of a majority of the entire membership, for the same council, means that there must be at least 4 yes votes, even if all 7 don't vote, and there is no requirement that advance notice be given that the motion will be made.

Edited by Tom Coronite
Edited to correct my sloppy terminology!
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3 hours ago, Larry J. Randle said:

I've come across it a few times in RONR where it says a motion is adopted with "a majority vote with notice" or a "majority vote of the entire membership." I'm unclear on the what the difference is, especially as it may apply to the Council of only 7 members that I work for. Can someone please clarify? Thanks!

RONR says "a vote of a majority of the entire membership" and not "a majority vote of the entire membership". I think understanding the difference can help answer your question.

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On 4/28/2018 at 5:03 PM, Larry J. Randle said:

I've come across it a few times in RONR where it says a motion is adopted with "a majority vote with notice" or a "majority vote of the entire membership." I'm unclear on the what the difference is, especially as it may apply to the Council of only 7 members that I work for. Can someone please clarify? Thanks!

You have not come across the phrase "a majority vote of the entire membership", because that's never used in RONR.

But what does occur with some regularity is the phrase "vote of a majority of the entire membership".  It's most commonly found in motions that have a higher threshold than usual.  An example is the motion  to Amend Something Previously Adopted. The vote threshold is specified as: 

  • (a) a two-thirds vote,
  • (b) a majority vote when notice of intent to make the motion, stating the complete substance of the proposed change, has been given at the previous meeting within a quarterly time interval or in the call of the present meeting, or
  • (c) a vote of a majority of the entire membership

—any one of which will suffice.

So there are three ways such a motion can pass.  If it fails to meet all three, it is rejected.  If it meets any of the three, it passes.

The first way is a two-thirds vote (which is met if there are at least twice as many Yes votes as No votes).  This is the default if the motion is made with no prior notice.

But that threshold can be reduced to an ordinary majority vote (more Yes votes than No votes) if prior notice of the proposed  change is given in advance as specified.  This is sometimes abbreviated to "majority vote with notice".

The third method is a vote of a majority of the entire membership, sometimes abbreviated MEM by people whose hobby is abbreviation.  This means that to pass, the vote must amount to more than half of the number of members in the entire body, whether present or not.  In large assemblies where not many people attend meetings, this can be difficult, or even impossible to achieve--if half or more stay home, this can't possibly be met.  But in small assemblies like boards, where all members typically attend, it would be easier to achieve than a 2/3 vote.  But a major difference is that an absence or an abstention has the same effect as a No vote.

 

 

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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