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Majority to elect

Guest Gavelman

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The bylaws state that it shall require a majority of all votes cast to elect an officer. The ballot election was held with three candidates running for an office and the chair announced the biggest vote-getter as the winner and the meeting adjourned without a point of order. Looking at the ballot count in the minutes after the meeting someone noticed that the declared winner didn’t quite have a majority. Is it too late to raise a point of order?

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Yes, it's too late. A timely point of order should have been raised at the time of the breach... when the vote (or winner) was announced. The chair's announcement stands.

Also, rather than just declaring a winner, the tellers and the chair should have read the actual vote count aloud to the assembly before announcing the winner so that the members could have satisfied themselves that the announcement of the winner was correct. The correct form and manner of delivering the tellers  report and declaring a winner is explained on pages 417 - 418 of RONR.

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Supplement to my answer directly above:

Guest Gavelman, two additional points:

First, Official Interpretation 2006-18 might be of interest.  http://www.robertsrules.com/interp_list.html#2006_18

Second, if this was a ballot vote and the ballots have been securely preserved, it might be possible to order a recount. Although the purpose of a recount is to insure that the votes have been properly counted and tabulated, some of our regular posters believe that even if the vote count is the same after the recount that the chair may nonetheless correct his previous erroneous announcement of the result of the vote when announcing the result of the recount..  A recount can be ordered by a majority vote either at the same session as the election or at the next regular session provided it is within a quarterly time interval.  It may also be ordered at a special meeting called for that purpose within the same quarterly time interval.  Recount provisions are covered primarily on pages 418-419 and 444-445 of RONR.

Whether the recount may be used for the purpose of correcting an erroneous declaration by the chair is a complicated and controversial issue.  Here are links to three threads about the issue: (A couple of these threads discuss other issues as well):




Have fun reading!





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I will disagree because the word "ballot" appears in the question.  If this is a secret ballot for election to office and is required in the bylaws, and the bylaws do not specifically permit a plurality vote to elect, a point of order could be raised at a future meeting(p. 405, ll. 4-6; p. 263, ll. 7-11).

I would give a different answer if the parliamentary authority was the 4th to 6th editions.  :)

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