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Roll Call


Guest Joanne
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I am confused about roll call.  We are a very small Club of only 20 members, many of whom do not attend general meetings.  Is roll call necessary either verbally or written?  It seems the answer is no but if something comes up for a vote, how is it handled?  Is a show of hands for yay or nay acceptable amongst those who are in attendance?  Is roll call necessary at that point?  

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Roll-call votes aren't necessary unless the bylaws say they are.

The vast majority of the time, votes are "voice votes": the chair asks those in favor to say 'aye', and asks those opposed to say 'no', and then determines which group is more numerous based on that response. Usually it's fairly clear which side prevails; it's often unanimous, or you'll have a lone vote on one side.

The alternative (required when the motion requires a 2/3 vote, useful when a majority vote is close, and required if a single member demands it) is a rising vote: the chair asks those in favor to stand, and then asks those opposed to stand, and determines if there were more in favor than opposed (or twice as many in favor as opposed, for votes requiring 2/3).

Generally, roll call votes are used primarily (if not exclusively) to force members to go on record with their votes.

That said, you may need to verify your quorum requirements. Unless your bylaws say otherwise, the default quorum is a majority of the membership. If fewer than half of the members (or fewer than the number specified as a quorum in your bylaws) show up, then the meeting is 'inquorate' and no business may be transacted.

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I'm not sure if guest Joanne is asking about roll call votes or conducting a roll call of members at the beginning of the meeting to make a record of who is present.  RONR does not require keeping track of what members are present. It is up to each individual organization to determine whether to do this.

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