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Can you “Re-Vote” on a failed vote


Guest Dliv
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The statement was made at the meeting by one I am part of an organization that requires requires that the operating budget for the upcoming year to be approved at the final meeting of the previous year.  The programming year operates from September to May.  Not approving the budget and particularly halts any progress since there are no meetings over the summer. There was an ongoing dispute throughout the year about one particular events that we host every year that some members felt we should not post anymore. The budget include provisions for this event. So in an attempt to thwart the event all together several members consistently down voted the budget.

 

 Not approving the budget stops any progress since there are no meetings over the summer. There was an ongoing dispute throughout the year about one particular event that we host every year that some members felt we should not post anymore.  The bulk of the planning is done by members of that event’s committee over the summer using the numbers in the approved budget. 

So in an attempt to thwart the event altogether several members consistently down voted the budget. The statement was repeatedly made at the meeting that we “have to have a budget”  so essentially different members kept bringing the exact same vote to the floor for a vote until it passed.   Primarily because people were just exhausted.  One member even changed to a yes vote from an abstention because people were just ready to go.

 Once a vote fails,  is it proper to re-vote at all? In the same meeting? In a different meeting? If so, how do you do this? I am fairly certain that this wasn’t done properly. However, I’m not certain of how else to have handled it or what should have been done instead.

 

 

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Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Were these "essentially different members" making the same motion over and over again? That was not in order. Once a motion is defeated, it can't be renewed in the same session unless a motion to reconsider, made by someone who voted "no," is adopted. The budget motion could have been made again if it were changed in some substantial way.

Your further complication is the rule requiring you to adopt a budget at this particular meeting. The meeting should not have been adjourned (at least not without provision for an adjourned meeting) until a budget was passed.

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Thank you for your response!  The motion did pass after this crazy  back-and-forth with constant re-votes

 

Yes they were different people making the motion to vote on the budget over and over. At the end someone who initially abstained changed to a yes vote. A motion to reconsider was never presented. 

If it was, don't you have to have a reason to reconsider other than it just didn't pass?? And the motion must be brought by someone who is on the majority/winning side correctly? 

 

Is there anything that defines a substantial change? I have been looking and haven't seen anything. 

 

I agree the whole budget having to be passed by end of our year is unusual and have encouraged the membership to consider an alternative. 

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The proper way to bring a failed motion again before the assembly at the same meeting is the motion to Reconsider.

However, Reconsider can only be moved by someone who voted with the prevailing side on the original motion.  Since the motion was initially rejected, only someone who had voted No would be eligible to move to reconsider the motion.

Simply making the same motion over and over should be ruled out of order.  But it wasn't, so it is what it is.

However, it's also true that if the bylaws require the organization to approve a budget by a certain time, simply voting down the motion repeatedly is not in the spirit of the rule.  Did no one think to offer an amendment that would make the motion more palatable to a majority?  

 

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18 minutes ago, Gary Novosielski said:

However, it's also true that if the bylaws require the organization to approve a budget by a certain time, simply voting down the motion repeatedly is not in the spirit of the rule.  Did no one think to offer an amendment that would make the motion more palatable to a majority?  

 

I think that this may be the problem.   If the bylaws require that some action be taken, even the defeat of a motion to take that action does remove that requirement.  That may supersede the rule in RONR about renewing the motion (p. 337, ll. 9-12, the exception). 

The motion could certainly be amended.  If the rule regarding the renewal of motions does not apply, it should be possible to introduce several different budgets as independent main motions

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Perhaps next time the presiding officer should present the draft budget and proceed to consider it seriatim. Arriving at the events that create controversy the assembly could delete them from the list or amended them to a more acceptable level by the majority. At the end of the process there would be a budget, and knowledge as to what events are scheduled, rather than no budget at all and no events scheduled. 

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1 hour ago, J. J. said:

If the bylaws require that some action be taken, even the defeat of a motion to take that action does remove that requirement.  That may supersede the rule in RONR about renewing the motion (p. 337, ll. 9-12, the exception). 

Yeah, that's an idea, but that language notes that the thing all exceptions have in common is that they require the motion, in some sensee, to be a different question.  I'm not sure language that says a budget shall be adopted is enough to override that rule without some more explicit provisions. 

But I do see parallels with an election that is required by the bylaws.  If no candidate achieves a majority, then the identical question may be voted on repeatedly until an outcome is reached. I just don't know if a parallel is sufficient to assume a rule.

What do others think?

 

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15 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

Yeah, that's an idea, but that language notes that the thing all exceptions have in common is that they require the motion, in some sensee, to be a different question.  I'm not sure language that says a budget shall be adopted is enough to override that rule without some more explicit provisions. 

But I do see parallels with an election that is required by the bylaws.  If no candidate achieves a majority, then the identical question may be voted on repeatedly until an outcome is reached. I just don't know if a parallel is sufficient to assume a rule.

What do others think?

 

An election is somewhat different, however, as it involves members voting on which candidate should be elected. In the case of a budget, the budget would be perfected through amendment, rather than voting on one of several versions.

For a budget, I think a better procedure would be something more comparable to minutes. A draft budget is proposed, which may be amended in whatever manner the assembly wishes, but after all amendments are finished, the budget is declared to be adopted. Seriatim consideration may also be advisable.

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2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

An election is somewhat different, however, as it involves members voting on which candidate should be elected. In the case of a budget, the budget would be perfected through amendment, rather than voting on one of several versions.

For a budget, I think a better procedure would be something more comparable to minutes. A draft budget is proposed, which may be amended in whatever manner the assembly wishes, but after all amendments are finished, the budget is declared to be adopted. Seriatim consideration may also be advisable.

While that would work with minutes, it could only work if an officer or committee (or someone) has the authority to submit a full budget.

Assume that no rule specifies who is responsible for submitting a budget, though the bylaws require that one be adopted.  I get to the floor and move that the budget (Budget J) be adopted; I'm a regular member, but do not hold a position that requires me to submit a budget.  There may not be a majority that would support any specific amendment, but the majority is opposed to Budget J.  Just because I made the motion, that should not permit me to foist a budget on the assembly against the will of the majority.

In my experience in local governments in my state, it is often the case that a statute will require the government's legislative body to adopt a budget, but does not specify how that budget will come before the body. 

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

I don't think this bylaw forces the members to adopt any specific motion. If anything, it prohibits permanent adjournment of the meeting without doing so.

Certainly it does not force them to adopt any specific motion, but it does force them to adopt some form of budget.

I don’t agree that adjournment of the meeting is prohibited. RONR does not prohibit adjournment in the case of an election, for instance. While RONR recommends that the election should be completed (or alternatively, that an adjourned meeting be scheduled), an assembly which has not done either of these things is nonetheless free to postpone the election and/or adjourn the meeting.

Edited by Josh Martin
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2 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

Certainly it does not force them to adopt any specific motion, but it does force them to adopt some form of budget.

I don’t agree that adjournment of the meeting is prohibited. RONR does not prohibit adjournment in the case of an election, for instance.

In all fairness, we are talking about a hypothetical rule/bylaw that none of us have seen.  :)

If there was a rule requiring a budget be adopted (and nothing else), I think it would be treated like an election.  An assembly may adjourn with an being incomplete, so I think the same rule would apply. 

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