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Is a late arriving member fully entitled to vote at a meeting??


Silvertomster
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Is a member who arrives late to a meeting, and didn't hear most or all of the debate on a particular motion, entitled to vote on that motion? Can he do so at any time before the result is announced? The latecoming member is otherwise fully entitled to vote, and there is nothing in the bylaws or standing rules that addresses this situation.

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Yes, well, almost. The definition of member is person with the full right to participate in the proceedings, and the right to vote is lost only through a disciplinary proceeding or as prescribed in your rules. He can't cast a vote, though, when others could not cast a vote, i.e. after the polls are closed. Whenever anyone is entitled to cast a vote, he is.

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"It is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is limited to the members of an organization who are actually present at the time the vote is taken in a regular or properly called meeting, although it should be noted that a member need not be present when the question is put."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 423

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In other words, if the member is present for the vote, it doesn't matter whether they were there for the debate.

Whether it's polite or reasonable to vote on a motion one did not hear the debate for is another question entirely, but that's a question of etiquette, not parliamentary procedure.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

In other words, if the member is present for the vote, it doesn't matter whether they were there for the debate.

Whether it's polite or reasonable to vote on a motion one did not hear the debate for is another question entirely, but that's a question of etiquette, not parliamentary procedure.

As one parliamentarian wrote, "...while the wisdom of the voter in making that choice may be questioned, the right of the voter to make that choice cannot."

 

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