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Tie vote when chairman not present


Guest MamaBear
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So question: an P&Z elected board of 5 has a meeting 

1) the Chair is not present

2) Another member is not present 

3)Vice Chair seats 1 alternate and goes on with meeting there are now 4 there = quorum 

4) planning & zoning issue goes to vote 

5) 1 member & Vice Chair vote no

     1 member & alternate vote yes 

      2:2 tie 

++++++

? Should vote fail because of tie ? 

?Or should issue be held pending tie breaker Vote of Actual Chair Person 

 

 

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To clarify: it is not anyone's job to break ties. The rule is that the presiding officer - which means whoever is presiding at the moment, in this case the vice-chair - does not vote in a large assembly unless the vote is by ballot, or when his vote would matter. The presiding officer's vote matters if the vote is otherwise tied and he will vote yes, or the yeses are ahead by one and he will vote no. It is not the case that he votes whenever there is a tie, nor is it the case that he votes only when there is a tie. If a vote is tied, for any reason, the motion simply is not adopted.

Note: The above is the situation per RONR. Your board may be subject to relevant statutes or to its own rules that modify the above.

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On 7/12/2019 at 7:19 PM, Guest MamaBear said:

So question: an P&Z elected board of 5 has a meeting 

1) the Chair is not present

2) Another member is not present 

3)Vice Chair seats 1 alternate and goes on with meeting there are now 4 there = quorum 

4) planning & zoning issue goes to vote 

5) 1 member & Vice Chair vote no

     1 member & alternate vote yes 

      2:2 tie 

++++++

? Should vote fail because of tie ? 

?Or should issue be held pending tie breaker Vote of Actual Chair Person 

 

 

Tie breaker provisions are unnecessary because the rules are clear that a tie vote is less than a majority and simply fails, like any other motion that does not receive majority support.

But some bylaws say that the chair can break a tie, or sometimes that the chair can only vote to break a tie.  These rules, inadvisable as they may be, if they are in your bylaws, must be observed.  If the rules in RONR apply, then in large assemblies, the chair only votes when that one vote could change the outcome (either way), and presuming the chair wishes to change the outcome.

If the chair had been present, and had voted, and there was a tie (possible if abstentions occured), then a tie would still fail.  The chair does not get a second vote.  The fundamental principle of one-person-one-vote still applies.

The question most certainly should not be held for absent members, not even the Actual Chair Person (a quaint title).

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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