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Interpretation of an abstention


Guest Big red
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On 7/17/2019 at 7:55 PM, Guest Big red said:

According to my group’s procedures an abstention is interpreted as a yes vote. I am having a hard to understanding the logic of that and would appreciate any thoughts,

Thanks,

There is no logic to it and it violates the rules in RONR.

A fairly rare but remarkably persistent misconception exists in some organizations that since since abstentions are deemed to acquiesce in the outcome of the vote, that they are somehow an approval of the motion.  They are not.  They are merely an acceptance of the decision of those who vote, which may be approval or rejection.  On the other hand a few organizations claim that since they are not Yes votes, they must be No votes.

In fact, abstentions are not votes at all, and should never be called for, counted, or included in deciding the results of a vote.  They are simply ignored.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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On 7/17/2019 at 7:55 PM, Guest Big red said:

According to my group’s procedures an abstention is interpreted as a yes vote.

While I agree with the above responses, where do these procedures appear? If in the bylaws or special rules of order, it is immaterial that RONR says something different since those rules supersede those in RONR.

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

While I agree with the above responses, where do these procedures appear? If in the bylaws or special rules of order, it is immaterial that RONR says something different since those rules supersede those in RONR.

Concur.  A society may establish a rule that we find illogical. 

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