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Guest Ellece O'Hara

Abstaining from Voting on Board Minutes

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Guest Ellece O'Hara

Can a board member abstain on voting for approval of minutes of a meeting they attended? How would this be handled?

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59 minutes ago, Guest Ellece O'Hara said:

Can a board member abstain on voting for approval of minutes of a meeting they attended? How would this be handled?

It should first be noted that there is no final vote on the approval of the minutes. The chair asks for any corrections. Such corrections are generally handled by unanimous consent, but if there is disagreement, a majority vote is sufficient. The member could abstain from that vote. Generally, a member abstains by doing nothing - in a voice vote, he remains silent, in a show of hand vote, he keeps his hands down. 

After any corrections are handled, the chair simply declares the minutes approved.

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22 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

It should first be noted that there is no final vote on the approval of the minutes.

Yes, I should have pointed that out in my initial response!  I appreciate Dr. Stackpole and Josh Martin pointing it out.

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3 hours ago, Guest Ellece O'Hara said:

Can a board member abstain on voting for approval of minutes of a meeting they attended? How would this be handled?

There really should not be any voting on final approval of minutes, because approved minutes are required by the rules, so that it's not possible to abstain. 

The only way to object to approval of the minutes is to offer a correction, essentially an amendment to the language, rectifying your objection.  If there is disagreement on the correction, a majority vote decides, and a member can certainly abstain on such a vote.  But when there are no (further) corrections forthcoming, the chair simply announces that the minutes stand approved. The chair can add "...as read; ...as printed; ...as corrected", if desired. 

And it should be noted that whether the member attended the meeting in question has no bearing on whether the member may offer or vote on a correction. A member can neither be compelled to abstain nor prevented from doing so.

Edited by Gary Novosielski

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