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Voting by Mail Ballot


Alberta Geyer
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Non profit arts organization held a mail in ballot regarding changes to their by-laws.  Four months later at the annual meeting the losing side of one issue brings a motion to the floor to hold a voice vote on that very issue, in effect trying to nullify the mail ballot.   The president leading the meeting allows it to proceed.  Is this legal?  Members of this group come from far and wide and many are not able to attend meetings.  

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Aside from the several anomalies in the scenario presented, i would say that a motion to re-take a ballot vote by voice voting should be ruled not in order, based on what is stated in RETAKING A VOTE on p.285, ll.10-27.

Mr. Harrison has raised the first issue as to whether your bylaws allow for voting by  mail. Another issue is whether the motion to re-take the vote was made within the time restraints imposed by RONR for such a motion (p.408, l.28 - p.409, l.10)

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Thank you for responding!  Chris, there was no notice and it felt like an ambush.  I will have to read over the by-laws.  Bruce, I will look at that page.  A friend and fellow member, she and her husband are both lawyers, felt there was some breach of rules here, though this  is not their area of expertise.  Her husband also opined that they could possibly lose their 501C status.  So, I am doing a little research myself.  Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, Alberta Geyer said:

  A friend and fellow member, she and her husband are both lawyers, felt there was some breach of rules here, though this  is not their area of expertise. 

Most lawyers know next to nothing about parliamentary procedure or Robert's Rules of Order. No offense to your friends, they just don't teach it in law school. Those of us who do know something about it have studded it on our own separate and apart from law school because we have an interest in it.

 As to the issues you have raised and questions you have asked, I agree with the previous responses.

Check your bylaws. Most of the answers you seek will be found there. Voting by mail is not permitted unless authorized in the bylaws or by state law. If the bylaws require notice of bylaw amendments, then adopting the amendments without the required notice renders the adoption null and void. If the amendments were validly adopted, then the process for amending the bylaws must be followed to undo the Amendments if members are unhappy with them. A simple revote is almost certainly not in order.

Edited by Richard Brown
Typographical correction.
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3 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

have studded it on our own

Hmm.

 

5 hours ago, Alberta Geyer said:

Her husband also opined that they could possibly lose their 501C status. 

Agreeing with Mr. Brown, I'd note that this portion is, in fact, outside the scope of this forum and within the knowledge of an attorney (who is experienced in the relevant area of law).

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Thank you for responding!  Chris, there was no notice and it felt like an ambush.  I will have to read over the by-laws.  Bruce, I will look at that page.  A friend and fellow member, she and her husband are both lawyers, felt there was some breach of rules here, though this  is not their area of expertise.  Her husband also opined that they could possibly lose their 501C status.  So, I am doing a little research myself.  Thanks again.

 

I should have mentioned that after the mail vote the director of this group sent an email stating ".... the votes have been tallied and the results of those votes have now been implemented into the by-laws."  Thank you to all who responded.  Your ideas are very helpful as I am new to all this.

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