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Guest Rob Thompson

Recount for a vote on a motion

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Guest Rob Thompson

A select few on our committee recently rammed through a motion, and everything happened so fast not everybody knew what to do. I should have called a point of order, but I’m new and didn’t know any better. It was a voice vote, and considering the type of motion i believe it should have taken a 2/3 vote to pass. We have a 21 person committee, and there were 3 nays, however there were many that didn’t vote and abstained. Those votes were not counted, as they should be “no” votes. The chairman conducted the meeting very poorly. The meeting is over, but can I ask for a recount at the next meeting? Thanks

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Guest Zev
26 minutes ago, Guest Rob Thompson said:

The meeting is over, but can I ask for a recount at the next meeting?

No. This is a done deal. However, since this is a committee...

Quote

In a committee, these motions (Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted) require a two-thirds vote unless all committee members who voted for the motion to be rescinded or amended are present or have received ample notice, in which case they require a majority vote.

RONR 11th edition page 306-307.

Also, you may use the motion to Reconsider,

Quote

 

1) A motion to reconsider a vote in the committee can be made and taken up regardless of the time that has elapsed since the vote was taken, and there is no limit to the number of times a question can be reconsidered. Likewise, the rule requiring unanimous consent to renew a defeated motion to Reconsider does not apply in committees.

2) The motion can be made by any member of the committee who did not vote with the losing side; or, in other words, the maker of the motion to Reconsider can be one who voted with the prevailing side, or one who did not vote at all, or even was absent.

3) Unless all the members of the committee who voted with the prevailing side are present or have been notified that the reconsideration will be moved, it requires a two-thirds vote to adopt the motion to Reconsider.

 

RONR 11th edition page 329-330.

The assembly rules are stricter but in a committee you may use Reconsider regardless of the time frame. If the committee chairman is a little bit weak in this department perhaps you will have to show him this thread or better yet if you have the book then show him pages 329 starting at line 30 and the rest of the page 330 up and including line 9.

In addition, I have no idea if this motion required a two-thirds vote or not since I do not know the nature of this motion. Also, the refusal to vote, also known as an abstention, is not counted as a no vote unless there is some superior rule that requires such a thing or wording in the bylaws that require a certain threshold from all members that are present whether they cast votes or not.

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Did the committee's chairman have a copy of the society's parliamentary authority (RONR, 11th ed.?) in hand at the meeting? You can see from your own experience why this would be important.

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18 hours ago, Guest Rob Thompson said:

however there were many that didn’t vote and abstained. Those votes were not counted, as they should be “no” votes.

This is incorrect. Abstentions are not supposed to be counted. See FAQ #6.

18 hours ago, Guest Rob Thompson said:

The meeting is over, but can I ask for a recount at the next meeting?

If this was taken as a voice vote, this means by definition that there was no count to begin with, so I don’t see how there can possibly be a “recount.”

In any event, a recount is only in order in cases where there is an actual record for tellers to count, such as in a ballot vote. There is no method at this time of counting the votes which were cast at the previous meeting. What you seem to be suggesting is that the vote be retaken, which is not in order.

What would be in order is a motion to Reconsider. Since this is a committee, the rules are somewhat different. In a committee, such a motion may be made without time limits, it may be made by a member who voted on the prevailing side or by a member who abstained, and it requires a 2/3 vote for adoption, unless all members who voted on the prevailing side are present or were notified that this motion would be made, in which event a majority vote is sufficient. If this motion is adopted, the motion is then before the committee in the same state as it was before it was adopted, allowing the committee to consider it again.

Alternately, since motions adopted by a committee are frequently merely recommendations which are presented to a superior body for approval, members of the committee who are also members of that body could try to defeat the motion at that time.

Edited by Josh Martin

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13 hours ago, Guest Rob Thompson said:

A select few on our committee recently rammed through a motion, and everything happened so fast not everybody knew what to do. I should have called a point of order, but I’m new and didn’t know any better. It was a voice vote, and considering the type of motion i believe it should have taken a 2/3 vote to pass. We have a 21 person committee, and there were 3 nays, however there were many that didn’t vote and abstained. Those votes were not counted, as they should be “no” votes. The chairman conducted the meeting very poorly. The meeting is over, but can I ask for a recount at the next meeting? Thanks

What was the "type" of motion that made you believe it should have taken 2/3?  And if it did, a 2/3 vote only requires twice as many Yes votes as No votes; abstentions are ignored.

You can't ask for a recount now.  As this was not a ballot vote there is nothing to count at this point.  At the time, if you doubted the vote, you could have called "Division!" or "I doubt the vote!" and the chair would be required to take a rising vote.  And if still doubtful, or if a motion to count is adopted, a counted rising vote.  But by now a point of order would no longer be timely.

I see Mr. Martin has made some good suggestions as to how you can follow up on this question going forward.

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