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rgodbey

Abstain marked on Ballot

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One of the many flaws of our organization is the way that they handle voting. There is a spot on the ballot for abstentions. If the members use the ballot and mark abstention, since technically they filled out the ballot, does this action count as a vote? I know RONR defines a majority by members present and voting. This is why I ask because our bylaws don't give an abstention a definition, nor do they define majority in our bylaws, and instead say that any lapses are covered by Robert's Rules.

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"Abstention" is well defined as "not voting" so those ballots marked as "abstain" (or whatever, like "a pox on both your houses") are equivalent to blank ballots found in the ballot box, or not returning a ballot at all:  NOT "COUNTED".

Next election just don't include the "Abstain" option.  If somebody says it belongs, ask them where they got that rule?  (Not in RONR, for sure!)

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1 hour ago, rgodbey said:

One of the many flaws of our organization is the way that they handle voting. There is a spot on the ballot for abstentions. If the members use the ballot and mark abstention, since technically they filled out the ballot, does this action count as a vote? I know RONR defines a majority by members present and voting. This is why I ask because our bylaws don't give an abstention a definition, nor do they define majority in our bylaws, and instead say that any lapses are covered by Robert's Rules.

Well, there shouldn't need to be a spot for abstention on the ballot, but if there is, it clearly should be treated as an abstention, i.e., the same as a blank ballot.  For that matter, either of those should be treated the same as a ballot that was never handed in, i.e., ignored completely.

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4 hours ago, rgodbey said:

If the members use the ballot and mark abstention, since technically they filled out the ballot, does this action count as a vote?

An abstention, by definition, is to refrain from voting. A member who marks “abstention” on a ballot has abstained, and therefore has not voted.

This practice is unnecessary since members may already abstain by submitting a blank ballot, or by not submitting a ballot.

Edited by Josh Martin

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