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Guest Kathryn

Two-Thirds Vote Question

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Guest Kathryn

If a vote requires two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote, and there are 17 eligible voters present, 2/3 of 17 is 11.33.  If the vote passes 11-4, has the two-thirds requirement been met?

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3 hours ago, Guest Kathryn said:

If a vote requires two-thirds of those present and entitled to vote, and there are 17 eligible voters present, 2/3 of 17 is 11.33.  If the vote passes 11-4, has the two-thirds requirement been met?

No.  11 is not greater than or equal to 11.33...  Twelve votes would be required.

It would meet the requirement if the threshold were the standard 2/3 vote as defined in RONR, which is: 2/3 of those present and voting (not merely eligible to vote, but actually voting).  In that case it would suffice, since 11 is at least twice as much as 4.

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I strongly disfavor any rule requiring a motion to be adopted by two-thirds of those persons who are "present and entitled to vote", since the net effect of abstention by those who are unable to form an opinion about the question is the same as a negative vote. This is not fair.

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Rob:

you are correct about the effect. But I would argue that there are times when such a standard is appropriate. For example, it is the standard for a finding of guilt in our denomination’s constitution - which can result in the removal of ordination and/or church membership. Our belief is that if two thirds of the members of the court that tried the case are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the minister’s guilt, then the verdict must be “not guilty.”

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18 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

I strongly disfavor any rule requiring a motion to be adopted by two-thirds of those persons who are "present and entitled to vote", since the net effect of abstention by those who are unable to form an opinion about the question is the same as a negative vote. This is not fair.

 

11 hours ago, Greg Goodwiller said:

Rob:

you are correct about the effect. But I would argue that there are times when such a standard is appropriate. For example, it is the standard for a finding of guilt in our denomination’s constitution - which can result in the removal of ordination and/or church membership. Our belief is that if two thirds of the members of the court that tried the case are not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the minister’s guilt, then the verdict must be “not guilty.”

Although I understand Mr. Elsman's point and agree that as a general rule requiring a vote of "two thirds of members present" (or two thirds of those persons present and entitled to vote) is not usually a good idea, I agree with Dr. Goodwiller that there are indeed situations where it is an appropriate threshold.

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