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Roberts Rules in a Social Distancing Society


Guest pete
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depending on how long quarantine for certain areas will last, what is the procedure of holding elections, making motions and votes when a large body cannot gather?  if we have an organization (60+ members) where the first order of business in April is the Annual Meeting (elections, rule votes, etc,) and are currently not allowed to congregate, what process should be followed?

thank you!!

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more specifics per the bylaws:

All members must be present in person at the annual meeting in-order to vote. These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office.

...

Officers elected at the Annual Meeting shall serve for two (2) years with their terms expiring following the Annual Meeting two years after election.

...

 

These By-Laws may be amended at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Board of Governors by including the proposed amendment in the notice of Annual or Special Meeting and having the Board of Governors vote on the proposed amendment.

The approval of two thirds (2/3's) of the Board of Governors is required to pass a proposed amendment. Two-thirds (2/3's) of the Board of Governors shall be determined as follows: the total number of members of the Board of Governors divided by three (3); multiply by two (2); delete any fraction; and, add one (1).

These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office.

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14 minutes ago, Guest pete said:

more specifics per the bylaws:

All members must be present in person at the annual meeting in-order to vote. These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office.

...

Officers elected at the Annual Meeting shall serve for two (2) years with their terms expiring following the Annual Meeting two years after election.

...

 

These By-Laws may be amended at an Annual or Special Meeting of the Board of Governors by including the proposed amendment in the notice of Annual or Special Meeting and having the Board of Governors vote on the proposed amendment.

The approval of two thirds (2/3's) of the Board of Governors is required to pass a proposed amendment. Two-thirds (2/3's) of the Board of Governors shall be determined as follows: the total number of members of the Board of Governors divided by three (3); multiply by two (2); delete any fraction; and, add one (1).

These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office.

Do your bylaws provide anywhere that the annual meeting must be held in a particular month, or anything about how the annual meeting is scheduled? You said originally that it was held in April, but is that actually required by the bylaws, or is it just a custom?

If the bylaws do not require that the annual meeting be held in a particular month, and the annual meeting is scheduled by a single person (or by a body which is authorized by the bylaws to meet remotely), the simplest solution would seem to be to just postpone the annual meeting. I believe the current officers would continue serving, as the bylaws provide that the terms of the officers expire "following the annual meeting." So if the annual meeting is postponed, the terms would be extended.

If the bylaws require that the annual meeting be held in April, or if it is otherwise not possible to postpone the meeting in advance, another option would be to have a single member show up to the annual meeting for the sole purpose of scheduling an adjourned meeting. (It might be prudent to specify that the meeting is adjourned until the call of the President, in order to grant flexibility.) If possible, perhaps the location for the meeting could be set for that member's home, to make it easier to attend. This action may be taken even in the absence of a quorum. The adjourned meeting is a continuation of the annual meeting, so I once again think the "following the annual meeting" language in your bylaws would extend the terms of the current officers.

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ANNUAL MEETING AND REGULAR MEETINGS.
(a) The annual meeting of the Board of Governors shall be the first order of business in April of each year; and,
(REQUIRED)

(b) There shall be regular meetings of the Board of Governors at least in August, September, November and January.

(c) All members must be present in person at the annual meeting in-order to vote. These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office. (IN PERSON)

all of the organizations are within a 150 mile radius so i'm not sure how the person's home is logistically possible.  since this is kind of unprecedented can we request an electronic vote for adjournment - to be continued at a later date - for this black swan event? 

thank you!!

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22 minutes ago, Guest pete said:

all of the organizations are within a 150 mile radius so i'm not sure how the person's home is logistically possible

I'm not suggesting you all attempt to actually meet at someone's home. What I'm suggesting is that, since it is not possible to actually meet at this time, you take the following actions:

  • Set the meeting for a person's home.
  • Have that person (and only that person) show up. (This shouldn't be difficult, since they won't be going anywhere anyway.)
  • Have that person adopt a motion to adjourn the meeting to meet at the call of the President. This can be done even in the absence of a quorum. So no one else actually needs to show up. (The adjourned meeting, which will presumably be held when these restrictions are lifted, can be held at a real location that can accommodate the full assembly.)
     
22 minutes ago, Guest pete said:

since this is kind of unprecedented can we request an electronic vote for adjournment - to be continued at a later date - for this black swan event? 

No. In addition to the fact that RONR does not permit such votes, your bylaws explicitly state "All members must be present in person at the annual meeting in-order to vote."

There is, however, another way, as I have just described.

Edited by Josh Martin
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19 minutes ago, Guest pete said:

ANNUAL MEETING AND REGULAR MEETINGS.
(a) The annual meeting of the Board of Governors shall be the first order of business in April of each year; and,
(REQUIRED)

(b) There shall be regular meetings of the Board of Governors at least in August, September, November and January.

(c) All members must be present in person at the annual meeting in-order to vote. These voting members shall be defined by the current enumerated voting rolls of the League as of the first day of the month in which such occurrences(s) or meeting(s) take place. The enumerated roll shall be shall be held in the League office. (IN PERSON)

all of the organizations are within a 150 mile radius so i'm not sure how the person's home is logistically possible.  since this is kind of unprecedented can we request an electronic vote for adjournment - to be continued at a later date - for this black swan event? 

thank you!!

I would suggest that use the adjourned meeting method described here .  One member can do it and the adjourned meeting can be held "at the call of the president."

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25 minutes ago, Daniel H. Honemann said:

I think Mr. Martin just explained all that.  🙂

I was posting when he did.  However, the article also covers electing appropriate officers pro tem.  :)   It is difficult for anyone to put all that in a post. 

Anyhow, if Guest Pete has any questions on the procedure, somebody here can answer them. 

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