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Renee P

Vote in progress. BOD member wants to add verbiage.

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Hello.  I am the Chair of a 501 c3 diving organization that uses relaxed RRoO.  We have a motion and a second on a topic.  The vote is in progress.  A BOD member agrees to vote if additional verbiage is included.  Do I Stop the voting process and ask this BOD member to return to his committee to amend the verbiage to be resent to the BOD to start a new vote? 

I'm new at this. Please advise. 

Kind regards,

Renee

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A vote in progress can't be interrupted with a few exceptions (RONR pp. 408-409).  Of course, the Board member is free to vote against the motion.

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RONR 11th ed., p. 408, lines 9-11 "Interruptions during the taking of a vote are permitted only before any member has actually voted"

This member is trying to interrupt the vote. The time to amend the motion is when it is up for debate. There is a clear boundary between debate time and voting time.

It sounds like you are using very relaxed rules if there is an opportunity for the member to make the request and for you to post here while the vote is still proceeding.

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Thank you gentlemen.  I have expressed to our BOD that the current verbiage stands as the vote is in progress.  He is free to vote "no" if he wishes.  Once the vote passes or not, his committee may revisit the verbiage, change it, and resubmit to the BOD for another vote.  I've also been counseled to do this by our former Chair. 

Is this reasonable?

Renee

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2 hours ago, Renee P said:

Is this reasonable?

 

It depends what you mean by that. A motion that conflicts with an adopted motion still in effect is out of order, unless it is a motion to rescind or amend something previously adopted. So the committee would need to make use of that motion if the new motion conflicts with the adopted one (assuming it is adopted). However:

2 hours ago, Renee P said:

 I am the Chair of a 501 c3 diving organization that uses relaxed RRoO.

 

2 hours ago, Renee P said:

The vote is in progress.

This raises 2 questions for me. First, what do your bylaws say about your parliamentary authority? Do they say RONR, or "relaxed RONR"? If the latter, do they define that? It may be that the answer above is incorrect if your rules are different from RONR. Second, it sounds like this vote is happening asynchronously in some way. What do your bylaws say about that? Either they allow it, an applicable procedural statute allows it, or RONR says you can't do it. If your bylaws allow it, you will, hopefully, have relevant rules about the voting process that will, necessarily, be different from RONR, perhaps in a way that is relevant.

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12 hours ago, Renee P said:

Do I Stop the voting process and ask this BOD member to return to his committee to amend the verbiage to be resent to the BOD to start a new vote? 

No.

If the member wanted to amend the motion or refer it to a committee, he should have said so earlier. It's too late to do these things after the vote has begun. In fact, it's not in order for the board member to even make comments during the vote.

"Interruptions during the taking of a vote are permitted only before any member has actually voted, unless, as sometimes occurs in ballot voting, other business is being transacted during voting or tabulating." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 408)

"A member has no right to "explain his vote" during voting, which would be the same as debate at such a time." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 408)

12 hours ago, Renee P said:

Thank you gentlemen.  I have expressed to our BOD that the current verbiage stands as the vote is in progress.  He is free to vote "no" if he wishes.  Once the vote passes or not, his committee may revisit the verbiage, change it, and resubmit to the BOD for another vote.  I've also been counseled to do this by our former Chair. 

Is this reasonable?

If the motion is adopted, the committee in question (if the motion in question relates to the committee's charge) may submit a recommendation to Amend Something Previously Adopted if it wishes to do so. Such a motion requires a 2/3 vote, a vote of a majority of the entire membership (of the board), or a majority vote with previous notice for adoption.

The fact that you say the vote is "in progress" as you are writing this, however, raises some additional concerns and raises questions as to whether the above answers are applicable. I get the impression that the vote is being taken by email or some similar means.

"It is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law that the right to vote is limited to the members of an organization who are actually present at the time the vote is taken in a regular or properly called meeting, although it should be noted that a member need not be present when the question is put. Exceptions to this rule must be expressly stated in the bylaws. Such possible exceptions include: (a) voting by postal mail, e-mail, or fax, and (b) proxy voting." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 423)

"It is important to understand that, regardless of the technology used, the opportunity for simultaneous aural communication is essential to the deliberative character of the meeting. Therefore, a group that attempts to conduct the deliberative process in writing (such as by postal mail, e-mail, "chat rooms," or fax)—which is not recommended—does not constitute a deliberative assembly. Any such effort may achieve a consultative character, but it is foreign to the deliberative process as understood under parliamentary law." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 98)

"A group that attempts to conduct the deliberative process in writing—such as by postal mail, electronic mail (e-mail), or facsimile transmission (fax)—does not constitute a deliberative assembly. When making decisions by such means, many situations unprecedented in parliamentary law will arise, and many of its rules and customs will not be applicable (see also pp. 97–99)." (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 1, footnote)

Edited by Josh Martin

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Thank you.  Yes this vote is being conducted via email.  It is a vote that passed in June and that called for a re-evaluation of a Covid-19 training standard every 90 days. A new board member over that particular committee wanted to change the wording.  He did not review that with his committee prior to our vote and not offer the amendment during the discussion phase.  He is meeting with his committee this week to discuss and bring the amended standard to the board for a vote.  

We are using a more relaxed version of RRNR.  Thank you for the references as I've left my RRNR book at home and I am out of state. 

Some of this I will own, because I did not explain to the new board members about Robert's Rules and our own bylaw direction.  Steep learning curve with the chair position. 

 

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41 minutes ago, Renee P said:

Yes this vote is being conducted via email.

Do your bylaws authorize voting by this method?

41 minutes ago, Renee P said:

We are using a more relaxed version of RRNR.

Please elaborate on this statement. What in your rules makes you think that the rules provide for using "a more relaxed version of" RONR and what exactly does that mean?

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5 hours ago, Renee P said:

Yes this vote is being conducted via email.

 

4 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

Do your bylaws authorize voting by this method?

 

4 hours ago, Renee P said:

Yes our bylaws do allow this method

 

2 hours ago, Gary Novosielski said:

What method?  Do they just say:  The rules in RONR shall be relaxed?

I believe that Renee P answered only Mr. Martin's first question.

We are still awaiting the answer to his other question:

4 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

What in your rules makes you think that the rules provide for using "a more relaxed version of" RONR and what exactly does that mean?

 

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Well, in the order in which I read them, Josh's last message came before Rene P's reply, which I took to be an answer to it.

In any case I await an answer to the details surrounding the relaxation.

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