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Committee Chair Voting


Guest Becky Martin

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10 minutes ago, Guest Becky Martin said:

A committee Chair votes yes or no on one specific issue. A tie occurs, then the Chair votes a second time as a tie breaker.

No. A fundamental principle of parliamentary law is that one member gets one vote. "It is a fundamental principle of parliamentary law that each person who is a member ... is entitled to one -- and only one -- vote on a question" (RONR 45:2). 

A committee chair usually votes with all of the other members, even if they didn't, which is the case with the presiding officer of a large deliberative assembly, it is clear that they cannot vote twice. The presiding officer of a large deliberative assembly may vote to create a tie or to break one, but unquestionably they shall not do both simultaneously.  

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Agreeing with Mr. Pappano, it might also be worth mentioning that there's nothing wrong with a tie, it just means the motion is not adopted. In the ordinary case, the chair only votes when the vote is by ballot or his vote would impact the outcome. There are two ways for that to happen. One is if there is a tie vote. The other is when the chair can create a tie and cause a motion that would otherwise pass, to instead fail. Organizations often confuse this with the chair only voting to "break ties."

 

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On 9/29/2020 at 11:52 PM, Guest Becky Martin said:

A committee Chair votes yes or no on one specific issue. A tie occurs, then the Chair votes a second time as a tie breaker.

Is this in order with Robert's Rules of Order 12th edition?

Thank you,

Rebecca

It certainly is not.  Nothing in the rules allows a chair, or anyone else, to vote twice.  If the chair has already voted along with the membership, then the result is the result. (A tie vote is less than a majority.) The only time the chair may vote to create a tie, break a tie, or otherwise vote when that one vote would make a difference, is when the chair has not yet voted, such as on a rising counted vote or a roll-call vote.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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As some of our members occasionally say when this question comes up, “you count heads, not hats.“. It doesn’t matter how many positions a member might hold (how many hats he wears) he still just has one head and just gets one vote unless your bylaws expressly provide otherwise.

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