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Elections of officers

Guest Ginny

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You keep voting until someone wins. Among possible alternatives, the candidates may agree between themselves to flip a coin or draw straws and that the loser will voluntarily withdraw. However, doing something like that must be purely voluntary on the part of the candidates.

The assembly may also suspend the rules by a two thirds vote and drop the name of the candidate with the fewest votes from the ballot, but that candidate still remains eligible for election by write-in votes. No candidate may be disqualified except by voluntarily withdrawing.

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Here is the text of section 46:32 in the 12th edition regarding this situation: 

Whichever one of the preceding methods of election is used, if any office remains unfilled after the first ballot, the balloting is repeated for that office as many times as necessary to obtain a majority vote for a single candidate. When repeated balloting for an office is necessary, individuals are never removed from candidacy on the next ballot unless they voluntarily withdraw—which they are not obligated to do.1 The candidate in lowest place may turn out to be a “dark horse” on whom all factions may prefer to agree.  

here is the text of footnote # 1  to that section, which is critical:  

“An organization could suspend the rules, or adopt a special rule of order, so that the nominee with the fewest votes is dropped from the list of nominees for succeeding ballots in the expectation that voters will then confine their choice to the remaining nominees. Only a bylaws provision, however, could make the dropped nominee ineligible for election so as to render illegal any subsequent votes cast for that nominee. (See 46:2.)” 

Edited to add: For people using the Kindle version of RONR, it is VERY easy to overlook the footnotes as they are not printed at the bottom of the page like they are in the hardcopy editions. In the Kindle version, the footnotes are grouped together at the end of the chapter. It is very easy to miss the indication in the text that there is a footnote. I hope that in future editions, or maybe even in an update the current Kindle edition, that procedure can be changed to make the footnotes more visible.

Edited by Richard Brown
Added last paragraph
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