Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Are nominations from the floor required?


jlowend
 Share

Recommended Posts

I recently joined a non-profit where there is a divide between the board and some of the membership.  When I attended the annual meeting and it came time for the nomination and election of the new directors(3 positions with only 3 nominations from the nominating committee). the president refused to allow any nominations from the floor.  The bylaws specifically state that they will follow Roberts in the case of disputes, but the members wishing to nominate from the floor backed down.  Is the board allowed not to allow nominations from the floor?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The board is not meeting at the annual meeting of the general membership.  If this society's board is sitting across the front of the meeting room, a general member can obtain the floor at the beginning of the meeting and move that the board members take seats among the general members.  This is an incidental main motion; it requires a second; is debatable; and, requires a majority vote for adoption.  So much for the pontificating board.

Insofar as Robert's Rules controls, nominations from the floor are required.  RONR (12th ed.) 46:18.  The chair calls for further nominations after the Nominating Committee has presented its report.

So, what about the refusing president?  Is he competent to be in the chair?  Does he have a working knowledge of the rules, including Robert's Rules?  Does he have a copy of RONR (12th ed.) at hand during the meeting?  How is it that he "refused to allow any nominations from the floor"?  By what authority did he refuse?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 5:04 PM, jlowend said:

the president refused to allow any nominations from the floor.  The bylaws specifically state that they will follow Roberts in the case of disputes, but the members wishing to nominate from the floor backed down.  Is the board allowed not to allow nominations from the floor?

It sounds like it was the president, as the presiding officer of the meeting, who refused to allow nominations from the floor. 

I believe that it is too late to correct this error now but, perhaps useful for next year, here's what could/should have happened.

The members should not have backed down. They should have raised a point of order that nominations from the floor must be allowed. If the presiding officer rules against that point ("not well taken"), then an appeal can be made.

Points of order need to be made in a timely manner, with limited exceptions for what are known as "continuing breaches." I don't see any continuing breaches here so that is why I said it is too late to correct this error now.

As Mr. Elsman implies, it sounds like this board is overstepping its authority, and the president as well; this is common and doesn't necessarily mean that it was done with bad intent. But the membership needs to be aware of their rights and be prepared to enforce them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 6:44 PM, Atul Kapur said:

Points of order need to be made in a timely manner, with limited exceptions for what are known as "continuing breaches." I don't see any continuing breaches here so that is why I said it is too late to correct this error now.

What about 23:6(e) and 25:11?  Are they inapplicable because the denial of the right to make a nomination applied to all members? I would say so.

 

Edited by Dan Honemann
Added the last sentence
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 7:36 PM, Dan Honemann said:

What about 23:6(e) and 25:11?  Are they inapplicable because the denial of the right to make a nomination applied to all members? I would say so.

I believe that I am agreeing with you that 23:6(e) and 25:11 do not apply here because the denial applied to all members. 

What was described sounds like it was effectively a declaration by the chair, after the nominating committee report was made, that nominations were closed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 5:16 PM, Atul Kapur said:

I believe that I am agreeing with you that 23:6(e) and 25:11 do not apply here because the denial applied to all members. 

I am having a little bit of trouble believing that both of you are saying that I as a presiding officer by denying a single member his right to offer a nomination that that act may be appealed, but if I deny all members the right to make nominations then that act cannot be appealed. Did I miss something?

On 9/25/2021 at 5:16 PM, Atul Kapur said:

What was described sounds like it was effectively a declaration by the chair, after the nominating committee report was made, that nominations were closed.

Perhaps the presiding officer understood the parliamentary situation in this manner, however, perhaps things would be more clear had anyone moved a motion to reopen nominations (31:1-31:7) and then appealed if the presiding officer refused to put the motion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 7:36 PM, Dan Honemann said:

What about 23:6(e) and 25:11?  Are they inapplicable because the denial of the right to make a nomination applied to all members? I would say so.

 

It certainly would not if the vote was by ballot or roll call.  On a voice vote, a majority could vote against each candidate, so the assembly could not elect anyone until the chair relents.   In the circumstance, the assembly could order a method of voting where nominations are not needed. 

Further, the election of an officer, by majority vote, should heal any breach caused by improper nominations. 

I am, in looking at your comment, wondering if meant that they were  applicable. 

Edited by J. J.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 11:37 PM, Guest Zev said:

I am having a little bit of trouble believing that both of you are saying that I as a presiding officer by denying a single member his right to offer a nomination that that act may be appealed, but if I deny all members the right to make nominations then that act cannot be appealed. Did I miss something?

We are not (at least, I am not) discussing whether it may be appealed. The discussion focused on whether the point of order (& appeal) needed to be made in a timely manner. I am saying that there was no continuing breach so any point of order had to be timely. I believe @Dan Honemann and @J. J. agree with me but you will have to ask them directly to confirm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/26/2021 at 12:57 AM, Atul Kapur said:

We are not (at least, I am not) discussing whether it may be appealed. The discussion focused on whether the point of order (& appeal) needed to be made in a timely manner. I am saying that there was no continuing breach so any point of order had to be timely. I believe @Dan Honemann and @J. J. agree with me but you will have to ask them directly to confirm.

Yes, I agree with you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/26/2021 at 12:57 AM, Atul Kapur said:

We are not (at least, I am not) discussing whether it may be appealed. The discussion focused on whether the point of order (& appeal) needed to be made in a timely manner. I am saying that there was no continuing breach so any point of order had to be timely. I believe @Dan Honemann and @J. J. agree with me but you will have to ask them directly to confirm.

I certainly agree with you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/25/2021 at 4:04 PM, jlowend said:

I recently joined a non-profit where there is a divide between the board and some of the membership.  When I attended the annual meeting and it came time for the nomination and election of the new directors(3 positions with only 3 nominations from the nominating committee). the president refused to allow any nominations from the floor.  The bylaws specifically state that they will follow Roberts in the case of disputes, but the members wishing to nominate from the floor backed down.  Is the board allowed not to allow nominations from the floor?

No, the board and the President have no authority to refuse to allow nominations from the floor. (It's also not clear to me whether the board, in fact, made a decision in this matter or if the President acted alone.)

It is unfortunately too late to address the error in the election itself at this time, but those responsible could still be subject to disciplinary action.

For future reference, it should also be noted that (unless the organization's rules provide otherwise) members are not restricted to voting for persons who have been nominated. So if the vote is taken by ballot or roll call, members can still vote for their preferred candidate(s) anyway, even if they have not been nominated. If those votes were then improperly thrown out, and they could have affected the result, that could have given rise to a continuing breach and been grounds to invalidate the election.

As others have noted, a Point of Order and Appeal would have also been appropriate.

So the moral of the story is don't back down.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...