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Method of voting

Guest Paul

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I know that the person presiding over a meeting has the right to indicate the method of voting.

Well, not quite.

Can that person call for one method for the yes vote (standing) and another method for the no vote (voice)?


You cannot mix and match.

A rising vote (where you stand up when your side is called applies to both the affirmative and the negative), once ordered, is to apply to all voters equally.

You wouldn't have

(a.) a counted vote for the affirmative, showing who voted; vs.

(b.) a voice voice for the negative, where the negative voters get to "hide" their position in a chorus of sound.

That would put pressure on the affirmative voters which isn't a factor for the negative side.

It also makes COMPARISON impossible on close votes.

A voice vote is a auditory impression.

A rising vote is a visual impression.

A chair cannot tell numbers well in a mix of mediums.

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Can you tell me where in RR it indicates that different methods are not acceptable?

One should conclude that mixing different voting methods in one vote is not proper because the form in RONR for taking a vote always describes the same approach for the yes and no votes.

For example, the proper way to conduct a voice vote (RONR page 44, lines 10 - 14) is to first ask "Those in favor of the motion, say aye," and then, afterwards, to ask "Those opposed, say no."

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Can you tell me where in RR it indicates that different methods are not acceptable?

See page 273, Section 30, "Motions Related to Methods of Voting and the Polls".

Although you can authorize a change of method from the simple method to a more definitive method of voting (e.g. going from a voice vote to a ballot vote), you cannot ____:

(a.) go backwards and go from a definitive method to a voice vote.

(b.) change voting methods until the negative vote is taken on the current method.

Is it even possbile?

You'd have to move To Suspend The Rules to mix and match methods in one taking of a vote.

So, it is theoretically possible.

But, as I've already posted, it is unfair to one side to expose the individual voter, while allowing the other side to hide individual votes among a yelled-out oral method.

Per your original question, the answer is, "No chair can authorized this mix-and-match method of voting."

The assembly, via one heck of a weirdo Suspension of the Rules, would have to authorize the mix-and-match method.

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... which reminds me ...

I once wrote a parody of Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" using a parliamentary theme.

In my poem, my "Parli-Cat" is a trouble-making character who gets everything wrong.

Below is a verse of my poem where the Parli-Cat answers a question from a me about how best to conduct a vote.


"The taking of a vote, I say,

Is to be done the proper way.

How does a chairman ascertain

The will of the assembly, plain?"

The Parli-Cat indexed the clue

And showed me what a chair should do.

"Command, 'All rise, the question's put!'

And hop up/down, upon one foot!

The negative goes first, I say,

Until the vote has gone my way!"



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  • 2 years later...

Our recent oral vote was inconclusive, where a "super majority" was needed to pass the motion. Several attempts were made to get the number required, and the results remained inconclusive. Doesn't that almost require a recorded vote?

Where were you, at the DNC? :)

If any group needed help........but nevermind :)

Rick, when more than majority vote is required a rising vote should be taken, and if the results are still inconclusive, the chair, on his own initiative should order a count. If he doesn't a member could move to count the vote.

In your situation you could have demanded a division (a rising vote), then move for the vote to be counted if you thought it was still inconclusive......

*edit - Seeing Lee M.'s name in a two year old thread reminds me how much we miss him and his precise, correct answers.

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