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voting by ballot verses raise of hands


Guest Jamie Laird

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Our club usually vote only by show of hands. Some of us would rather vote by ballot on certain things. We think it would be a more accurate vote and it would not intimidate some people on their vote. When is this appropriate? Can you give me some pros and cons on raising of hands verses ballot.

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Our club usually vote only by show of hands. Some of us would rather vote by ballot on certain things. We think it would be a more accurate vote and it would not intimidate some people on their vote. When is this appropriate? Can you give me some pros and cons on raising of hands verses ballot.

If you think a vote by ballot would offer members a better opportunity to express their real judgment, you can make a Motion Related to Methods of Voting. The motion requires a majortity vote for adoption. See RONR (10th ed.), §30, pp. 273ff.

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A motion adopted by majority vote, without debate, is need to vote by ballot.

It's perfect when secrecy will bring about a truer expression of the assembly's will.

It is undebatable when made while a main motion is pending. If it is made when no other question is pending, it is debatable like any other main motion.

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We think it would be a more accurate vote and it would not intimidate some people on their vote. When is this appropriate?

What you describe is the exact reason a ballot vote would be appropriate.

Can you give me some pros and cons on raising of hands verses ballot.

The secrecy of a ballot vote could be a pro or con, depending on the circumstances. A ballot vote is highly desirable in elections or other sensitive topics. On the other hand, a public body should probably avoid voting by ballot. It is rather time-consuming and complex compared to other methods of voting, so if the motion under debate is not too sensitive it might be best not to bother with it.

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Our club usually vote only by show of hands. Some of us would rather vote by ballot on certain things. We think it would be a more accurate vote and it would not intimidate some people on their vote. When is this appropriate? Can you give me some pros and cons on raising of hands verses ballot.

Ballot

Pros: members will vote how they truly feel

Cons: done right it takes longer, you need paper and pens (for those that aren't prepared), tellers and teller reports (nice to have the pre-printed as much as you can)

Raised Hands:

Pros: quick, just need someone with good eye-sight and math skills

Cons: everyone knows how you voted (or abstained); unless overwhelming majority either way (ie, the Chair is uncertain which way the vote went) you may have to revote, which means doing something like a rising counted vote

If the vote is such that a ballot vote would be best received by the voting members, it's well worth the effort and trouble, so don't hesitate. But it isn't the way to vote for most non-controversial motions.

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It is undebatable when made while a main motion is pending. If it is made when no other question is pending, it is debatable like any other main motion.

You're not going to add every other exception to every exception, Rob? Now all we need is someone to pop on by and tell us when no vote is required. :rolleyes:

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Our club usually vote only by show of hands. Some of us would rather vote by ballot on certain things. We think it would be a more accurate vote and it would not intimidate some people on their vote. When is this appropriate? Can you give me some pros and cons on raising of hands verses ballot.

Jamie,

I've got some experience on this one. Rest assured a secret ballot is always best if anyone

suspects pier pressure is playing a role in the voting process.

However, when the person voting is doing so as an elected representative, I highly recommend that

they be made accountable by moving to vote by roll call.

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