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Thread: Roberts Rules of order using email contact question

  1. #1
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Roberts Rules of order using email contact question

    There are many wise experienced folks on this site so please help me sort out a dilemma that I am going through with one group.

    I know that in a face-to-face meeting a vote on an issue or motion can be 'yay', 'nay' or 'abstain' according to general rules of order such as Roberts.
    What happens when the vote is via email and only 11 of 20 respond? Does each of the non-respondents get classified as an abstention or a nay vote?
    How many non-respondents totally nullifies the vote?

    This must be happening in the real world with our technology.

  2. #2
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    What was the agreement ahead of time? When voting by any other means than in-person, the rules need to be agreed upon ahead of time. If they have not, I think you need to go back & get these agreements in place first, then have the vote. Will this take more time? Yup. Will it save huge headaches in the long run? Yup again! Good luck.

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    Agree with redfox, it depends on your group's bylaws, or other agreement. Also wonder if 20 members is too large of a number for the group's decision-makers?

    I'd say re-send the email and explain the situation and see what the group decides. If you still don't get much of a response, then there's a larger issue that needs to be addressed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. You have basically told me what I had thought but I needed an objective view to deal with the enthusiasm for new use of technology.

    It is a slow process with training a group of non-business volunteers to follow some guidelines in planning new initiatives. With a lot of discussion, they have finally accepted the idea of following a written proposal outline for all activities.
    I will introduce the written guideline about using email at our next meeting. It is very hard when people who are willing and enthusiastic don't know how much they don't know about planning. risks etc.

  5. #5
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    Razz, frame it this way for them: the written agreement is a great tool to document the group's intention at the time of the discussin, so that no one has to remember the whole thing, or try to reconstruct it after the fact.

  6. #6
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    What happens when the vote is via email and only 11 of 20 respond?
    What would you have done if, at a meeting, written ballots were cast and you received only 11 ballots from the 20 attendees? Does your organization already cover that circumstance?
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Beautiful!!!!! Redfox. Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Not sure what the response would be to such a vote with so few ballots being turned in. It is an organization that is just finding its feet.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    One organization I was in moved to online approval of meeting minutes as well as online voting when we did not have a quorum at meetings. We used surveymonkey, it required one click from the email, and there were both yes and no options on the vote. We did have to revise our bylaws to reflect this.

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