Robert's Rules of Order vote of 2 items
April 29, 2012 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Following Robert's Rules of Order, what would be the proper procedure for voting between two different actions?

Here is an example of what I'm talking about.

The merchandise committee creates two designs for an event. The merchandise chairman then presents both designs to the Executive Committee who decides which design the organization will actually use. In the motion-making process, how would this work? Or is it not possible? The actual voting seems like it could be as simple as a Division of Assembly, but I don't know how the motion would be worded.
posted by Deflagro to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANAParliamentarian, but I do use Robert's at various times. I'm fairly sure that the rules themselves don't specify how this kind of voting should work, intentionally, because of how many different types of voting there are.

Your organization's bylaws may specify something. Since there are many different valid methods for voting, I'd suggest specifying the voting parameters in your motion itself.

I.e., "Whereas the Executive Committee is presented with two event designs, the preferred design shall be decided by a secret ballot vote taken of all voting members of the Executive Committee in which a plurality of members vote FOR one and only one of the design options."
posted by odinsdream at 12:51 PM on April 29, 2012

There's probably a more elegant way, but can you pick one design and vote on a motion to adopt it? If the motion passes you use design #1, if it fails you move to adopt design #2. With this method there is the small chance that neither design passes the up/down vote.
posted by Wulfhere at 12:54 PM on April 29, 2012

" I move that we accept one of these two designs." I second that motion." Discussion. "All those in favor of design 1, please indicate that now." "Let the record show there were 8 votes in favor of design 1. All those in favor of design 2 please indicate that now. Let the record show there were 9 votes in favor of design 2. Design 2 is the accepted new design for our event."
posted by JohnnyGunn at 1:19 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

I believe the chair entertains a motion to have an open discussion on both designs. After what the chair feels is an adequate time for discussion--no new information disclosed or a specified amount of time has passed. The chair would then ask for a motion on one of the designs--motion made > second > discussion > call for a vote> up/down> passed/failed. If passed done, if failed then open for another motion.
posted by rmhsinc at 1:23 PM on April 29, 2012

I think we'll go with specifying in the motion that only one will be chosen, but also add on a Nay to the options. As in, vote for (Design 1/Design 2/Abstain/Neither).

Thanks all!
posted by Deflagro at 4:24 PM on April 29, 2012

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