Formal voting is required for certain decisions such as membership, changes to By-laws and allocations. Robert’s Rules of Order or parliamentary procedure is used to guide voting processes with a motion made, seconded then discussed and voted upon. This process typically is through a show of hands with ‘yes’ votes, ‘no’ votes and ‘abstention. For some crucial votes, a written ballot is taken (voting for Co-Chair of the Planning Council). For more information, please see Robert’s Rules of Order (http://www.robertsrules.org/).
- Abstaining means that you decide to NOT vote on an action.
- You should abstain if you are presiding over a meeting, to be sure you are objective.
- You should abstain if you have a conflict of interest (you or your organization could financially benefit from a decision).
- You should abstain if you do not have enough information to vote. If you didn’t attend a previous meeting where discussion of the matter was held in detail, and this puts you at a handicap, then abstain on that vote.
- Do not abstain if you are unsure about an issue. Seek information and come to a decision as part of your duty as a member.
- A quorum is a simple majority (50% or over of the total, if all Planning Council members are present this equals 13 or 52% of the 25 total members). A quorum must be present at each Planning Council meeting where voting occurs, and at each of the three (3) working committee meetings (Membership/Finance, Quality Improvement and Strategic Planning & Assessment–see Committees).
- A committee meeting must have three (3) council members, one of which is the committee co-chair for quorum (or the ability to vote on matters that go forward to the Planning Council).
A conflict of interest is when a member knowingly influences the outcome of votes or decisions that could financially benefit that member, the organization that they work for, or a service that they provide.