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Can the Chair make motions?


It depends. If you are using small board rules, the Chair may make a motion. According to RONR* 12th ed.  49:21, a small board is defined as one with no more than 12 members present. In such a board:

  • Members may raise a hand instead of standing when seeking to obtain the floor and may remain seated while making motions or speaking.

  • Motions need not be seconded.

  • There is no limit to the number of times a member can speak to a debatable question.

  • Informal discussion of a subject is permitted while no motion is pending.

  • When a proposal is perfectly clear to all present, a vote can be taken without a motion having been introduced.

  • The Chair need not rise while putting questions to a vote.

  • The Chair may speak in informal discussions and debate, and vote on all questions.


What is the proper language to use when handling a motion?


The Chair should always announce the result of a vote. They would say: "The ayes have it, the motion is adopted, and now we will do XYZ."   [Or, "The noes have it, and the motion is lost".]   Many people say “the ayes have, and the motion passed.”  This is just fine – just make it clear to everyone what the effect of the vote was. If you want  to use language ‘by the book’, a motion is either adopted or lost. 


How should minutes be approved?   


The Chair should ask: "Are there any corrections?" If there are, the Secretary notes that, and then the Chair can say: “Are there any further corrections? Seeing none, the minutes are approved as corrected." The only way to not approve the minutes is to offer a correction to them.


What does a tie vote mean? 


It means the motion is lost. Most motions require a majority vote: no majority, the motion is lost (fails).  

The Chair says: "There is a tie vote. The motion is lost. The next item of business is...."

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