Thread Links Date Links
Thread Prev Thread Next Thread Index Date Prev Date Next Date Index

Re: [802SEC] Do Abstains Count in the Denominator


(I'm not sure that my posts have been getting through so I 'm also going to 
BCC the members of the EC.)

Steve is looking under the wrong rock here.
IF our rule is to have abstains in the denominator it is because of an 
imposed requirement that trickles down from New York law. That law trumps 
anything in Robert's Rules.

This particular requirement has caused no end of heartburn in the IEEE and 
has put in a crisp, definitive change in the way the IEEE-SA Standards 
Board conducts its votes. In that instance, when the chair calls the 
meeting to order attendance is taken. The number of voters present at that 
time becomes the denominator in the approval equation. While he often asks 
for a negative and an abstain count, that is merely a formality and has 
nothing to do with actual approval.

Approval is determined solely by whether the APPROVES is equal to or 
greater than ((established denominator/2 )+ 1).

Best regards,


At 05:35 PM 3/18/2006 , Shellhammer, Steve wrote:
>802 EC,
>These rules discussions are so much fun. :-)
>There seems to be confusion about whether Abstains count in the 
>denominator when a vote is held.  In other words if someone abstains did 
>they vote?
>So I thought I would look at Robert's Rules.  Here is a quote from 
>Robert's Rules on what it means to abstain.
>'To "abstain" means not to vote at all, and a member who makes no response 
>if "abstentions" are called for abstains just as much as one who responds 
>to that effect (see also p. 394).'
>Based on Robert's Rules an "abstain" is not considered a vote and is not 
>counted in the denominator.
>Clearly if we start to count Abstains in the denominator it will not only 
>change the meaning of a super majority but also of majority.  For example, 
>a vote of 10 yes, 4 No and 10 abstains would not count as a majority if we 
>start to include abstains in the denominator.
>Of course there are rules that explicitly set the denominator as "all 
>members" and it that case the denominator is those that vote yes, those 
>that vote no those that abstain, those who do not answer, those who are 
>not in the room, those who did not attend the meeting.
>So unless the rule states that the denominator is "all members" then the 
>denominator is the sum of those who vote yes and those who vote no.  This 
>is of course my humble opinion.
>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.  This 
>list is maintained by Listserv.

This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.  This list is maintained by Listserv.