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


	I am not arguing that we should count abstaining from voting as
voting.  But I guess stranger things have happened.  I was in fact
arguing the opposite.

	Regarding this new NY State rule, are we supposed to review all
actions that EC has taken and apply the NY law retroactively to actions
we have taken in the past?

	By the way, are we supposed to be using this rule in the EC?  I
have not seen that rule applied yet. I don't recall using it at the
March Plenary. When do we start using this rule?


-----Original Message-----
From: Geoff Thompson [] 
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 11:16 AM
To: Shellhammer, Steve
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Do Abstains Count in the Denominator


(I'm not sure that my posts have been getting through so I 'm also going
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
anything in Robert's Rules.

This particular requirement has caused no end of heartburn in the IEEE
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
time becomes the denominator in the approval equation. While he often
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
>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
>if "abstentions" are called for abstains just as much as one who
>to that effect (see also p. 394).'
>Based on Robert's Rules an "abstain" is not considered a vote and is
>counted in the denominator.
>Clearly if we start to count Abstains in the denominator it will not
>change the meaning of a super majority but also of majority.  For
>a vote of 10 yes, 4 No and 10 abstains would not count as a majority if
>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
>denominator is the sum of those who vote yes and those who vote no.
>is of course my humble opinion.
>This email is sent from the 802 Executive Committee email reflector.
>list is maintained by Listserv.

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