SAMPLE SECTION Excerpted from the Book

General consent, also called unanimous consent, is used by the presiding officer during a formal business meeting for non-controversial decisions and for decisions in which every attendee is in agreement. With regard to a particular action or item of business, when requesting unanimous consent, the chair first asks if any member has an objection to approving or taking an action. After a pause, if no one objects, the presiding officer may assume that the routine motion or other noncontroversial action is adopted.22
 

This device is thought to save time and expedite the business of a meeting.23  In a Wyoming case minor violations of parliamentary procedure are excused.24  If even one person expresses concern or objection, the matter must then be handled like any other motion.
 

Unanimous consent should not be overused by the chair of a meeting. Thus a member should not be discouraged from seeking to remove an item from unanimous consent. In a California case, a claim of unanimous consent was rejected when a list of nominees was offered by a nominating committee.26  In a New York case, unanimous consent was used when a two-thirds vote for discipline was required.27 If much hinges on an outcome, a full vote should be taken and unanimous consent avoided.28

Another similar technique to save time is the grouping of various noncontroversial voting items of business as a bloc near the beginning of an agenda. This is called a consent agenda. The items for consideration are lumped together and voted on all at one time without debate.29

However, if even one attendee states an objection or wishes to discuss or vote separately on an item, that item must be  taken off the consent agenda and individually handled like any other motion outside the consent agenda.

This method of consent should never be abused. Members should be informed that any one person can move a consent item off of the list by request.
 

*Note: The information contained in the above Sample Section is general in nature. Each situation requires individual analysis. The referred to footnotes have been deleted here.

Parliamentary Services, Parliamentarian, Philadelphia

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Disclaimer

Introduction

Chapter 1: Meetings and Notice

§ 1         General Meetings of Members

§ 2         Special Meetings of Members

§ 3         Meetings of Directors or Trustees

§ 4         Method of Serving Notice (To Members and Directors)

§ 5         Waiver of Improper Notice

§ 6         Action Without a Meeting

§ 7         Organizational Meeting

§ 8         Adjourned Meetings (Meetings Following a Recess)

 

 

Chapter 2: Mechanics of Meetings

§ 9         Time and Place of Meetings

§ 10       Quorum

§ 11       Adopting Rules for Conducting Meetings

§ 12       Agenda and Order of Business

§ 13       Minutes of Meetings

§ 14       Inspection of Records

 

Chapter 3: Motions (General Discussion)

§ 15       Main Motions

§ 16       Bylaw Amendments

§ 17       Privileged Motions

§ 18       Subsidiary Motions

§ 19       Incidental Motions

§ 20       Restorative Motions

 

 

Chapter 4: Privileged and Subsidiary Motions

(Listed in Descending Order of Priority)

§ 21       Motion To Adjourn or Fix the Time to Which To Adjourn

§ 22       Motion To Recess

§ 23       Question of Privilege

§ 24       Motion To Postpone Temporarily (Table)

§ 25       Motion To Close Debate

§ 26       Motion To Limit or Extend Debate

§ 27       Motion To Postpone (A Motion) to a Definite Time

§ 28       Motion To Refer (To Committee)

§ 29       Motion To Amend a Motion (Not the Bylaws)

§ 30       Motion To Postpone Indefinitely

 

 

Chapter 5: Incidental Motions (No Order of Precedence)

§ 31       Appeal

§ 32       Division of the Question

§ 33       Motion To Withdraw

§ 34       Objection to Consideration

§ 35       Parliamentary Inquiry (Request for Information)

§ 36       Point of Order

§ 37       Motion To Suspend the Rules

 

 

Chapter 6: Unclassified Motions (No Order of Precedence)

§ 38       Motion To Reconsider

§ 39       Motion To Rescind

§ 40       Motion To Resume Consideration (Take from the Table)

 

 

Chapter 7: Debate

§ 41       Debate

§ 42       Executive Session

 

 

Chapter 8: Voting (Generally)

§ 43       Right To Vote

§ 44       Majority Vote

§ 45       Greater-Than-Majority Vote

§ 46       Cumulative Voting

§ 47       Plurality Vote

§ 48       Tie Vote

§ 49       Changing a Vote

§ 50       Challenging a Vote (Not Elections)

Chapter 9: Voting Methods

§ 51       Voting Methods (Generally)

§ 52       Voice Vote

§ 53       General Consent

§ 54       Show of Hands

§ 55       Roll Call Vote

§ 56       Ballot Vote

§ 57       Mail Vote

§ 58       Rising Vote

§ 59       Vote by Proxy

 

Chapter 10: Nominations

§ 60       Right To Nominate

§ 61       Nominating Committee

 

Chapter 11: Elections

§ 62       Regulation of Elections

§ 63       Election Committee

§ 64       Time and Place of Elections

§ 65       Balloting

§ 66       Vote Necessary To Elect

§ 67       Closing the Polls and Announcing the Vote

§ 68       Challenging an Election

 

Chapter 12: Committees

§ 69       Committees (Generally)

§ 70       Types of Committees

§ 71       Meetings of Committees

 

Chapter 13: Officers

§ 72       Officers (Generally)

§ 73       President

§ 74       Vice President

§ 75       Secretary

§ 76       Treasurer

§ 77       Officer Removal

 

Chapter 14: Directors

§ 78       Qualification, Nomination and Selection of Directors

§ 79       Powers of Directors

§ 80       Duties of Directors and Executive Committees

§ 81       Removal and Resignation of Directors

§ 82       Vacancies

§ 83       Conflict of Interest

§ 84       Indemnification

 

Chapter 15: Members

§ 85       Rights and Duties of Members

§ 86       Actions that Need Members’ Approval

§ 87       Classes of Membership

§ 88       Suspension and Expulsion of Members

 

Appendix

Index of Subjects