What is a Meeting Motion?
A motion is the central mechanism that directors
use to express themselves. A motion is a proposal that the entire board
take action or stand on an issue. A motion should express a decision in precise terms that, if approved
, will be self-explanatory. Typically a motion must be seconded by another director as a precondition to the discussion. Otherwise, the motion will “die for lack of a second” meaning that the board does not find the motion to be a worthy discussion. A motion can also be amended and, if the amendment is seconded, then the amended motion is also eligible for discussion and a vote.
Meeting Motion Best Practices
There are five methods used to vote by most organizations:
- By voice – Vocally with a simple “aye, or “no.”
- By roll call – Each director is put on the record and asked for vote “yes,” “no,” or abstain from the vote.
- By unanimous consent – if a motion is routine and unlikely to be controversial, the chairperson may ask for unanimous consent. If any director objects, the motion must be put to a formal vote.
- By division – a simple show of hands to indicate support for the motion
- By ballot – Members write their vote down
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