Parliamentary Procedure Motions

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SP=Special Parliamentary or “Privileged”
Highest Priority (Generally Deals with Procedural Matters and Should be Disposed of At Once)

OP=Ordinary Parliamentary or “Incidental”
Next to Highest Priority (Generally Disposes of or Changes a Main Motion)

SM=Subsidiary to Main
Next to Lowest Priority (Generally Makes Changes in the Main Motion or Amendments to It)

M=Main
Lowest Priority (Waits until Subsidiary Motions Have Been Addressed)

Description – In General from Highest to Lowest Priority  Type In order when someone has the floor?  Second Needed?  Debate Allowed?  Vote Needed  Can Be Reconsidered?
Motions Likely at Either Board or Membership Meetings
Point of Order A SP Yes No No None B No
Appeal Chair’s Ruling SP Yes C Yes No Majority Yes
  1.  This motion challenges the propriety of whatever motion or debate is pending. It is used to remind the chair to enforce the rules.  For example, it can claim that debate time has been exceeded, that the debate is immaterial to the motion under debate, etc.
  2. The chair must make a ruling.  If it is in favor of the point of order, action must return to the proper agenda and enforcement of the rule asserted.  If the chair rules against the point of order, matters continue as they were before it was raised.  A 2/3 vote can overrule the chair, essentially suspending the rules.
  3. If done immediately after the ruling.
  4. This is used in place of the now archaic Parliamentary Inquiry or Point of Information.
    Description – In General from Highest to Lowest Priority  Type In order when someone has the floor?  Second Needed?  Debate Allowed?  Vote Needed  Can Be Reconsidered?
    Suspend the Rules / Change the Agenda SP No Yes No 2/3 No
    Request for Information D SP Yes No No None E No
    Request for Privilege SP Yes F No No None G No
    Adjourn / Recess Temporarily & Set Time to Resume H OP No Yes No Majority No
    Postpone Temporarily (to later in same meeting) OP No Yes No 2/3 No
  5. The motion asks for the chair to for information on an issue that is currently relevant to the pending matter, whether of what parliamentary rule applies, and the chair must provide the information.  For example, immediately before a vote, a member may raise a parliamentary inquiry to find out what vote is needed to pass the motion presented.
  6. Can interrupt a speaker if the urgency warrants it.
  7. This is used to correct a situation involving safety or comfort, including excessive noise, temperature, etc. and the chair must determine whether it is urgent enough to address immediately.
  8. Only the motion to recess may be amended, and only with respect to the duration of the recess.
    Description – In General from Highest to Lowest Priority  Type In order when someone has the floor?  Second Needed?  Debate Allowed?  Vote Needed  Can Be Reconsidered?
    Close Debate OP No Yes No 2/3 Yes I
    Postpone to a Later Date at Definite Time OP No Yes Yes J Majority No
    Reconsider a Prior Motion OP No Yes K Yes Majority No
    Amend a Pending Motion to Amend a Main Motion SM No Yes Yes/No L Majority Yes
    Amend a Main Motion SM No Yes Yes/No M Majority Yes
    Main Motion M No Yes Yes Majority Yes
    Adopt Standing Rules M No Yes Yes Majority Yes
  9. However, it must be reconsidered immediately.  It cannot be reconsidered once a vote is taken on the motion on which debate was closed.
  10. May debate only as to reasons for postponement and date for appearing on agenda again, but not as to merits of the main motion.  May be amended as to date for considering the motion again.
  11. Motion must be made by someone who voted on the prevailing side, but can be seconded by anyone.
  12. If the Main Motion itself is debatable.
  13. If the Main Motion itself is debatable.
    Description – In General from Highest to Lowest Priority  Type In order when someone has the floor?  Second Needed?  Debate Allowed?  Vote Needed  Can Be Reconsidered?
    Approve or Correct Minutes M No Yes Yes Majority Yes
    Motions Most Likely at Membership Meetings
    Order Roll Call if Vote in Doubt SP Yes Yes No Majority No
    Order Roll Call before Vote is Taken SP No Yes No Majority No
    Nominations, Close OP No Yes No 2/3 No
    Nomination, Make a M No No N Yes Majority No O

    NOTE:  Unless defined in your governing documents, majority typically means any vote over half of those PRESENT AND VOTING, either IN PERSON OR BY PROXY, provided a quorum is present.  Majority has a different meaning from one more than half, or 51%.  Both are technically greater than a simple majority.  In some cases, the difference may be critical.  Abstentions are usually considered to be neither a vote for or against.

  14. Many people are unaware that a second is not needed.
  15. Once a person is elected, learns of it, and does not decline, the election cannot be reconsidered, but the person can always resign.

 

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