Can the president vote?

president's gavelYou’ve probably heard that the president can only vote if it is to break a tie. That’s not exactly true.

I don’t like to use Robert’s Rules to run my meetings. But they do seem to be the de facto authority on how they should go. Here’s what Robert says:

If the president is a member of the voting body, he or she has exactly the same rights and privileges as all other members have, including the right to make motions, to speak in debate, and to vote on all questions.

However, impartiality may be more appropriate in large meetings, so having too much to say or voting by voice might appear to unduly influence the group.  (And isn’t it at least part of the president’s job to keep any one person from throwing too much weight around?)

Interestingly, Roberts Rules say that the president can only break a tie with an affirmative vote.

Also if the yea’s have it by only one vote, the president can vote to CAUSE a tie “to cause the motion to fail.”

Check it all out in Roberts Rules here.

See why I like consensus? Half your members won’t ever go away angry!

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