Majority Vote vs. Quorum

Voting by show of hands.

What’s the difference in Quorum for decisions and Majority vote?  Majority vote means that more than half of the group/team members present have to agree to the decision for it to pass.  Some people try to be deceptive and bring in guests to vote their way so they can obtain the majority – this should not be allowed! Any way a vote is done, it should be only by voting members of the group or team.

A quorum is a way to make decisions even if all group/team members are not present as it requires only a percentage of voting members to be present for work to continue.  A quorum is usually 2/3 of the voting membership, so if at least 2/3 of the members cannot attend the meeting then the meeting may not be necessary because no decisions can be made. Having a requirement of a quorum can prevent a small group trying to take control via special meetings that they know most members with a different view will be unable to attend.

It is also important to note that a quorum may be different from a 2/3 vote, which is different from a majority.  A 2/3 vote means twice as many people must vote for the decision than vote against it in order to pass.  .  Whereas, a majority vote is simply more than ½ (51% or greater) of voting members can pass a decision for the whole, leaving the almost 1/2 minority with little voice. A  2/3 vote may also be referred to as “large majority vote.”

Whether you use Robert’s Rules of Order or another meeting process, the group/team must state in their code of conduct, bylaws, meeting guidelines, or rules/regulation, whether most decisions are to made via majority vote, quorum, consensus, or if alternative methods may be applied as appropriate.

Voting methods can be show-of-hands (raising one arm), secret ballot, roll call where each person states their vote when their name is called, counting those standing for Yes/No, or saying Yay or Nay..

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