In order to call a vote, the Board or Executive Committee must establish a quorum or majority. A quorum refers to the number of members present not the number of members voting. In determining the outcome of a Board vote, a majority of the voting members present rules.
In general, substantial discussion precedes Board decisions. Supporting documentation of previous Board discussions, financial implications, and feedback from stakeholders can be helpful to individual Board members in determining how to cast their votes.
Board of Directors Action Forms and motions
The Board of Directors Action Form form the Forms Page includes background information, stakeholder comments, and financial implications, as well as recommended action(s). During a meeting, the Board can informally consider the action recommended and make revisions to the action recommended. The president can invite an action recommended to be considered as a motion. Any member of the Board can also make a motion to bring the action recommended forward for formal discussion and a Board decision.
Motions developed during a Board or Executive Committee meeting that were not presented as part of a Board Action Form can be made in writing on official Board motion forms, which are available at each meeting. Motions must be signed. A second is required except in the case of motions presented by the chair of a Board committee as part of the report of that committee. The written motions are used as a formal record of the Board’s actions; therefore, it is important that both the mover and the seconder complete the written motion form fully, accurately, and legibly.
Voting at meetings
At Board meetings, as in all Board votes, a majority vote rules. During meetings, Board members indicate their vote by rising, raising their hand, and/or by voicing “aye,” “no,” or “abstain” as requested by the president. The president notes the outcome of a vote orally, i.e., saying, “the motion passes,” “the vote is unanimous,” or “the motion fails.”
Votes taken in closed session must be reported out, with the vote confirmed in open session.
Voting between meetings
The Board regularly discusses and takes action on items virtually throughout the year. The typical pattern for virtual actions is to post an item for a period (generally one week) of discussion followed by a period (generally one week) of voting. Virtual actions are confirmed at the next face-to-face meeting during open session, which simply means the Board confirms that they cast the vote virtually. It is not re-voting on an issue. Virtual votes may occur for the following reasons:
Procedures for voting electronically, using telecommunications, or by mail
Voting between meetings is provided for by the ACRL Bylaws, Article XVIII, Sections 1, 2, and 3. The most common method for a Board vote outside of a Board meeting is via poll in ALA Connect. During the implementation of the new ALA Connect, staff will send the Board information about how to cast a vote using tools, such as Doodle Poll or other software until voting is made available in ALA Connect. A Board Action Form and supporting documentation will be posted for informal discussion to the Board’s pre-vote discussion forum in ALA Connect for a specific period of time (generally one week). After the informal discussion period is over, a motion will be presented for a “yes” or “no” vote via a poll in ALA Connect or an online polling option, such as Doodle poll. As standard with all Board votes, a majority vote rules.
How to participate in pre-vote discussions in ALA Connect:
Note: staff will notify the Board through the listserv when virtual discussions and votes occur, but here are the steps for accessing virtual discussions and posts within ALA Connect.
How to cast a virtual vote:
Note: Staff will send the Board instructions when virtual voting is ready in the new ALA Connect. Until voting is ready in ALA Connect, the Board will use Doodle poll for virtual votes.
Votes taken between meetings are confirmed in the next open session meeting of the Board.