Home Blog Ann Guiberson Can the president ever vote?

Parliamentary Procedure Time

Can the president ever vote?

They say: The president or the chairman can't speak during debate and can't vote.

But we say: In small boards or committees, the rules are less formal and the presiding officer (president, chairman) can both speak during debate and can vote on all matters. Small boards are defined as having twelve or less members.

Even in a large board the presiding officer can vote to make a tie or to break a tie. (A tie vote means the motion is lost.) This right should be used very carefully though because the presiding officer does not want to lose the trust of the assembly.

The presiding officer can always vote when the vote is by ballot. A ballot vote maintains privacy and is less likely to impair the presiding officer's impartiality in conducting the meeting.

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Ann Guiberson


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