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Some Common Errors

SO MOVED!

This is a common statement which actually means nothing. One must state the actual motion so as to avoid confusion in the audience. The Chair should not accept "So moved" as a motion, but require the motion be re-stated clearly. Everyone has the right to know exactly what is being moved and discussed.

ABSTENTIONS

Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote; when members abstain, they are in effect only attending the meeting to aid in constituting a quorum. The chair should not ask for abstentions in taking a vote, since the number of members who respond to such a call is meaningless. To "abstain" means not to vote at all, so a member who makes no response if "abstentions" are called for abstains just as much as one who responds to that effect...

MOVE TO TABLE

First of all, the correct wording is "Move to Lay on the Table." According to Robert's Rules of Order, this motion is in order only as a temporary interruption of the agenda, so as to allow something special and urgent out of turn. If you wish to postpone consideration of a motion, use the correct term "Move to postpone to a certain time." If your members wish to kill a motion, let them use the correct motion - "Move to Postpone Indefinitely."

CALL THE QUESTION

To close debate on a motion, you say "I move the previous question." A second is required; there is no debate allowed; a two-thirds vote is required to pass. A member must have the floor to introduce this motion -- i.e., he cannot interrupt a speaker who has the floor.

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