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Motions and Voting


  1. Rank of Motions

  2. Main Motion (example)

  3. How to obtain Floor

  4. Types of Voting



Motion # Motion Title Recognition by Chair Needs Second
1 To adjourn Yes Yes
2 To recess Yes Yes
3 To set Question of Privilege No No
4 To refer to Table Yes Yes
5 To refer to Previous Question Yes Yes
6 To limit the debate Yes Yes
7 To postpone indefinitely Yes Yes
8 To address to Committee Yes Yes
9 To amend Yes Yes
10 To postpone indefinitely Yes Yes
11 To set Main Motion Yes Yes




2. MAIN MOTION   (example).


This is typical MOTION and it shall be used:

  • To get the assembly to consider some subject desired by the pro- poser.

  • To ratify a policy, reject a recommendation, adopt a committee report or a resolution, or to annul or to approve.

It has the lowest rank of all motions.

Only one main motion can be under discussion at one time. Each main motion must be disposed of in some way (by being passed, defeated, tabled, referred to committee, etc.) before another main motion can be considered.

Example: "I move we increase the homeowner yearly assessment from $500 to $550"

  • RECOGNITION by chairman necessary

  • CANNOT interrupt if someone is speaking


  • MAJORITY vote required




In order to speak to a motion, or offer a motion, you have to "obtain the floor." As soon as you have been recognized by the presiding officer, you "have the floor."



  1. Wait until no one is speaking (or until someone has finished speaking),
  2. then stand up quickly, saying "Mr. Chair- man!" at the same time
  3. Wait for the chairman to recognize you - but if you believe you were not heard, repeat "Mr. Chairman !"
  4. The chairman, seeing or hearing you, will say "Mr. Jackson" or "the gentleman in the purple shirt" or "the lady in the third row."
  5. The "floor" is now yours-you may keep it until you have said what you wish to say.
  6. Temporarily you may have to give up the "floor" if someone wishes to offer a motion with a higher rank (such as an inquiry, or point of order). But unless you engage in debate which is not permissible (see Card 65), you will be given back the "floor" and be permitted to keep the floor as long as you wish.




  1. Unanimous consent: A convenient and sensible method of handling procedural problems where it can be assumed there is no objection. The chairman states: "If there is no objection, , ,"

  2. Voice Vote: The most common method of voting. The chairman decides passage or failure of a motion on the basis of oral voting. The chairman states:

  3.  "All in favor of the motion, say 'aye'; all opposed, say 'no.' The 'ayes' have it, Motion passed," (Any member can call for "division," to insist on a rising vote or a hand tally.)  

  4. Rising or Hand Tally: Can be used:

    • When any member calls for "division."

    • When an exceptional majority is required (like a 2/3rd or 3/4th vote).

  5. The "floor" is now yours - you may keep it until you have said what you wish to say:

    •  Whenever required by constitution or By-Laws.

    • Whenever ordered by motion. (This motion requires only a second and a majority vote to pass.)

  6. Roll call: This method may be required by constitution or By-Laws on certain issues or it may be ordered by motion. (Rules same as motion to vote by ballot.) The old form is to call this "Yeas and Nays."




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