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"Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty" - Henry M Robert



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Mind Benders and Brain Teasers:

This is where we will post questions and situations that will test your knowledge of parliamentary procedure. If you have a parliamentary Mind Bender or Brain Teaser that you would like to share, send it to and we will print the best ones here. Unless otherwise noted, the parliamentary authority is Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), 10th edition. The informal parliamentary opinions expressed here follow general principles of parliamentary law and Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), 10th edition, and are based solely on the brief summary of facts presented, without the benefit of having reviewed the bylaws and other governing documents. An association's own bylaws, covenants, Articles of Incorporation, Special Rules of Order, and local or state laws will supersede what RONR says. A significant difference in facts could result in different conclusions being reached. If there is much at stake, readers are encouraged to seek a formal written parliamentary opinion from a Professional Registered Parliamentarian, which includes a thorough review of the organization's bylaws and governing documents. Nothing here should be construed as an interpretation of statutory law.

Answer to Mind Bender for July 2004:

All references are to RONR 10th ed

Question: During an election process for any position to be filled, how many times must the chair ask "Are there any further nominations"? Once, twice, or three times? Does RONR specify and if so, where?

Answer: Once is enough, but I have seen people who should know better call it out three times. I think this myth may have arisen before the days of loudspeakers, when the chairman had to call out the announcements to all sides of the large meeting room: left, center, and right, so that all could hear.

Refer to RONR p. 277:
"MOTIONS TO CLOSE OR REOPEN NOMINATIONS. In the average society, a motion to close nominations is not a necessary part of the election procedure and it should not generally be moved. When nominations have been made by a committee or from the floor, the chair should inquire whether there are any further nominations; and when there is no response, he declares that nominations are closed. In very large bodies, the formality of a motion to close nominations is sometimes allowed, but this motion is not in order until a reasonable opportunity to make nominations has been given; as noted above, it is out of order if a member is seeking the floor to make a further nomination, and it always requires a two-thirds vote. When no one wishes to make further nomination, the motion serves no useful purpose."




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