Promoting the study and teaching of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
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A Quorum of an assembly is such a number as must be
present in order that business can be legally transacted. The quorum refers to
the number present, not to the number voting. The quorum of a mass meeting is
the number present at the time, as they constitute the membership at that time.
The quorum of a body of delegates, unless the by-laws provide for a smaller
quorum, is a majority of the number enrolled as attending the convention, not
those appointed. The quorum of any other deliberative assembly with an enrolled
membership (unless the by-laws provide for a smaller quorum) is a majority of
all the members.
In the case, however, of a society, like many religious
ones, where there are no annual dues, and where membership is for life (unless
it is transferred or the names are struck from the roll by a vote of the
society) the register of members is not reliable as a list of the bona fide
members of the society, and in many such societies it would be impossible to
have present at a business meeting a majority of those enrolled as members.
Where such societies have no by-law establishing a quorum, the quorum consists
of those who attend the meeting, provided it is either a stated meeting or one
that has been properly called.
In all ordinary societies the by-laws should provide for a
quorum as large as can be depended upon for being present at all meetings when
the weather is not exceptionally bad. In such an assembly the chairman should
not take the chair until a quorum is present, or there is no prospect of there
being a quorum. The only business that can be transacted in the absence of a
to take measures to obtain a quorum,
to fix the time to which to-adjourn, and
to adjourn, or
to take a recess.
Unanimous consent cannot be given when a quorum is not
present, and a notice given then is not valid. In the case of an annual meeting,
where certain business for the year, as the election of officers, must be
attended to during the session, the meeting should fix a time for an adjourned
meeting and then adjourn.
For additional information, refer to
10th ed. pp. 334-340.