What is a Motion Vote?

During a meeting/assembly, motions can be called. A motion is a formal way of introducing an idea or concept (usually some kind of call to action) for consideration before a group of people. Motions are extremely common in formal meeting procedures and are a fundamental part of parliamentary procedures. For example, taking a recess during a parliamentary proceeding is spearheaded by calling a motion to take that recess.

Motions are unique in that they are kind of like an impromptu election. Some planning goes into a motion, but that planning is performed by the mover (i.e. the person suggesting the motion), and therefore other members and leaders of the organization may not know what the motion is ahead of time. The motion only becomes a topic for consideration if someone (the seconder) seconds the motion.

Motions can even be amended once moved. Each amendment is treated as a motion, and the motion can be approved/disapproved in separate sections based on the amendments. However, once all the amendments have been voted on, the entire motion, as amended, will be debated.

Different procedures will have different requirements for whether a motion is approved or disapproved. Commonly, it is either a simple majority or a two-thirds majority, but can vary.

Motion vote ballot
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Possible Voting Methods for a Motion Vote

As mentioned, a motion is relatively spontaneous compared to other elections. There is little potential to prepare a ballot in advance of the voting period, and ballots cannot be edited while an election is live, so there is no way to get an election running and then add the details of the motion to the ballot after the fact. Therefore, the best way to handle motions at a meeting while using ElectionBuddy is to create generic referendum questions.

Motion vote ballot using plurality
A plurality voting method could also be used for motions

Having a ballot like this in an election launched ahead of time allows you to tackle voting on a motion quickly and easily. You can even use the comments box to request amendments to the motion!

If you anticipate multiple motions from the floor, it makes sense to make a series of elections with ballots like the one above.


Common Ballot Features Used in Motion Votes

Common features used when building a ballot for a Motion Vote include:

  • The “Abstain” option, which allows for voters to abstain from voting on the motion.
  • Asking for comments allows for you to capture feedback about the motion, such as questions that can be addressed before the official decision on the motion is made, or concerns about the motion. It will also allow you to capture any potential amendments to the motion.

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