This Is our Village

Saturday, November 23, 2013



It is 5:00 a.m. and I can’t sleep, because I keep thinking about things. One of them is: Is there a better way to count the votes at delegates’ meetings?

Apparently there is concern on the part of some about the accuracy of having three persons count, each person counting the number of raised colored voting slips in a third of the auditorium. I don’t agree with the contention that some of the counters may be cheating, but I do wonder if it is that easy to get an accurate count with so many hands in so many rows raised.

Obviously if a vote is very one-sided, with nearly all the slips being raised, the matter is settled. But if it is not that clear, here is a suggestion that would take a little more time but would save the time (and inconvenience if going to the microphone) in having a roll call vote:

Ask for raised slips one third of the auditorium at a time. TWO persons, each at a microphone, then do the counting of that one-third, one row at a time. The first person calls out “five” for the first row, let’s say. The second person (also counting) calls out “five” and jots down 5 on a notepad. The first row of voters are told to then lower their slips. The two proceed back through, say, ten rows. They then count the number of raised slips, which will be few in number, in all the remaining rows (except the balcony) and when done ask those people to lower their slips. Then they count that third of the balcony. All this is done so everyone can hear what the two say over the sound system—and if they wish keep their own total of the votes.

The other two thirds of the auditorium are done the same way.

The only flaw to this that I can think of (remember it is 5:00 a.m.) is that some unscrupulous person, when his vote has been counted and his slip lowered, might hand his slip back to someone not eligible to vote in the row in back. I don’t think this is too likely, though, and the two doing the counting—not to mention others nearby—could watch for this.

What do you think? Would this work or no?  


  1. The only thing that comes to mind to keep the vote "legal" is to take the Delegate slip back once the vote is counted.

  2. Lanny:
    There is ONLY one accurate count,
    that cannot be questioned,which
    as we all know is a "Roll Call"
    Other's including myself have called for this when extrememly controversial matter's are on the
    table.. No one then can deny their
    recorded vote..which does happen on occasion..of course the issue must be presented in a simplistic manner,to prevent confusion...

  3. This is just food for thought. Why not have 2 voting slips, one that says no and one that says yes to be collected at time of vote. This way they can be counted at the end.

  4. How much easier it would be if we said DElagates 1st 10 rows or they will NOT be counted

  5. Good point Ken. It would be easier.

  6. Asking Delegates to occupy the first 10 rows was done just a few months ago, but was ignored. The Delegates were, in fact, told by VP Phyllis Richland from the dais that their vote would not count if they sat beyond that, but it did no good.
    While a roll call is accurate, it is very time consuming and many walk out rather than wait for the votes to be cast.

  7. Hi ruthpchild and others,

    I don't think the counters could actually take the slips from those whose votes had been counted, because there might be another item to vote on. And if there were any question about the vote AFTER following this procedure, how get the slips back to the legitimate voters? Thanks for all your thoughts.

  8. You're absolutely right this has been done about having delegates seated 10 rows or 12 rows many times.
    But just maybe, if we stuck to our guns it would come to pass. If they didn't come to the first 10 or 12 rows and there were no quorum then executive boards decision would prevail.

  9. It occurred to me that another vote might be needed after the placards were taken, but that is usually on the agenda already, so we would know if it would work or not. I don't know what further question there could be after the vote is taken, but nothing is impossible.
    As to the first 10 rows, it could be pressed and if a quorum wasn't met, the salvation would be having to accept the Executive Board decision, so the Delegate vote could not be sabotaged.

  10. first ten or fifteen rows make the most sense.


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