The Basic Elements of Robert's Rules
- Motion- a proposal for action; especially : a formal proposal made in a deliberative assembly.
To introduce a new piece of business or propose a decision or action, a motion must be made by a group member ("I move that......") A second motion must then also be made (raise your hand and say, "I second it.") After limited discussion the group then votes on the motion. A majority vote is required for the motion to pass (or quorum as specified in your bylaws.)
- Second- a second to a proposed motion is an indication that there is at least one person besides the mover that is interested in seeing the motion come before the meeting. (E.g. I second that motion.)
- Quorum- (1) a select group. (2) the number (as a majority) of officers or members of a body that when duly assembled is legally competent to transact business
- Postpone Indefinitely: This tactic is used to kill a motion. When passed, the motion cannot be reintroduced at that meeting. It may be brought up again at a later date. This is made as a motion ("I move to postpone indefinitely..."). A second is required. A majority vote is required to postpone the motion under consideration.
- Amend- to put right; especially : to make emendations in (as a text).
This is the process used to change a motion under consideration. Perhaps you like the idea proposed but not exactly as offered. Raise your hand and make the following motion: "I move to amend the motion on the floor." This also requires a second. After the motion to amend is seconded, a majority vote is needed to decide whether the amendment is accepted. Then a vote is taken on the amended motion. In some organizations, a "friendly amendment" is made. If the person who made the original motion agrees with the suggested changes, the amended motion may be voted on without a separate vote to approve the amendment.
- Floor- the right to address an assembly. (E.g. The senator from Utah has the floor.)
- Commit: This is used to place a motion in committee. It requires a second. A majority vote must rule to carry it. At the next meeting the committee is required to prepare a report on the motion committed. If an appropriate committee exists, the motion goes to that committee. If not, a new committee is established.
- Question: To end a debate immediately, the question is called (say "I call the question") and needs a second. A vote is held immediately (no further discussion is allowed). A two-thirds vote is required for passage. If it is passed, the motion on the floor is voted on immediately.
- Table: To table a discussion is to lay aside the business at hand in such a manner that it will be considered later in the meeting or at another time ("I make a motion to table this discussion until the next meeting. In the meantime, we will get more information so we can better discuss the issue.") A second is needed and a majority vote required to table the item being discussed.
10.Adjourn- to end something (such as a meeting or session) for a period of time.
A motion is made to end the meeting. A second motion is required. A majority vote is then required for the meeting to be adjourned (ended).