What Is Motion to Reconsider in Robert’s Rules of Order?

Motion to Reconsider in Robert’s Rules of Order / Motions to Reconsider in Robert’s Rules of Order

According to Robert’s Rules of Order, a motion to reconsider is a means of revisiting a decision made by a governing body. It is classified as a motion that reintroduces a question before the assembly.

When can you use motion to reconsider?

The motion to reconsider is used to revisit the vote on a previous meeting motion. Here are the conditions for using this motion:

Situations that justify reconsideration

A motion to reconsider can be used in the following situations:

  • New information is obtained that was not known at the time of the original vote.
  • An error or oversight in the original deliberation or voting process.

Consequently, a motion to reconsider cannot be made when:

  • The original vote has caused an event to occur that can’t be undone.
  • Some specific action items of the motion have already been executed.
  • Another motion can achieve the same outcome as the one being reconsidered.
  • A contract has been finalised and all parties are already notified of the outcome.

When can the motion be made?

The motion must be made during the same meeting or the next session if business extends to that. The motion must be introduced promptly, ideally before any significant change or action based on the original decision is taken. This motion can be debated if the original motion was debatable.

Who can make the motion?

To ensure fairness, only a member who voted on the prevailing side of the original motion can move to reconsider it.

How to move to reconsider

Here is the meeting etiquette for carrying out this motion using Robert’s Rules:

  • A member stands and expresses that they move to reconsider a specific motion while stating that they voted on the prevailing side.
  • Another member seconds the motion.
  • The chair confirms the eligibility and, if no business is pending, opens the floor for debate on reconsideration.
  • If any business is pending at the time of raising the motion, the member has to call it up again when there is none. It does not need to be seconded again.
  • Members discuss potential issues and benefits of reconsidering.
  • Members vote and, if the majority supports reconsideration, the motion is reopened.
  • The original motion is debated again, considering the new insights before taking a final vote.

Motion to reconsider vs motion to amend

  • A motion to amend is used to change part or the entirety of a motion. Any member can raise this motion in subsequent meetings.
  • It can be used in place of a motion to reconsider when time has run out on the latter.
  • If a previous notice is provided, it needs a majority vote to be accepted. Otherwise, it can be adopted with a two-thirds or majority vote, depending on practicality.
  • It can only be used to revisit a negative vote.
  • If adopted, the previous motion is overturned or altered. However, if a motion to reconsider is adopted, the previous motion is presented to the governing body as a new motion.

Motion to reconsider vs motion to rescind

  • A motion to rescind is used to cancel, annul or revoke a previously adopted motion. Any member can raise this motion in subsequent meetings.
  • It follows the same rules to pass as the motion to amend.
  • If adopted, the original decision is erased from the records.

Want to know more?

Do you have any additional questions about "Motions to Reconsider in Robert’s Rules of Order"?
Speak to one of our consultants, we are here to help.

Get in touch

iBabs Meeting Insights

Join over 24,000 professionals on the Meeting Insights email list to get updated to the latest on meeting management. All our tips and tricks delivered to your inbox.

Get updated to the latest on meeting managementJoin the list!

Essential blogs