A roll call vote involves a board member casting their vote on a motion vocally, usually after the board secretary calls out their name in a board meeting.
How does a roll call vote work?
When the chairperson of the board calls for a roll call vote, the board secretary may proceed in the following ways:
In-person roll call voteThe secretary calls out the board members’ names alphabetically and records their responses and names on a tally sheet. The chairperson’s name is called last and only in case their response will affect the outcome of the motion.
Use of electronic voting systemsElectronic voting can be used to take a roll call vote following the same procedure. Using meeting management software, the board member can register their vote and the platform will record it.
Advantages of a roll call vote in board meetings
There are several advantages of using a roll call vote, such as:
Transparency and accountabilityThis transparent voting process encourages deep thought on the topic, as the members realise they can be held accountable for their decision.
Ability to track voting patternsThe board chair can analyse how each member is likely to vote on a motion by discerning their individual decision patterns.
When is a roll call vote used in board meetings?
A roll call vote is used in the following situations:
- For significant decisions: When the board has to make an important decision such as budget approval and policy changes that could affect the course of the organisation.
- When requested: If there is a desire to have a record of how each member votes, it can be requested by the chair or a majority of the members.
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