What Is A Roll Call Vote?

Roll Call Vote / Roll Call Votes

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 vote

    The 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 systems

    Electronic 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 accountability

    This 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 patterns

    The 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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