Dear Dinosaur Advice Column

Got questions about Robert's Rules of Order? Ann Macfarlane is a dinosaur who knows her stuff. She explains the complexity of Robert's Rules so it makes sense. She loves hearing from readers with their questions about Robert's Rules of Order.

Can director take back his vote?

Dear Dinosaur: Our board voted to eject a member from our social club. The next week, one of the directors changed his mind and said he wanted to take back his vote. Can he do this?

Answer: No, once a vote has been taken, the chair has announced the result, and the board has gone on to the next item of business in the meeting, a director cannot “take back” or change his vote.

In some instances, the director could ask the board later to change its collective decision. In this case, since the decision has been carried out and the member expelled, the decision stands.

For further information see our articles:

When and how can you change your vote?

Reconsider, Rescind, or Amend previous decision

Dear Dinosaur provides simple, practical answers to questions about Robert’s Rules and parliamentary procedure. Send your questions to Dear Dinosaur here. Our answers are based on Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, 12th edition. As always, nothing in this post constitutes legal or business advice. Seek a qualified authority for your specific issues.

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Ann Macfarlane

Ann G. Macfarlane is a Professional Registered Parliamentarian. She offers an interactive and user-friendly way to master the key points for effective, efficient and fair meetings. Her background as a diplomat and Russian translator enables her to connect with elected officials and nonprofit board directors and give them the tools they need for success. She is the author of Mastering Council Meetings: A guidebook for elected officials and local governments.