Reconsider, Rescind, or Amend previous decision

By Ann Macfarlane / March 11, 2020 / Comments Off on Reconsider, Rescind, or Amend previous decision

Updated October 3, 2023 Some years ago, I had a dramatic exposure to the motion “to Reconsider.” At a 2-day meeting of our professional society board, one member (I’ll call him “Alex”) proposed that our society spend $4000 on radio spots in Washington, DC. He felt that we needed to develop a public relations strategy,…

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Renewing defeated motion at future meeting – “renewal”

By Ann Macfarlane / December 20, 2019 / Comments Off on Renewing defeated motion at future meeting – “renewal”

Updated July 11, 2023 Robert’s Rules of Order is quite strict about dealing with something once in a meeting and moving on. If a motion has been defeated, the only way to bring the same motion up again during that meeting is to move to reconsider the motion. You have to have voted with the…

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Processing motions in Robert’s Rules

By Ann Macfarlane / September 13, 2019 / Comments Off on Processing motions in Robert’s Rules

There are eight steps to processing ordinary motions in Robert’s Rules. Download PDF At the right time in the agenda, after the member has been recognized by the chair, A member makes a motion. Another member seconds the motion. The chair states the motion. Members discuss and/or amend the motion. The chair restates the motion…

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Suspend the rules with extreme caution

By Ann Macfarlane / July 24, 2019 / Comments Off on Suspend the rules with extreme caution

The motion to Suspend the Rules is a trap for the unwary. Be careful in using this motion and avoid doing things that may get you into big trouble. David Baker, former Mayor of Kenmore, Washington, once said to me, “The rule is there for a reason. When you suspend the rule, you give up…

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Unraveling the mysteries of “second the motion”

By Ann Macfarlane / March 6, 2019 /

Updated November 19, 2022 Second the motion—everybody knows how to do that, right? Well, in fact there are some funny ideas floating around about this ordinary act of meeting procedure. Let’s unravel the mysteries. Second the motion—why? Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, 12th edition, says that a person seconds a motion in order to…

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Point of Order and Appeal are heart of democracy

By Ann Macfarlane / January 18, 2019 /

In our view, the motions Point of Order and Appeal are the heart of our democracy. They provide the mechanism to stop a dictatorial chair who is acting like a “boss.” They are essential  for every local government body, nonprofit board, and any group that functions on democratic principles. Learn how to use them to ensure…

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When can you withdraw a motion?

By Ann Macfarlane / March 11, 2016 /
cartoon illustrating withdraw a motion

Have you ever been at a meeting where the person who made a motion becomes unhappy about the direction of the discussion, and says, “OK, I withdraw my motion”?

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How do you “call the question” in Robert’s Rules?

By Ann Macfarlane / February 19, 2016 /
figure learning on a question mark

The motion “to call the question,” which has the technical name of “previous question,” may be the most abused motion in all of Robert’s Rules of Order. It is very common for people to shout out the word “question” or “I call the question” in the expectation that debate will immediately stop, and a vote…

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