Anyone who uses their phone to check the weather or the news, who sends texts to their friends or their kids, has, at one time or other, wondered when they’re going to be able to vote electronically. Electronic voting, or e-voting, would be so much more convenient than having to go somewhere to vote.
So how is your student government or student union composed? Do you know? And what does student government really do for you? Sadly, some students think that student government is just an RPG that mimics Washington D.C. or state capitol politics. But in truth most student governments have a great deal of power.
One might think that two words on the subject of voting – yea or nay – would be enough, yet Robert’s Rules of Order, Revised devotes more than 6,000 words to the subject. Indeed, Article VIII of Roberts is all about voting, with 4,000 words dedicated to the main theme, another 300 or so words focused on “Votes that are Null and Void even if Unanimous,”
When it comes to numbers, terms such as majority and minority are pretty well understood. Merriam Webster defines majority as “a number or percentage equaling more than half of a total” and minority as “the smaller in number of two groups constituting a whole” and goes on to qualify that by describing it as “a group having less than the number of votes necessary for control.”
Do we have a quorum?
Anyone who’s ever attended a formal meeting where a binding vote is to be taken – from a town meeting or a board meeting to a session of the U.S. Senate or the British House of Lords – has heard that question. But what does it mean? What is a quorum? We have to know the answer to that question before we can determine whether we have a quorum.
You know your local school board is out there. But do you know what that school board is doing? Do you know how school board members are voting? What issues they are debating? Many local residents do not – despite the fact that your school board is making decisions that affect the character and quality of education at every public school near you.
Does it surprise you to learn that more than 570 sovereign nations exist within the borders of the United States? More than 220 exist in Alaska alone. What many people don’t fully realize when they hear names like “Navaho Nation” or “Cherokee Nation” – is that these really are nations unto themselves. They have their own constitutions in many cases; they have their own leaders; they hold elections and their citizens and councils vote on matters that affect the well-being of their nations.
Basic knowledge of the parliamentary procedure can fall short in situations where the rules aren’t clear-cut, require special consideration, or just aren’t ingrained in the heads of board or committee members like multiplication tables or the ingredients for a good martini.
As the United States went through the 2018 midterms elections on Nov. 6, officials and voters were once again voicing concerned about the security and reliability of the nation’s voting systems.