Question: Voting and abstaining

My child's school is holding a general meeting and I have been asked to remove myself from the vote. The bylaws state that all paid members can vote at general meetings. Can they do this?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
They can ask, but ultimately it's probably your choice. The only reason you wouldn't vote on a matter is because of conflict of interest, which I'm assuming is the case here. A general principal of Robert's Rules is that no one votes on a matter of strong personal or financial interest to themselves. For example, the chairman of the board should abstain on a motion to raise the chairman's pay. Likewise, if you own a company and the group is voting on giving that company a contract (fundraising business, for example), you should abstain. But beyond those very clear examples, what constitutes a conflict is debatable. In a way, every member has a personal interest in many of the things your group does because your actions affect members' children. Just to be sure, you should check your group's bylaws to see whether there are any bylaws that are more specific than this that would cover your situation.

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