Simplified Rules of Order

The Main Motion

A main motion is a motion that brings business before a meeting. Because a meeting can consider only one subject at a time, a main motion can be made only when no other motion is pending. A main motion ranks lowest in the order of precedence.

When a main motion has been stated by one member, seconded by another member, and repeated for the meeting by the chair, the meeting cannot consider any other business until that motion has been disposed of, or until some other motion of higher precedence has been proposed, seconded and accepted by the chair.

Unless the main motion is very short and simple, the mover should hand it in writing to the secretary.

A main motion must not interrupt another speaker, requires a seconder, is debatable, is lowest in rank or precedence, can be amended, cannot be applied to any other motion, may be reconsidered, and requires a majority vote.

When a motion has been made by a member and seconded by another, it becomes the property of the meeting. The mover and seconder cannot withdraw the motion unless the meeting agrees. (Usually the chair will ask if the meeting objects to the motion's being withdrawn. If no one objects, the chair will announce: "The motion is withdrawn." See section on agenda.)

Contents | How Motions are Classified

Last changed: 10/08/2002
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