Simplified Rules of Order

Procedures Used in Meetings

Roll Call Vote

A roll call vote places on the record how each member votes. It has the opposite effect, therefore, of a ballot vote, which keeps each vote secret. Roll call votes are usually used only in representative bodies that publish their minutes or proceedings, since such votes enable the constituents to know how their representatives voted on their behalf. Roll call votes should not be used in a mass meeting or in any group whose members are not responsible to a constituency.

If a representative body is going to use roll call votes, the organization of which it is a part should include in its by-laws or procedures a statement of what size of minority is required to call a roll call vote. If the organization has no provisions in its by-laws or procedures, a majority vote is required to order that a roll call vote be taken. (In such instances a vote to have a roll call vote would probably be useless, because its purpose would be to force the majority to go on record.)

Roll call votes cannot be ordered in committee of the whole.

The procedure for taking roll call votes is to call the names of the representatives or delegates alphabetically, and to have each person indicate orally his/her vote.

When the roll call vote has been concluded, the chair should ask if anyone entered the room after his or her name was called. Any such people are permitted to vote then. Individuals may also change their votes at this time. After all additions and changes have been made, the secretary will give to the chairperson the final number of those voting on each side, and the number answering present (abstaining). The chairperson will announce the figures and declare the result of the vote.

The name of each delegate or representative is included in the minutes of the meeting, together with his or her vote.

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Last changed: 10/08/2002
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