Voting Options

Cooperatives March 08, 2011|Print


Authors: Phil Kenkel, Oklahoma State University, phil.kenkel@okstate.edu, and Bill Fitzwater,
Oklahoma State University


Various types of voting options are available to the board.

  • Viva Voce or Voice
  • Roll Call
  • Division
  • Ballot
  • General Consent


Which option is used will depend on the sensitivity of the issue and the precedents set by the board. Generally a voice vote is sufficient for the general decisions of the board.


If the bylaws require that voting be kept in the minutes, boards can employ roll call voting; each member is called on to cast their vote one way or another.


In some situations where the vote is close, a division vote is called. This type of vote calls for board members to signify by raising their hand or giving some other sign, and counting individual votes.


If a specific count is needed and individual members do not want to publicize their vote, a ballot vote can be made. Members record their vote on a ballot or sheet of paper. The board chairman then counts these ballots and the majority decides.


Directors have the right to change their vote, up until the time the results of the vote is announced by the Chair, unless the vote is by secret ballot. The chair will count the votes and announce the results.


Proxy votes are only to be used if permitted in the bylaws of the cooperative. The director may authorize another director, generally in writing, to vote in his or her absence. The proxy may then vote on only a particular vote (specifically limited proxy) or on all issues (general proxy), according to the discretion of the absent director.

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