Sample Questions from 4th Edition

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The following questions about quorum are taken from the current edition of Notes and Comments  and are  examples of a parliamentary concept – quorum -- that many people are aware of but only vaguely grasp.  N&C IV illuminates and explains this term in fourteen questions with succinct answers. The four questions below  illustrate how the book’s question-and-answer format provides insightful information in an understandable and thorough manner. 


Here are directions to for reading each question:  The page numbers (p. 113) next to the question refer to the page location in N&C IV, and the numbers in parentheses refer to page numbers in the current edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, 11th edition. The small numbers above a line of text refer to endnotes; an endnote elaborates upon an answer by drawing  from parliamentary texts and manuals published over the last one-hundred-and-fifty-years, to publications by parliamentary professional associations, or robust debates and professional meetings of parliamentarians. 


What is a quorum?   p. 113

A quorum is the minimum number of members who must be present to conduct business (p. 5, p. 21, p. 345).

Does a quorum refer to the number of members present or the number voting? P. 113

A quorum always refers to the members present and not to the number voting  (p. 345).

How many members constitute a quorum? p. 133

Unless otherwise specified in the bylaws, the quorum for most meetings is a majority of the entire membership (p. 21, p. 346).

Are vacancies taken into consideration in determining a quorum? p.113 - p.114

It depends.  If a quorum for a board is established in the bylaws as an absolute number, such as ten members, then vacancies make no difference.  If, however, quorum is established as “a majority of the membership of the board,” vacancies on the board will reduce the required quorum.(footnote 71)

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