Quorum, Voting, and Related Procedures. Annual meeting # 5

Here are answers to some of the questions that recur each year as we prepare for the Annual Meeting. Find the annual meeting announcement, the Annual Report, and other information about the annual meeting on the UUFR annual meeting webpage.

Time, Place, Eligible Participants

Virtual Meeting: Due to Covid-19 concerns, the meeting we be held online using Zoom software. Although many members have been vaccinated and are ready to leave isolation, others are not yet able or ready to meet in person. The meeting will start at 11:00 am, but the url (link) should be opened between 10:45 and 10:55 as we have a short entry process.

Members Only: Due to the challenges of managing required votes in an online format, only UUFR members may participate. New members may join prior to the Friday, June 4 quorum deadline (see below) UUFR using established processes presented here.

Password Required: Participants must enter the meeting password to access the meeting. This password has been shared in a postal mailing to members and also will be shared using an email message sent on Saturday, June 5.

Households May Use One Connection: Multiple UUFR members may share a single login connection to participate in the meeting. We have processes that enable counting participants and votes by individual members even if they are sharing one connection.


What is a Quorum (Definition)?: A quorum is “the minimum number of members of an assembly or society that must be present at any of its meetings to make the proceedings of that meeting valid.” (Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised Edition).

Legal Requirement: UUFR is incorporated as a nonprofit corporation and as such is governed by North Carolina law. According to that law, governing requires a quorum of at least 10% of the membership, but the organization may use specify a higher number if specified in its bylaws. The bylaws of UUFR require a quorum of 20%, and 20% is the number we must use.

UUFR Quorum Computation:

  • For the June 6 annual meeting, we will compute the 20% quorum using the membership rolls as of Friday, June 4. Our required quorum will be (total membership x .2), rounded up to the nearest whole number. For instance, if membership on June 4 were 418, the required quorum would be 418 x .2 = 83.6 += 84.
  • We have developed reliable processes to count members even if two or more members share a single login connection to the meeting.

A Quorum Cannot Be “Lost” During a Meeting: In accordance with North Carolina law governing nonprofit corporations, a quorum cannot be “lost” during a meeting. Business may continue even if participants leave.

Conduct of the Meeting

Robert’s Rules of Order: In accordance with our bylaws, conduct will follow the most recent version of Robert’s Rules of Order. Parliamentarian Chris Wise will advise the Board President Jim VanKirk.


Online Process: We will use a polling procedure that enables all participants to vote even if two or more are sharing a single login connection.

Simple Majority Required for Five Motions on the Agenda: We will consider 5 substantive motions this year that require a simple majority (1/2 of votes cast + 1) for approval. These are: approval of the agenda, approval of the minutes from 2020 meeting, election of Nominating Committee members, and  election of Board members; approval of proposed budget.

2/3 Majority to Approve Statement of Conscience Proposal: UUFR bylaws require a 2/3 majority of (2/3 of votes cast, rounded up to the nearest whole number) to approve a congregational Statement of Conscience. We have one such proposal on the agenda this year.

“Calling the Question” Requirements. This is a procedural motion used to end debate and force a vote on the substantive matter being considered. Requirements for this motion are: (1) the person invoking this motion must be recognized by the chair, (2) the motion must be seconded, and (3) to pass, the motion requires a 2/3 majority.

Abstentions: In any vote, the choices will be “yes” and “no”, with no “abstain” option. If a member wishes to abstain on a question, they should simply not submit a vote on that particular question. Abstentions are not counted when considering whether or not a motion has passed. Motions requiring a simple majority pass if “yes” votes outnumber “no” votes. Motions requiring a 2/3 majority pass if yes votes equal or exceed 2/3 of the total votes cast.

Email the Board: All Board members will see email addressed to [email protected]

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