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Civic Definitions- What is a Quorum - History

Civic Definitions- What is a Quorum - History

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A quorum is the minimum number of members of a deliberative assembly (a body that uses parliamentary procedure, such as a legislature) necessary to conduct the business of that group. According to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, the "requirement for a quorum is protection against totally unrepresentative action in the name of the body by an unduly small number of persons." [2] In contrast, a plenum is a meeting of the full (or rarely nearly full) body.

The term quorum is from a Middle English wording of the commission formerly issued to justices of the peace, derived from Latin quorum, "of whom", genitive plural of qui, "who". [3] As a result, quora as plural of quorum is not a valid Latin formation. In modern times a quorum might be defined as the minimum number of voters needed for a valid election.


There’s a chance that they will not and that the committee doesn’t even have a quorum to hold votes.

Eventually, a city lawyer told the PAC that Lightfoot and her aides participated in conference calls with a quorum of the City Council on March 26, March 30 and April 6.

Judges serve a single four-year term on the Appellate Body, which needs a minimum quorum of three in order to conduct reviews.

SANDAG board members protesting the agency’s voting procedure last week nearly succeeded in depriving the agency of a quorum and denying it the right to make decisions.

So we drew from that shifting quorum threshold that your vote matters, but some votes just matter more.

Videos of Quorum : Global LGBT Voices talks and panel discussions will be broadcasted on The Daily Beast in coming months.

Many agencies, such as the NLRB and the FEC, have multimember boards that require a quorum to operate.

When the Democrats saw what was up, a bunch of them took off for Oklahoma, and New Mexico to prevent a quorum vote.

Jacob Bernstein talks to a gay quorum about the morning-show double standard.

Norumbegam illi nobis nescio quam, vrbsque & castella nominant, quorum hodie ne vmbra quidem aut ipsa vox extant.

At the third meeting, however, there was a full quorum , and the business done at the previous meetings was duly confirmed.

A quorum is necessary to do business and a majority of the members of each house is considered as a quorum .

The governor was further to have the initiative of all measures proposed in the council, five of whom were required for a quorum .

Five of the quorum of the Twelve were in this apostacy and some in every organized quorum became disaffected.

Special Considerations

The idea and guidelines of a quorum were set by "Robert's Rules of Order." These rules were implemented to help protect organizations from the decision-making power of a select few who might be uninformed or duplicitous. However, when a quorum is not met during a meeting, the existing attendees are allowed to conduct up to four actions on behalf of the company.

First, when a quorum is not met, attendees of a meeting can adjust the established time for the meeting's adjournment. Doing so allows the company and its members to reschedule the existing meeting to a later date when more people can attend.

Second, the existing attendees can simply adjourn the meeting and try again at an upcoming meeting that is already scheduled. This occurs if there were regularly scheduled budget meetings, for example, and the posed budgeting decision is not time-sensitive.

Third, and the least painful action is a simple recess in which the existing members of a meeting pause for a break in the hopes additional members show up or are rounded up. This normally happens if some members leave on their own for a break, and a quorum is not met mid-meeting. Finally, a privileged motion can be called under special circumstances where additional measures can be taken to establish a quorum. A committee can be formed, for example, to call absent members.

The Absence of a Quorum

It’s rare that a board meeting has perfect attendance at every meeting throughout the year. In light of this, Robert’s Rules designated rules for conducting business in the absence of a quorum. Overall, any business that was transacted without a quorum present is null and void, but there are a few exceptions. They include:

  • taking measures to establish a quorum
  • fixing the time to adjourn
  • to adjourn
  • to take recess

There are also a couple of pretty obvious things that can’t be done when a quorum is not present. Present members can’t give unanimous consent nor give notice of another meeting. In either case, there would not be enough members to secure a reasonable vote of the majority.

If a quorum exists at the beginning of a meeting and members leave during the meeting, causing the loss of quorum, the chair should state the loss of quorum before taking any vote. Other members may also make a point of order about the loss of quorum, but only when other members are not speaking.

Safeopedia Explains Quorum

The number of members required for a quorum depends on the jurisdiction and industry. In the United Kingdom, health and safety committees in offshore industries are required to have a third of their membership plus the chair of the committee at every meeting. Workplaces under Canadian federal jurisdiction (e.g. banks) require half of all committee members to be present. Some jurisdictions allow health and safety committees to set their own quorum rules as long as they are consistent and laid out in the committee’s formal rules of procedure.

A quorum rule may require that the minimum number of attendees at a meeting include representation from specific stakeholder groups. For instance, the quorum rules of the Board of the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) require that the Chair of the HSE Board and three other members be present at a meeting to constitute a quorum. One of these three members must represent employers, one must represent employees, and one must not represent either.

In workplaces at which health and safety committees (HSC) are mandatory, it is important for employers to ensure that a meeting will have a quorum so that it meets regulatory rules. The frequency of meetings required by law varies by jurisdiction, and it can be short enough that a missed quorum could threaten an employer’s ability to remain compliant with relevant HSC regulations. For instance, five Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory require monthly meetings. Furthermore, some jurisdictions require that a specific amount of advance notice be provided to group members for a quorum to be valid.

What are some examples of legislative advocacy?

National Alliance on Mental Illness


The Land Trust Alliance

What is legislative advocacy?

Legislative advocacy centers around measures to introduce, implement, and iterate on legislation. It can involve small tasks such as working closely with a legislator on the wording of a bill to larger campaigns such as mobilizing thousands of your stakeholders or supporters to contact a legislature by phone about a specific issue.

Direct lobbying is the most common form of legislative advocacy - which involves a series of steps that include reaching out to a legislator, communicating your views on a particular issue, and asking them directly to vote in a way that supports your interests. Meetings with elected officials when accompanied by a large group, a form of direct lobbying, have proven to be effective and increase the likelihood of securing time with particular legislators.

When engaging with legislators, effective legislative advocacy involves different strategies for different states. In order to make an impact on an issue you care about in one state may require a different approach in another state.

How does legislative advocacy relate to public affairs?

Legislative advocacy is the most direct way for public affairs teams to cause change in government policy. This includes helping a legislator introduce a bill that could help your organization or working with legislators to stop a bill that could harm your organization. Read more about three ways to get ahead when working with legislators to introduce a bill if your organization has an issue they would like addressed with new legislation. The first method is to collect diverse constituent input, facilitate bipartisanship, and identify potential cosponsors.

Engaging with legislators has become easier with the presence of social media as elected officials use the medium to announce policy positions and discuss issues with constituents. Several key strategies can be used to engage legislators on the issues you care about.

An organization should actively identify and target members of Congress and legislative champions using data.

Cluster quorum overview

The table below gives an overview of the Cluster Quorum outcomes per scenario:

Server nodes Can survive one server node failure Can survive one server node failure, then another Can survive two simultaneous server node failures
2 50/50 No No
2 + Witness Yes No No
3 Yes 50/50 No
3 + Witness Yes Yes No
4 Yes Yes 50/50
4 + Witness Yes Yes Yes
5 and above Yes Yes Yes

Cluster quorum recommendations

  • If you have two nodes, a witness is required.
  • If you have three or four nodes, witness is strongly recommended.
  • If you have Internet access, use a cloud witness
  • If you're in an IT environment with other machines and file shares, use a file share witness

Meetings-What is a Quorum and Why is it Important?

Posted 6:55 pm by admin & filed under Uncategorized.

A quorum is the minimum number of owners who must be at a meeting before business can be transacted. State law tells us what that minimum number is for our association. It’s relatively low, but we still have a tough time getting to it. It’s a common problem in many associations.

Meetings that don’t have a quorum must be adjourned and rescheduled at a later date. This costs the association money and creates more work. And, achieving a quorum at a second meeting—if we couldn’t get one the first time—is even harder.

So, why bother to try again? Because the board is legally obligated to conduct an annual meeting. It’s an important part of conducting association business. During the annual meeting, new board members are elected and the coming year’s budget is presented to the homeowners for approval. No quorum—no election, no budget. This means the current directors will have to continue serving until an election can be conducted. It also means that last year’s budget will remain in effect until a valid meeting (one with a quorum) can be held to approve a new budget.

Good news: You can be “at” a meeting and across the country at the same time by signing a proxy! That’s how you assign your vote, in writing, to another person. Proxies count toward the quorum, so they’re very important to the association.

We ask you to complete a proxy form, even if you plan to attend the meeting. That’s just in case something comes up that prevents you from attending. And, when you do attend the meeting, your proxy will be returned to you.

Because proxies are so important to achieving a quorum, you may find us knocking on your door, calling on the phone, or even stopping you in the common areas asking you to sign a proxy form. We’ll do anything to achieve a quorum. Without it, we can’t do business, and eventually that affects you, the homeowner.

What is a quorum and why does it matter?

A friend recently described a board meeting when 20 members, who had driven or flown in from distant parts, sat around waiting because they couldn’t take action – they didn’t have a quorum. Eventually one straggler arrived and the meeting could begin.

What is a quorum?

A quorum is the minimum number of voting members who must be present for business to be done. It is one of the most sacrosanct concepts of Robert’s Rules of Order. I hope that the reason is obvious—if a minority commits your organization to take action without the rest of the membership being informed or present, rampant unfairness could result. Robert’s Rules insists on protecting the rights of all.

What size should a quorum be?

When you are thinking about the quorum for your group, it’s important to be realistic. Robert’s Rules of Order says that you should set the quorum at a number of members who could reasonably be expected to show up regularly. The quorum size will vary depending upon the size of your group. Basically, larger groups have smaller quorums, and smaller groups have larger quorums.

Quorum for large membership organization

I had the honor of serving as president of the American Translators Association when there were about 3000 voting members. The quorum was set at either 3% of the voting members or 100 voting members, whichever was smaller. In this example, both numbers are in the same range, since 3% of 3000 is 90.

Quorum for board of directors

The ATA board of directors has 13 voting members, so the quorum is a majority, or seven voting members. The board mentioned in our opening paragraph has 40 members, so the quorum is 21 voting members. For a seven-member board, the quorum is four.

No quorum listed in bylaws?

If the quorum is not specified in the bylaws, a majority of the voting members (more than half or more than 50%) is the quorum. Note that it is incorrect to say “50% plus one.” This would imply the possibility, with an odd-numbered board, of half a person. Unless you’re David Copperfield or a similarly talented magician, this cannot be!

Check your state law about a quorum

It’s important to see what your state law says about quorum. In my own state, for example, the Revised Code of Washington says that the quorum for the board of a nonprofit organization must be at least one-third of the director positions.

What can you do without a quorum?

If your body has met and there is no quorum, you are free to take steps to try to get a quorum. Maybe somebody could call in by telephone, if the bylaws allow. Or maybe you have to go to the bar and wrangle a few folks back to the meeting room (I’m not making this up). You could reschedule the meeting to a future time when you’re more likely to get a quorum.

If you start your meeting with a quorum, and then enough members leave that you lose that quorum, you have also lost your ability to make decisions.

It is fine for your body to engage in social or educational activities without a quorum. You just can’t take any ACTION. Without a quorum, you don’t have a proper meeting and there is no board to act. Don’t ignore this requirement and march on ahead – you could find yourself personally liable for the actions that your rump group took on its own responsibility.

Related posts on quorum

About Ann Macfarlane


We had a quorum at our non profit meeting (7 of 12 Board members). A vote on an item ended up: 2 for, 1 against and 4 abstained. The Chair announced the item passed. Roberts Rules call for a majority. The question is a majority of what: Of the quorum required (4), or just a simple majority of the ayes and nays?

I believe the chair may have been correct but I suggested that at the next meeting we discuss how many affirmative votes we should require for a vote to pass. I suggested 4 as a majority of the quorum but was meet with objections that we can not change Roberts Rules which are adopted in our bylaws. I said I thought we could and was meet with objections that I would be asking next to reset the quorum requirement which is “a hard and fast Robert’s Rule”. For disclosure I was one of the aye vote. A few at the meeting were very vocal about no changes, I suggested we move on, knowing that I still had uncertainty after reading the voting requirements in Roberts Rules as to a majority of what and the ability of a group to set their own standard.

If there are no other requirements, according to Robert’s Rules, a majority means a majority of the votes cast. So in this setting, three votes cast, two in favor, the motion passes. BUT that’s not very good for your organization! To have just two people out of twelve vote in favor is a very weak sign of approval. Some state laws require that a majority of the directors present vote in favor, and we would certainly recommend that you amend your bylaws to set that standard.
Robert’s Rules are merely the foundation on which you build your house. It is fine to set narrower requirements for a vote to pass in your bylaws, and when you do, those requirements have higher standing than Robert’s Rules.
Note that you would have to amend your bylaws – you can’t set up a different requirement for motions to pass in a policy or a vote of the board of directors.
Good luck!

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