The State Association offers each chapter guidelines on best practices for them to use in forming what works best for their chapter. Recommendations involve transparency with members on the business of the chapter.

Parliamentary Procedure

How to participate in a meeting and accomplish your goals:

  • Member Obtains The Floor – member (when no one else has the floor) rises, raises his hand or stands at a microphone and awaits recognition.
  • Chair Recognizes Member – Chair calls member’s name, points or nods to member or identifies microphone giving permission to speak.
  • Member Makes Motion – Member makes the motion by saying “I move that...” – NOT “I make the motion that...” (Do not say “I so move.” The assembly needs to hear the proposed motion).
  • Another Member Seconds The Motion – Another member without seeking permission to speak seconds the motion by saying “I second the motion” or “Second.”

A second means that more than one person agrees that the motion should come before the meeting. The seconder need not favor the motion. He may speak against it and vote against it.

A motion that does not receive a second is not considered. The chair can ask “Is there a second to the motion?” If none is forthcoming, the chair proceeds to the next item of business.

  • Chair States The Motion – The chair states the motion and calls for debate (discussion). “It is moved and seconded that... are you ready for the question (is there any discussion)?”

The motion may be changed or withdrawn by the maker only before it is stated by the chair or withdrawn only after permission of the assembly.

  • Assembly Discusses Motion – Members wishing to speak must first obtain the floor (Steps 1 and 2).

The maker, if he claims the right, may speak first. He cannot speak against the motion, but he may vote against it.

Remarks must be addressed to the chair and confined to the motion being discussed. Avoid using a member’s name – use title or say “the previous speaker” or “the speaker who...”

Time limits to observe if previous limits have not been established are:

  • Ten minutes per speech
  • Nor more than two speeches per member per motion on the same day
  • No second speech if another member is seeking to give his first one

The motion may be postponed indefinitely (killed), amended (changed), committed (sent to a committee), postponed to another time, or tabled (set aside temporarily while other necessary business is considered).

Discussion is stopped by use of the motion Previous Question. This motion requires recognition, a second and a 2/3 vote to adopt. A member calling out “question” does not stop discussion.

  • Chair Calls For The Vote – When discussion has been stopped or no member is seeking to speak, the chair calls for the vote. “Are you ready for the question? The question is on the adoption of the motion that... (repeat the motion). Those in favor say ‘Aye’ (pause). Those opposed say ‘No’.

If two-thirds vote is needed, the chair must take a standing vote. “Those in favor will stand. (pause) Be seated. Those opposed will stand. (pause) Be seated.”

  • Chair Announces The Results Of The Vote - The chair announces the results. “The ayes (noes) have it, the motion is adopted (lost), and... (state the outcome –what was decided).”

If there is doubt, a standing vote may be demanded by calling out “Division.”

A member who is dissatisfied with the announcement of a standing vote may move to have the vote counted.

A tie vote rejects the motion. The chair may vote (if he has not already voted) when his vote will make a difference.