Robert's Rules Bylaws Checklist - dummies

Robert’s Rules Bylaws Checklist

By C. Alan Jennings, PRP, PRP

A basic set of bylaws often isn’t enough. Even if you use Robert’s Rules as your authority, there are plenty of things that you just can’t do unless you make provisions for them in your bylaws.

The actions in the following list are collected from throughout Robert’s Rules, but this list is by no means a complete one. It’s accurate, though, and it may help you if you’re wondering whether you can (or can’t) do something in your own organization.

If your bylaws don’t specifically authorize it, you can’t

  • Elect by plurality, cumulative, or preferential voting

  • Submit absentee votes (including votes by mail, fax, e-mail, or proxy)

  • Hold a runoff between the top two candidates

  • Suspend a requirement for a ballot vote

  • Suspend a bylaw

  • Limit officers to those who are members of your organization

  • Restrict the right of a member to cast a write-in vote

  • Keep a vice-president from assuming the office of the president if a vacancy opens in the office of president

  • Allow honorary officers or members to vote

  • Create an executive board

  • Appoint an executive committee

  • Impose financial assessments on members

  • Suspend a member’s voting rights or drop a member from the rolls for nonpayment of dues or assessments

  • Hold meetings by telephone conference, videoconference, or e-mail

  • Hold special meetings