Ask OSBA - Voting Questions

OSBA staff answers some common (and not so common) questions about board governance, board members' roles and responsibilities, good practices, running board meetings and board conflict. Don't see the answer to your question? Ask OSBA!

Dear members:

Your OSBA Team is dedicated to assisting you by responding to all of your questions. Additionally, we are committed to providing you with the best possible information, tools, and practices in a timely manner. There are times when we must research, or consult with other OSBA staff members to provide an answer to your questions. In these circumstances, we ask for your patience as the normal response time could potentially be delayed. Please expect an initial response, by phone or email, within 24-48 hours of submitting your question, and be aware that additional follow-up could take more time. If your question is time sensitive, please be sure to specify your deadlines in your initial request.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained on this site should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding your particular situation, please seek the advice of OSBA’s legal services or independent counsel.

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Can a board member attend the board meeting and vote over the phone? Are absentee ballots permitted? - 1/24/14

What is best practice for the procedure for nominating and electing Board officers and appointing new Board members? - 7/27/12

If a budget committee member cannot attend a budget meeting where a final vote on the budget is taking place, can we video tape the meeting, have them review it and have them call in their vote to the chair of the budget committee the next day and have the vote count? - 7/12/13

Are individuals allowed to campaign on the community college, school district or ESD campus, or in district facilities of the institution for which they are seeking a board seat, or during school events which the public attends? Can they distribute flyers on the institution’s property criticizing the current administration and saying ‘Vote for XYZ for the board’? - 6/03/11

Can board members all "attend" meetings by web cam, speaker phone, or video conference? - 6/27/14

Can board members give voting proxy to another board member who will be at the meeting in person? - 1/22/09

Can board members vote by email? - 5/27/16

Can a charter board member also serve on the school board? - 6/28/13

One of our charter board members has written a letter of resignation. Does the board have to meet to accept this letter? We need to know as it affects our quorum requirement. - 6/13/13

How can we be clear about motions and amendments so that all the board and those in the audience understand what the board is voting on? - 10/04/13

We are filling a vacant board position. One of the applicants is related to a current board member. Can the current board member participate in the interviews, discussion and vote? - 10/18/10

If a board member declares a conflict of interest, is he required to state for the minutes the reason he is declaring a conflict? And after declaring a conflict of interest, does he have the right to vote on the motion? - 11/08/13

Is it sufficient to list the name of the board member who made a motion, seconded the motion and then state the outcome, passed or failed? Do the actual votes of the board members have to be listed by name? - 1/06/12

We had a resignation for an open position last night at our board meeting. If we end up with a tie vote for the new position, which is a real possibility for us, what happens? Does the chair break the vote? - 3/14/14

What ethical and conflict of interest obligations do Board members have when they know and/or are related to someone who works for the district? - 5/13/16

Due to a resignation, we have an open position on our board. We have received two applications and will be interviewing and selecting a replacement member at an upcoming meeting. We now have a four-member board and would like to know what happens if we have two members select one applicant – and the other two members select the other applicant and we end up ‘deadlocked’. How can we reach a final decision to select the new member? - 7/25/13

Our board is filling several seats on the budget committee. We have more applicants than seats. How do we go about voting to fill those seats? - 3/09/12

If a majority of board members are related to members of the union how does the board go about voting to approve the contract? - 9/11/08

Our July organizational meeting is coming up. How do we elect a chair and vice chair? - 7/25/14

Must board members vote on an item if they are present and do not have a conflict of interest? - 2/05/09

Each year in August we publish a variety of Public Notices. A few examples of these notice requirements include procedures involving student records, non-discrimination, asbestos, board meetings schedules, alternative education, location of board policy books, and processes for comments and complaints. Where do I find the a "law" which specifically says we need to publish all these notices, and is it considered published if we just post them on our website? Or do we have to pay to run them in a print newspaper? - 6/19/13

If all of the board members are not present at a board meeting (but we have a quorum, three of five), is it true that if anyone votes "no" on an item, the motion fails? - 11/22/13

When should a board use a roll call vote? - 12/07/12

Does a Board have to convene a Special Session and then go into an Executive Session? Or, can they convene for an Executive Session, adjourn and go into a Special Session to vote on a matter? - 6/07/13

What happens in the case of split votes with an even number of board members present? - 6/06/14