Voting

  • A “motion” is the form in which an article is presented to the Meeting for action.  The motion is usually made by a member of the board/committee sponsoring the article (Select Board, Planning, School, etc.); or in the case of an article brought forward by Citizens' Petition, the sponsor of the petition.
  • A motion on the floor before Town Meeting may be amended by any registered voter after recognition by the Moderator.  All motions and amendments must be made in writing, signed, and presented to the Moderator after stating the same to the meeting.  
  • The Moderator will determine if an amendment is within the scope of the original article.
  • Following discussion on the motion or amendment, a voter or the Moderator will call for a vote.  If an amendment to a motion is on the floor, the vote will be on the amendment portion only.   Each amendment must be voted on before moving to another amendment or the main motion.  
  • If the amendment is approved, the Moderator will allow discussion on the main motion as amended; if not approved, another amendment may be made or further discussion on the originial main motion before voting.
  • A registered voter may make a motion to “move to the question”  which will end discussion and call for the vote (a 2/3 vote is required to end debate);  or if the Moderator determines that there is no further discussion, he will call for the vote.
  • When only a majority vote is required, the sense of the meeting shall be determined by a voice vote which will be declared by the Moderator as it appears to him.  
  • When a 2/3 vote is required, the Moderator has the authority to declare such,  based on a voice vote, as it appears to him.
  • If the Moderator is in doubt or if his decision is immediately questioned by seven or more voters standing in their place, he shall order a hand-count to determine the vote and the result shall be recorded by the Town Clerk.  
  •  If the vote is “unanimous,” the count need not be taken and the Clerk shall record it as such.
  • A “secret ballot” may be requested by twenty-five or more persons standing in their place favoring the use of “yes” or “no” ballots.   M
  • After a vote has been declared by the Moderator, the Meeting shall move on to the next article.
  • A motion for “reconsideration” of any article may be considered by the meeting but once, and only at the session at which the original article was voted.  An affirmative vote by 2/3 majority of those present and voting is required to proceed to reconsideration of an article.
  • There are no provisions in State Law which allow for absentee voting or voting-by-proxy for any or all of the articles on the warrant of any Town Meeting.

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