Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > Subject Index > Page 195
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Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.


Page 195

the ballots are strips of paper upon which are printed, or written, yes or no, or the names of the candidates, as the case may be. These ballots are first distributed and are afterwards collected by tellers, either by being dropped into a hat or box by the members, who remain in their seats; or by the members coming to the ballot box and handing their folded ballot to a teller, who deposits it in the ballot box. In the latter case it is necessary for the tellers to see that no member votes twice, which in large societies can be best done by checking off the names from a list of members as the ballots are deposited. The ballots should usually be folded so that if more than one is voted by the same person the tellers will detect it in unfolding the ballot. In satisfying themselves that only one ballot is voted, the vote may be exposed if the ballot is not folded.
When every one appears to have voted, the chair inquires, “Have all voted who wish to?” and if there is no response he says, “The polls are closed,” whereupon the tellers proceed to count the ballots. If in unfolding the ballots it is found that two have been folded together, both are rejected as fraudulent. A blank piece of paper is not counted as a ballot and would not cause the rejection of the ballot with which it was folded. All blanks are ignored as simply waste paper, and are not reported, the members who do not wish to vote adopting this method of concealing the fact. Small technical errors, like the misspelling of a word, should not be noticed if the meaning of the ballot is clear. For instance, if at the trial of a member a ballot was written “gilty,” every one knows what was intended. In all cases where the name on the ballot sounds like the name of one of the candidates it should be so credited. If a ballot is written “Johnson,” or “Johnston,” or “Johnstone,” it should be credited to the candidate whose name is one of these: but if there are two candidates with these names and no eligible member with the name on the ballot, it must be rejected as illegal, or reported to the chair, who will at once submit the question to the assembly as to whom the ballot should be credited. If these doubtful ballots will not affect the result, the tellers may make their full report without asking for instructions



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