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We had a 50/50 vote at a committee meeting last night. Our standing orders state the chair should have casting vote but the deputy clerk awarded it to the mayor, who was there but not a member of the committee, nor chairing it. In fact they were recommending, not proposing,  the item in question.

Invalid vote? How should this be rectified?

by (170 points)

1 Answer

0 votes
The vote is void as the casting vote is invalid.  The decision should be brought back to the next meeting for another vote as no decision has yet been properly made.  Did the chair not vote at the meeting?  Why did the Mayor have a vote at all?
by (24.6k points)
Next meeting of same committee? The chair had cast original but our SO's state in case of tie they then get another. We asked why the mayor was voting!
Yes it would be at the next committee meeting.  Essentially the vote of the Chair will just be duplicated to make the decision.  Sounds like your Deputy Clerk might require some training....
Not quite - chair has an original AND a casting vote. Whilst in many cases the original vote of the chair may be REPEATED to create a majority decision, it should not be presumed that will be the case.
The chair COULD cast original vote ‘for’ a motion and the use additional vote the opposite way.
It is not a fair accompli.
I have seen this in action, but in a corporate rather than council setting.  There was a proposal before a committee to implement a change to a process.  The chair voted for the proposal but the committee was tied, and the chair then used their casting vote to vote against the proposal.  There was a minor uproar, but the chair explained that they believed a change to the status quo should have a majority.  This proposed change did not have a majority, so they opted to use the casting vote to maintain the status quo.  I think that's a really good way of looking at things.
I have seen it in a PC setting and agree the concept which el_capitan sets out above.
A casting vote is an entirely different beast to an original vote.

Everybody has an original vote which is cast, in equal measure and with equal influence, with the aspiration of reaching a majority.

If there is a tie, the chair's casting vote is very different to their original vote since there are entirely different implications in play.

An individual vote is equal amongst peers and may be cast according to singular opinion of the matter at hand.
A chair's casting vote is representative of the benefit of the corporate whole rather than a constituent part.

Simply repeating the chair's original individual vote is a failure to understand the importance of the casting vote.

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