This is a quick guide on how to use the motion to Reconsider.
- What motion should you use to reopen consideration of a motion that has already been voted on?
Use the motion called Reconsider.
- What should you say?
Say this: “I move to reconsider the motion that the group adopted earlier regarding [describe the motion].” OR “I move to reconsider the motion that the group defeated earlier regarding [describe the motion].”
- When can you make this motion?
You can make this motion anytime, even after the motion to Adjourn has been adopted, with two qualifications:
- You may make this motion to Reconsider only if you voted on the side that prevailed (won) the first time the motion was considered—i.e., if when the motion was voted on earlier, it was adopted (the “yes” votes won), you have to have voted “yes” during that first vote; or if the motion was defeated when it was voted on earlier, you have to have voted “no” during that first vote.
- You may make this motion as long as the Chair has not yet declared the meeting adjourned.
- Can you interrupt another speaker to make this motion?
- Does someone have to say, “Second” after this motion is proposed?
- Can people debate the pros and cons of this motion?
Yes, as long as the motion that is to be reconsidered is debatable. The group can debate both the merits of reconsidering the question and can also debate the merits of the motion that is potentially to be reconsidered.
- Can this motion be amended?
- How many votes does this motion need to pass?
Majority. A majority of the members present and voting must vote in the affirmative for a motion to be reconsidered.
- Early in an all-day business meeting, a group adopts a motion to sponsor a golf tournament at Hilton Head National and give the funds to the Red Cross and a local homeless shelter.
- During lunch, Member A learns that Hilton Head National is hosting a stop on the PGA tour during the week when the group typically holds its big fundraiser.
- Following lunch, before the Chair introduces the next item of business on the agenda, Member A seeks recognition, and says, “I move to reconsider the vote on the motion to sponsor a golf tournament.”
- The Chair asks Member A if she voted in the affirmative on the motion earlier in the day.
- Member A indicates that she did.
- Member B says, “Second.”
- The Chair repeats the motion, asks for discussion on the reconsideration of this motion, and takes a vote.
- If a majority of the members present and voting vote in the affirmative, then the motion to Reconsider is adopted, and the Chair proceeds to place the motion regarding the golf tournament on the floor again for discussion and a second vote. If a majority of those present and voting do not vote in the affirmative, then the motion regarding the golf tournament is not reconsidered and the group proceeds with its business as planned.
What the Pros Know
- The motion to Reconsider can be made only by a member who voted on the prevailing side of the motion that is to be reconsidered.
- The motion must be made either on the same day when the original vote was taken or on the next succeeding day if a business meeting is several days long.
- The making of the motion to Reconsider is not the same as the actual reconsideration. The motion to Reconsider can be made, and then the actual reconsideration of the motion can happen later. And, while the motion can be made at any time, if it is adopted, the actual reconsideration of the motion must wait until that motion would normally be in order—i.e., when there are no other main motions on the floor.
- If the motion to Reconsider is adopted, any action on the motion that is to be reconsidered is suspended until the reconsideration can occur.
- The motion to Reconsider cannot be applied to any motion that was adopted and that has been partially carried out, nor can it be applied in attempt to undo an event that is impossible to undo.
- The motion to Reconsider cannot be applied to an affirmative vote regarding a contract when a party to the contract has already been notified of the results of the vote.
- The motion to Reconsider cannot be applied to an election that has become final.
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