How to Ask for a Vote to Be Retaken

This is a quick guide on a call for Division of the Assembly.

The Skinny

  • What motion should you use whenever you doubt the accuracy of the announced result of a voice vote or a raising-hands vote?
    Use the motion called Division of the Assembly.
  • What should you say?
    Say this: “Division.”
  • When can you make this motion?
    You can make this motion anytime a vote is being taken or has just been taken, as long as the group has not begun considering the next item of business.
  • Can you interrupt another speaker to make this motion?
    Yes.
  • Does someone have to say, “Second” after this bemotion is proposed?
    No.
  • Can people debate the pros and cons of this motion?
    No.
  • How many votes does this motion need to pass?
    No vote is taken when handling this motion. A single member can demand a Division of the Assembly.

An Example

  • The group takes a vote on a controversial motion, and the Chair announces that the motion is adopted.
  • Member A is unsure if the individuals voting in favor were truly in the majority.
  • Immediately after the Chair announces the result of the vote, Member A yells out, “Division!” He doesn’t even wait for the Chair to recognize him.
  • When the Chair hears Member A yell, “Division!,” he says, “Division has been called. All those in favor of the motion, please rise. Be seated. All those opposed to the motion, please rise. Be seated.”
  • This time, the results of the vote are clear. There were definitely more individuals voting in the affirmative than in the negative.
  • The Chair announces once again that the motion was adopted.

What the Pros Know

  • When a member calls for a Division of the Assembly, the Chair must immediately take the vote again by asking the members to raise their hands or stand to vote.
  • A Division of the Assembly is not the same as requesting a counted vote. A counted vote can be taken only on the Chair’s initiative or by a majority vote of the group.
  • The Chair has the responsibility to retake the vote himself if he unsure of the result. It is his responsibility to make sure the announced result of the vote accurately reflects the will of the group.
  • When the results of the vote are clear, calling for a Division of the Assembly is out of order (not allowed) because it is a waste of time.

Where to Learn More