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Parliamentary Procedures Tip Sheet

A parliamentary procedure outline for PTA leaders including steps to process a motion, amend motions, and more.

Steps to Process a Main Motion:

Member rises and addresses the chair:

Madam President.

Chair recognizes member.

Member makes motion.

I move that…

Another member seconds the motion.

Second [or] I second the motion.

The chair states the motion and opens debate.

It is moved and seconded that…Is there any discussion?

Chair recognizes members wishing to speak.

After debate concludes. Chair puts the question to a vote.

The question is on the motion to…Those in favor of the motion say “aye.” Those opposed say “no.”

Chair announces the result of the vote and what action will be taken.

The “ayes” have it, and the motion is adopted. We will [stating action to be taken].

The chair continues with the next business in order.

General consent:

"If there is no objection, we will…” (Pause) “Since there is no objection, we will…”

Voice vote: “As many as are in favor, say “aye.” As many opposed, say “no.” The “ayes/noes” have it and the motion is adopted/defeated.”

Rising vote (not counted): “Those in favor will rise. Thank you, be seated. Those opposed will rise. Thank you, be seated. They “ayes” have it and the motion is adopted.”

Tips on Counting a Vote

Divide the meeting room into clearly defined “counting areas”

  • Appoint and train tellers in advance
  • Divide the meeting room into clearly defined “counting areas”
  • Have an “only delegate” seating area
  • Give clear voting instructions from the chair
  • Voters stand and hold voter cards as they vote
  • Count off when teller points to voter
  • Voter sits down after voting
  • Teller records number of votes in the section
  • Head teller totals votes of all sections
  • Repeat process for the negative vote
  • Chair announces the result of the vote

Methods of Amending

By striking out: “I move to amend the motion by striking out the word “Denver.”

By inserting: “I move to amend the motion by inserting the word ‘Las Vegas’ after the word ‘Portland.’”

By striking out and inserting: “I move to amend the motion by striking out the word ‘$35’ and inserting the word ‘$50.’”

This material reproduced with permission from the brochure, "Parliamentary Procedure - Tip Sheet for PTA Leaders" by Rollie Cox.