Components of meeting minutes

Recording the votes of members.

In a previous article, “I’ve been elected as the secretary, now what,” the role of the secretary and what should be recorded is outlined and a subsequent article, “Sample Meeting Minutes according to Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised,” provides an example of what a secretary’s report might look like. Though most readers found the general information they were looking for, some had a deeper question not answered specifically in “Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised.”

The question was regarding counting and recording votes of elections and recording member votes during regular business meetings. Counting votes was answered in “Announcing the number of votes for each candidate.” Regarding member votes, during government meetings specifically, it may be required to know how elected officials have voted. The recorder of government meetings is also generally called the clerk rather than the secretary. Government officials typically use roll call votes and this article outlines when and how to use “A Roll Call Vote.

Jurassic Parliament, authored by Ann Macfarlane clearly outlines in “Recording votes in meeting minutes,” how to record motions that pass or fail, pass or fail with numbers, pass or fail with names, and roll call votes and also includes proper recording when abstentions take place.

Macfarlane reminds the minute taker “It should be perfectly clear to anyone who reads your minutes what the outcome was. If you’re going to record names, record them all. If you’re giving numbers, give all the relevant numbers. The reader should not have to go back and try to calculate from the list of who was in attendance what the numerical outcome was.”

The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team offers training for elected and appointed officials for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more. By working together with local elected and appointed officials, and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues. The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team also offers professional training in Parliamentary Procedure. To contact an expert in your area, visit MSU Extension’s expert search system.

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