Improper wording was used when the motion was made

Can a motion be invalidated based on wording.

Many questions about parliamentary procedure are directed to Michigan State University Extension on a regular basis. Those individuals who help answer those questions often subscribe to resources to help keep their skills intact. One such resource is The National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). The National Parliamentarian is NAP’s official publication. Published four times per year, each issue of the NP provides readers with insightful, up-to-date information on parliamentary procedure and how it is applied to a variety of situations and needs. Subscriptions are included in NAP membership. An annual subscription may also be purchased online, or by contacting NAP by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or phone at (888) 627-2929.

A question submitted to Volume 75, No 2 Second Quarter 2014 page 40 asks, “If the maker of a motion states, “I recommend” instead of “I move” does this invalidate the motion?”

It is important when wording a motion to do so as “I move to or I move that.” However the answer provided reads that:

“The motion is not invalidated so long as the member’s intent is clear and the error will not cause harm to the assembly, it is likely best not to raise a point of order regarding the exact wording the member uses RONR (11th ed.), p 250, ll. 11-15. Even if a member were to raise a Point of Order, this would need to be done promptly. See RONR (11th ed.), p. 250, ll. 18-19 A motion cannot be invalidated after the fact due to minor irregularities.”

It is still important however to demonstrate best practices when participating on any board.  

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 or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 

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