When voting occurs within VDD, the procedures outlined in the VDD By-Laws apply at all General Membership meetings, including those of the VDD, VDD Group North America, and the individual GNA Chapters. Below I have added some discussion of two of the pertinent paragraphs which should be used as guidance if any questions of these paragraphs happen to occur.
“Section 6, paragraph 1) Leadership of each group is the responsibility of a board that is elected at the annual general meeting by simple majority of the valid votes cast, abstentions are not taken into account.”
In order to abstain a member must formally decline to vote either for or against a proposal or motion. In order to do this the member must be physically present at the meeting and at that time declare their intention to abstain. Since no valid vote is cast by this member, then the motion or proposal will carry or fail based on a simple majority of the remaining valid votes cast by the voting members present.
“Section 15 paragraph 1) a) In the general meeting each member has one vote. Members not present at the meeting are considered to be represented by the chairperson of their group or by a member of the executive committee who was authorized in writing to represent in accordance with section 11 (1).”
The second sentence deals with members not present at the meeting. These members are considered to be represented by the Chairperson of their group (or Chapter when applicable). In the absence of the Chairperson they would be represented by the Vice-Chairperson of their Group (or Chapter). In the absence of the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson the Group (or Chapter) could be represented by a member of the executive committee who was authorized by the Group (or Chapter) in writing. “To represent in accordance with section 11” applies to representing the Group (or Chapter), not to representing any individuals members.
If an individual wants to vote as such, he must attend the meeting. However, if there are state or regional representatives that have been elected to those positions at a Chapter Annual General Meeting by vote of the membership, then it is within the VDD By-Laws for them to represent their state or region. Rather than as they wish, it would hopefully be in accordance with the wishes of the members that they represent. However, since all eventualities that take place at a meeting may not be known in advance they do have to have some leeway. If the elected representative is not present at the meeting then the provisions of Section 15 apply.
At all levels a representative must vote as a block of votes and cannot split that block.
Compiled from emails sent by VDD/GNA Business Manager Jim Wion.