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A deliberative vote is a vote given to a person because they are a member of the group. The term is usually applied to people who chair the meeting to draw a distinction between the vote they get as a member, and the casting vote they may get as the presiding person.

That means that, if your constitution allows the chair to have a casting vote, they will also have a deliberative vote because they are a member. They therefore get a “second vote” the term often used for the casting vote.

The deliberative vote Must be taken at the same time that everyone else votes. You cannot put an issue to the vote, wait to see the result and then exercise your vote – that is not seen as fair or reasonable.

However, many people choose not to use their deliberative vote at all, preferring to remain impartial and only use it when the issue is tight and their vote will make a difference.

In this case, if there is a tie, and the chair has not yet exercised the deliberative vote, then the vote they then cast is their deliberative vote, not their casting vote.

A casting vote is only used once the deliberative vote has been exercised.

Also see the post on casting votes

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

5 thoughts on “Deliberative votes

  1. Dear Sir

    I think that you might be wrong regarding a second or casting vote. The “or” is used disjunctively. My understanding is that a Chairman can exercise a first vote, and then where there is an equality of votes he can cast a second vote which has the effect of breaking the tie. The “or casting vote” means that where a Chairman has not cast a first vote, and there is an equality of votes, he has the power to break the tie by using his casting vote. In these circumstances it is not a “second” vote but a “casting” vote.

    I work in Local Government and this is how we operate it, but I’d be interested to have your views.


    • Thanks for your comment Carol. You have added an interesting distinction.
      The term casting vote and second vote are synonymous in almost every situation, but you have pointed out the distinction with some local governments.
      In your case, you are of course quite correct. Local government acts vary around the country from state to state and where a chairman has a deliberative vote as some do in some local governments, my point is correct. Where they do not however, as in your case, they do not and there is then a distinction between casting and second votes.
      I will put up another post shortly to clarify it and I thank you for drawing it to my attention.

  2. My question is as follows:

    Our Committee has called a special general meeting to INFORM the members of a decision made that was/is somewhat controversial for the members. The calling of the meeting is allowed for in our Constitution. At the meeting, which I expect to be robust, can a motion from the floor be moved that forces the overturning of that committee decision.


  3. Can the rights of the Chairperson be limited by not allowing him to cast a deliberative vote but only the casting vote.
    If this is allowed what effect can this action have on the outcome of the issue being discussed.

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