All kinds of votings are indispensable for MUN conferences. While we are voting upon something, we truly feel the diplomacy, the importance of our thoughts. To deepen this feeling, you should also know the voting procedures of the house. As an important suggestion, you should read whole the Rules of Procedure of the conference before the official sessions, whether you are a committee board member or a delegate. Here are the keys to votings!
There are two kinds of voting which are substantive voting and procedural voting. Substantive voting is for amendments, drafts resolutions, or motions that modify resolution content.
All the other votings are procedural votings which are for the committee’s workflow such as voting for suspension of the debate or having an unmoderated caucus.
Procedural voting is conducted orally and is used for the general flow of the committee, as mentioned above. The Chairperson asks: ’Are there any seconds/objections?’ If the delegates are in favor of the motion they should say ‘Second!’ out loud, if a delegate does not want to debate about that motion, they should shout ‘Objection!’.
Even if only one delegate says ‘objection’, the committee will proceed with placard voting. This is the most common type of voting in the house. Abstentions are not allowed during procedural voting. And bonus: You cannot say ‘second’ for your own motion.
Procedural voting which is for ‘agenda-setting’ is the most confusing thing for the delegates. Sometimes there can be more than one agenda item in a committee. In order to decide which agenda item will be primarily discussed, a delegate should raise a motion to ‘Set the agenda item/topic’. The Chair will ask the delegates ‘Are there any second/objections?’. If there are no objections, the agenda automatically be adopted.
Otherwise, the Chair shall establish a speaker list and entertain at least two ‘in favor’ and two ‘against’ speeches. Then, the motion to ‘Closure of the debate’ should be granted. First, the ’Closure of the debate’ motion should be voted because debating about the prior agenda items is a totally different argument. So you have to end this debate first. There should be 2/3 majority of the quorum in order for this motion to be accepted.
Finally, you can vote upon the ‘Agenda-setting’ motion. There should be a simple majority to grant this motion. If the motion fails, the other agenda will be automatically set.
The substantive voting procedures are the key issue of the committee. After all the debates and negotiations, delegates collect their possible solutions ideas and decisions by writing draft resolution. The voting procedure is the main step for the draft resolution to turn into a resolution. In general, these votings are conducted as roll-call votings. That means the chair asks all the delegates their decisions one by one alphabetically. If it is approved by the secretariat, you can proudly call the document as the ‘resolution’, it is not a draft anymore! Before starting this whole procedure, most probably the committee board members make an announcement as ’We are waiting for a specific motion.’ When you hear that reminder, you should raise a motion to ‘Move into the voting procedure’.Do not forget to specify the type of voting as ‘roll-call voting’.Before moving on with the voting procedure, the committee board members will say:’Administrative staff, please secure the doors. We are about to start voting.’ I think this is the coolest time in a session ever because you can feel full of seriousness and diplomacy.
You have six options, if the house hasn’t been divisive, these are: Yes, No, Yes with rights, No with rights, Abstention, Pass.
If some delegates state different options than yes or no, Chairs shall ask delegates their votes one more round. Delegates who said ‘present and voting’ during the roll-call cannot abstain.Yes/No with rights options are mostly misunderstood by the delegates. A delegate may declare ‘rights’ if he or she voted against his/her counties’ policy and wants to explain the reason. So you if you are supporting the draft resolution, only saying ‘Yes’ will be enough.
In the end, the Secretariat decides whether the draft resolution failed or passed. The Secretariat means the Under-Secretary-General, the Academic Assassinat(if there is), and the Secretary-General. If the document is granted, the committee will proceed with the ‘Introduction of the resolution’. If it has failed, don’t give up. Keep working for other conferences!
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