Can a board member attend the board meeting and vote over the phone? Are absentee ballots permitted?
March 25, 2008
Proxy voting - an absentee ballot given to another board member to be voted by the board member in attendance, or by handing in the written ballot - is not allowed. The absent board member cannot give their vote to another board member on paper or verbally and have that serve as his/her vote.
However, board members may attend a meeting and vote by telephone as long as they are on a speaker phone and can be heard by the audience and the rest of the board, and they can hear the audience and rest of the board. In other words, they can meet the requirement of being 'present' by being live on a phone. They also count towards the quorum while they are on the phone.
Interestingly, the entire board could attend the meeting by phone, as long as there is a speaker phone at a location where the public can hear and participate in the meeting, and that all other rules for public meetings are followed.
For more information on this question, e-mail