Voting in a Lodge
Voting in a subordinate lodge shall be first, by show of hands, second, by written paper ballot, third, by secret ballot of balls and cubes, and by no other method.
When a vote by written paper ballot is ordered, the Master shall appoint not more than five tellers, and they shall be provided with ballot slips by the Secretary and shall immediately commence distributing them to the members present who are entitled to vote. The Master shall announce that each member voting shall prepare his ballot by writing clearly thereon the nature of his vote and shall order the tellers to collect the votes. When all have voted, he shall declare the ballot closed and order the tellers to count the ballots and announce the result. Other business may be transacted while the tellers are counting the ballots if the lodge consents. [54-3; 54-3.1; 100-1.4; 100-1.7].
Unless the law requires a vote by ballot, it shall be taken by show of hands, provided, when not less than two members concur in a demand or when the Master may order, the vote shall be taken by paper ballot. Voting by Yea and Nay is not permitted. [59-2.14].
Every member present must vote, unless excused by the Master, because of personal interest in the question or because he was not present when the question was first voted on. Blank pieces of paper are neither ballots nor votes and cannot be counted as such, nor can they have any effect upon the result. No member shall be excused insecret balloting. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts are not members of a lodge. Members present and excused from voting on any question shall not be counted as present on that vote or ballot. [19-7; 19-8; 54-3.1; 59-2.28; 63-15; 68-3.16; 74-2; 45-23.17; 100-4].
Secret ballot shall be taken as follows. [87-17].
1. Wherever the term secret ballot is used in THE CODE, it shall mean the use of white balls and black cubes but not black balls, and with a ballot box so arranged that the character of an individual ballot shall not become known. [Chapter 68].
All ballots cast at an election of officers on which there does not appear in a legible manner the name of some member of the lodge are blank ballots, these are not votes and shall not be considered in determining the result. [19-8; 54-3.2].
If there are more ballots cast including blanks than there are members present, the vote is illegal and shall be declared void. [19-8].
The fact that a ballot was cast by a member after the Master declared the ballot closed, without objection by anyone, shall not invalidate the election after the result has been announced. [19-8;].
A member shall not vote by proxy.
If a member retires from the lodge room during a vote and returns before the same is closed, he may be permitted to vote, but this does not apply in a secret ballot.
The Tyler, if he is qualified to vote in the lodge, shall be subject to the same law as any other member, but his failure to vote will not affect the legality of the voting or the result thereof. He shall not be excused from voting in a secret ballot. [59-2.28; 68-3.9].
In all voting, except by secret ballot, a member may change his vote but only before the result has been announced.
A majority vote shall govern in all cases except as provided in THE CODE. No lodge shall in any manner, through its by-laws or by resolution or otherwise, require more than a majority vote of its members present to transact any financial or other business matter and no lodge shall in any such manner or by any device require the vote of its total membership or of any designated majority of its total membership to transact any matters except as provided in THE CODE. [44-7 (Art.22B,H); 60-10; 63-4; 45-23.18; 45-23.19].
No visiting brother shall vote in a lodge on any matter.