Rules for Conducting Virtual Meetings and for Virtual Participation at In-Person Meetings

(adopted October 27, 2020 by the KCDCC Executive Board)

Section 1.  Definitions.

When used without further qualification in these rules:

Section 2.  General Rules.

Section 2.1.  One Virtual Participant per Connection.

To simplify the determination of quorum and the tallying of votes, each virtual participant in a meeting shall make a separate connection to the meeting.

Section 2.2.  Video Is Not Required.

Regardless of the virtual participation technology being used, a virtual participant may fully participate in a meeting provided they can hear and be heard in real time or substantially close to real time. The use of video or other technologies is encouraged but not required.

Section 2.3.  In-Person Participants May Not Simultaneously Be Virtual Participants.

An in-person participant may transition to virtual participation during a meeting, or vice versa, but must leave the physical meeting room before connecting as a virtual participant, and must disconnect from virtual participation before entering the meeting room. An in-person participant may, with the approval of the chair, connect to the virtual participation technology for purposes other than virtually participating in the meeting, such as managing the connection to the meeting room or facilitating the virtual participation of others.

Section 2.4.  Role of Sergeant-at-Arms in Meetings with Virtual Participants.

In virtual meetings, or if an in-person meeting has virtual participants, the sergeant-at-arms shall assist the chair in recognizing virtual participants who wish to speak and other tasks related to virtual participation.

Section 3.  Virtual Meetings.

Section 3.1.  Executive Board.

During a state of emergency, or if approved by two-thirds vote, the Executive Board may hold virtual meetings via videoconference in lieu of in-person meetings.

Section 3.2.  KCDCC Committees.

During a state of emergency, or if approved by majority vote of the Committee:

Section 4.  Virtual Participation in In-Person Meetings.

Section 4.1.  Authorization.

The Executive Board or any Committee may, by majority vote, authorize virtual participation in in-person meetings. If virtual participation is authorized and virtual participation technologies are available, any Executive Board or Committee member other than the person chairing the meeting may use such technologies to virtually participate.

Section 4.2.  No Virtual Participation during Executive Session.

When an in-person meeting has virtual participants, a motion to enter executive session shall require a two-thirds vote and shall automatically include disabling virtual participation for the duration of the executive session. Virtual participants shall be eligible to vote on the motion.

Section 4.3.  Alternates at Executive Board Meetings and Committees.

For in-person Executive Board meetings, or for in-person meetings of any Committee that designates an order of succession for alternates, in-person participants shall take precedence over virtual participants in the order of succession.

Section 5.  Quorum Rules.

Section 5.1.  When a Virtual Participant is Present.

For purposes of quorum, a virtual participant shall be considered "present" if they are receiving audio from the other participants, which is presumed to be the case if they are connected to the meeting. A virtual participant may mute their microphone, turn off their camera, or move out of view and still be considered present. However, placing an audio connection on hold, muting the conference audio, losing the audio connection, moving out of earshot, or failing to respond to a quorum call shall be treated as equivalent to an in-person participant leaving the room.

Section 5.2.  When Quorum Is Presumed.

Quorum is presumed if the total number of in-person participants plus the total number of connections made by virtual participants (excluding any connections made by virtual guests or made from within the meeting room) satisfies the quorum requirement. However, if a sufficient number of virtual participants are connected but do not appear to be present, a member may raise a Point of Order doubting the presence of quorum.

Section 5.3.  Taking a Quorum Call.

The chair may use any combination of the following methods to ascertain whether a quorum is present, and need not proceed any further than is needed to ascertain that a quorum is present.

Section 6.  Floor Rules.

Section 6.1.  Microphones on Mute.

The microphones of virtual attendees shall be muted unless they have been recognized by the chair or are responding verbally to a quorum call.

Section 6.2.  Seeking the Floor via Participation Icons.

If participation icons are available, a virtual participant shall seek the floor by using a participation icon designated for that purpose and waiting to be recognized. This is the preferred method for virtual participants to obtain the floor. When

A separate participation icon shall be designated for the making of motions that are in order when another has the floor (e.g., when making one of the motions listed in RONR § 42). The chair shall promptly recognize members who use this participation icon, and shall interrupt the current speaker if necessary. If the chair does not promptly recognize use of this participation icon, the sergeant-at-arms shall call the use of the icon to the chair's attention.

Section 6.3.  Seeking the Floor via Visual Signal.

If a videoconference is used and participation icons are not available, the chair shall identify a visual signal (e.g., raising one's hand or activating a feature of the conferencing software) that virtual participants may use to seek the floor.

Section 6.4.  Role of the Sergeant-at-Arms in Seeking the Floor.

For an in-person meeting with virtual participants, the sergeant-at-arms shall timely seek the floor on behalf of virtual participants. The sergeant-at-arms shall seek the floor in the same manner that a virtual participant would if they were in the room. For example, the sergeant-at-arms shall promptly call out "point of order" if a virtual participant is seeking the floor for that purpose, or shall raise their hand to be recognized if a virtual participant wishes to speak in debate.

If more than one virtual participant has sought the floor by the time the chair recognizes the sergeant-at-arms, the sergeant-at-arms shall report the number of virtual participants seeking the floor and for what purposes. The chair shall recognize and assign the floor to virtual participants to the same extent they do in-person participants, and shall not prefer one group over the other, but may vary the order in which virtual and in-person participants are recognized to break up a "bulk request" from the virtual participants.

Once the floor has been obtained on behalf of a virtual participant, the sergeant-at-arms shall yield the floor to the virtual participant rather than speaking on their behalf.

For a virtual meeting, the sergeant-at-arms shall assist the chair in recognizing members who are seeking the floor in order to minimize audio disruptions during the meeting. The sergeant-at-arms may, for example, use direct messages to call the chair's attention to a member seeking the floor.

The sergeant-at-arms shall inform the chair of any and all virtual participants who seek the floor and shall not have discretion in choosing which virtual participants to assist.

Section 6.6.  Other Methods of Seeking the Floor.

The chair may also designate other methods that can be used to seek the floor. If available, the chair should prefer methods that allow virtual participants to seek the floor without using audio.

Section 7.  Voting.

Section 7.1.  Virtual Participants at In-Person Meetings.

For in-person meetings, the sergeant-at-arms (or, at the chair's discretion, a member of the tally committee) shall tally the votes of virtual participants and report these votes. The sergeant-at-arms may, at their discretion, refrain from making a formal report if the votes cast by virtual participants cannot affect the outcome (e.g., if an in-person vote to approve the agenda is 30 to 0 and there are fewer than 30 virtual participants), but shall make a formal report upon request of the chair, if a call for Division is made, or if a written ballot is required. The sergeant-at-arms shall ensure that there is a method for auditing the votes of virtual participants if so asked.

Section 7.2.  Requests for Unanimous Consent.

If a Request for Unanimous Consent is made, a virtual participant who wishes to object may do so byusing a participation icon or by visually signaling the chair or the sergeant-at-arms.

Section 7.3.  Tallying Votes.

Votes from virtual participants may be tallied by the following methods:

By unanimous consent, the meeting may adopt other polling methods.

Section 7.4.  Written Ballots.

If a vote is taken by written ballot, virtual participants may cast a ballot using:

Written ballots may be cast by SMS or email only if a time period of at least ten minutes is allowed for such ballots to arrive.

Section 7.5.  Secret Ballots.

Secret ballots may be taken in a meeting with virtual participants only if the virtual conferencing software has a feature that allows votes to be tallied without reporting the identity of individual voters, or if the meeting goes into executive session under Section 4.2.