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A quorum is the minimum number of members of an organization who must be present in order for their meeting to be legal or official.[1] The word is often used in legislative assemblies, corporations and societies who make official decisions.[2] The by-laws of an organization will usually say how many members make up a quorum.[3]

In the case of legislatures and government bodies, the requirements for a quorum are often set by statute or in their constitution. Some bodies use a fixed number for a quorum while others use a percentage of the members.[4] It is usually the responsibility of the chairperson to make sure there is a quorum present.[5] If there is not a quorum at a meeting, then in most cases the only business that can be discussed is taking steps to obtain a quorum, to decide on a time when to adjourn the meeting and to adjourn the meeting.[5]

The noun quorum is the plural of the Latin word qui, meaning "of whom."[6]

A similar term, "quorum-busting", is a tactic used by members of a group when they know they will lose a vote.[7] If enough members do not show up for a meeting, a vote cannot take place if there is no quorum.[7] It is a delaying tactic similar to a filibuster. Both are used in the hopes that if a vote is delayed long enough, it may not take place at all.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Quorum Definition:". Duhaime.org. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  2. "quorum". US Legal, Inc. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  3. "Procedures Used in Meetings: Quorum of Members". Internet Band Boosters International. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  4. C. Allan Jennings. "Robert's Rules for Defining a Quorum". For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Henry M. Robert (1837–1923). Robert's Rules of Order Revised. 1915. 64 A Quorum". Bartleby.com. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  6. "quorum". Vocabulary.com. Retrieved 9 June 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Jordan Michael Smith (16 June 2012). "Five obscure tactics to snarl Congress". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 9 June 2016.