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Sarah E. Merkle is a professional and a driven achiever, but a helpful one. Her legal work dovetails neatly with her unique avocation—sharing parliamentary procedure with those who need help navigating the sometimes crazy world of organizational governance and meetings. She’s one of only five lawyers in the world to have earned the two highest parliamentarian certifications. For nearly 15 years she has used her expertise to help local, regional, and national clients make decisions that honor the law but efficiently move business forward without disruption. It’s more than taking minutes or understanding the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order—Sarah demonstrates that parliamentary procedure can be a helpful tool, and as a former educator, she knows how to make the tricky parts understandable.

4 Things Most People Don’t Know About NominationsIf you make a list of problem-causing parliamentary procedure events, nominations and elections will be near the top. For some reason, groups tend to wait until an election is contested or has “gone wrong” and then check to see what Robert’s Rules says.

Here’s a tip – if your group has elections coming up, pull

Can the Chairman of a Meeting Vote?Here’s a common parliamentary procedure question: “Can the chair vote?” Robert’s Rules gives us some preliminary help on chair participation with a vague “yes, but only sometimes.” I’d like to take this a step further by addressing some specific circumstances and “what ifs.”

But, before I tell you about the chair’s voting powers, you