Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > 6. Some Main and Unclassified Motions. > 37. Rescind, Repeal, or Annul.
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Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.

37. Rescind, Repeal, or Annul.


Any vote taken by an assembly, except those mentioned further on, may be rescinded by a majority vote, provided notice of the motion has been given at the previous meeting or in the call for this meeting; or it may be rescinded without notice by a two-thirds vote, or by a vote of a majority of the entire membership. The notice may be given when another question is pending, but cannot interrupt a member while speaking. To rescind is identical with the motion to amend something previously adopted, by striking out the entire by-law, rule, resolution, section, or paragraph, and is subject to all the limitations as to notice and vote that may be placed by the rules on similar amendments. It is a main motion without any privilege, and therefore can be introduced only when there is nothing else before the assembly. It cannot be made if the question can be reached by calling up the motion to reconsider which has been previously made. It may be made by any member; it is debatable, and yields to all privileged and incidental motions; and all of the subsidiary motions may be applied to it. The motion to rescind can be applied to votes on all main motions, including questions of privilege and orders of the day that have been acted upon, and to votes on an appeal, with the following exceptions: votes cannot be rescinded after something has been done as a result of that vote that the assembly cannot undo; or where it is in the nature of a contract and the other party is informed of the fact; or, where a resignation has been acted upon, or one has been elected to, or expelled from, membership or office, and was present or has been officially notified. In the case of expulsion, the only way to reverse the action afterwards is to restore the person to membership or office, which requires the same preliminary steps and vote as is required for an election.   1
  Where it is desired not only to rescind the action, but to express very strong disapproval, legislative bodies have, on rare occasions, voted to rescind the objectionable resolution and expunge it from the record, which is done by crossing out the words, or drawing a line around them, and writing across them the words, ”Expunged by order of the assembly,” etc., giving the date of the order. This statement should be signed by the secretary. The words expunged must not be so blotted as not to be readable, as otherwise it would be impossible to determine whether more was expunged than ordered. Any vote less than a majority of the total membership of an organization is certainly incompetent to expunge from the records a correct statement of what was done and recorded and the record of which was officially approved, even though a quorum is present and the vote to expunge is unanimous.   2



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