There are many methods of taking votes. Those most often used are: voice, roll call vote, raising the right hand, rising, or “aye” or “no.” Many groups use ballot voting, but it must be remembered that secret votes are prohibited in meetings of the county legislative body. All votes must be a public vote. T.C.A § 8-44-104. There are no provisions in the law allowing voting by proxy.
For voice voting, the following form is very common: “It has been moved and seconded that: (state the question). As many as are in favor of the motion say aye,” and after the affirmative voice is expressed, “those who are opposed say nay or no.” The same type of language is used when calling for a vote by show of hands or asking the membership to rise to express their votes.
When a voice vote is taken, the chair should announce the results in the following form: “The motion or resolution is carried - the motion or resolution is adopted.” If, when the results are announced, any member doubts the vote, that member may call for a “division.” The chair will announce that “a division is called for” and the vote will be verified by a roll call or a show of hands. Votes will be counted and the results announced.
Another type of voting is called voting by “yeas” and “nays.” In this method, the chair states both sides of the question at once. The County Clerk then calls the roll and each member answers yes or no. Each member’s vote on the issue is recorded by the member’s name and the total affirmative and negative vote is counted and the results are announced by the chair.
A roll call vote is required when the county legislative body is making an appropriation of money. T.C.A. § 5-9-302.