Q:

Does an ex officio member have a vote?

A:

Quick Answer

Ex officio members of boards and committees have the same rights and privileges as do all other members of those boards or committees. With two exceptions, this includes the right to vote.

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Full Answer

The first exception occurs when the ex officio member is the president and the organization's bylaws provide that the president shall be an ex officio member of all committees. In this instance, the president as an ex officio member of the committee cannot vote. The second exception is when the ex officio member is neither an ex officio officer of the board nor a member, employee, or elected or appointed officer of the society. For example, when the governor of a state is made an ex officio member of a private college board, the governor cannot vote.

"Ex officio" is Latin for "by virtue of office or position." Ex officio members of boards and committees, therefore, are persons who are members by virtue of some other office or position they hold. If, for example, the bylaws of an organization provide for a Committee on Institutional Advancement consisting of the Vice President for Advancement and three other members appointed by the president, the Vice President for Advancement is said to be an ex officio member of the Committee on Institutional Advancement.

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