Legal English – Peter’s Pills – Lesson 52 – Voting at a meeting

Legal English for Notaries - By Federnotizie

Voting at a meeting



Today we look at the two main methods for collecting votes at company meetings, namely, a show of hands and a poll, as well as some associated words.

Vote by Show of HandsPoll Vote
MethodMembers raise handsCast secret electronic votes or paper ballots
AnonymityNot anonymousAnonymous
Pressure to ConformMembers may feel pressure to conform to the consensusMembers are free to express their true opinion
AccuracyResults may not be accurate if some members are hesitant to oppose the majorityResults are more accurate as they reflect the honest opinion of members
WeightOne member, one voteOne share, one vote
NuanceLimited to simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ voteAllows for more nuanced
decisions through ranking or rating systems
SpeedQuick decision-making processLonger time required due to the need for collecting and counting paper ballots or electronic polls
CircumstanceSuitable for simple decisionsIdeal for complex or important decisions
LegalityLegally permissible for all types of resolutionsMandatory for certain types of resolutions, such as special resolutions or resolutions requiring a poll vote

Key vocabulary:

raise: alzare;
cast a vote: esprimere un voto;
electronic votes: quesiti elettronici;
paper ballots: schede di carta;
one share, one vote: un’azione, un voto (oppure, un voto per ogni percentuale di quota);
nuanced decisions: decisioni più sfumate;
ranking or rating systems: sistemi di classificazione o valutazione;
suitable: adatto;
mandatory: obbligatorio.

Thank you, and see you next time for more Peter’s Pills to improve your legal English.

Read more about voting on resolutions at company meetings in the UK here: “Companies Act 2006: General provisions about resolutions“.

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