Abstention is a term in election procedure for when a participant in a vote either does not go to vote (on election day) or, in parliamentary procedure, is present during the vote, but does not cast a ballot. Abstention must be contrasted with "blank vote", in which a voter casts a ballot wilfully made invalid by marking it wrongly or by not marking anything at all. A "blank (or white) voter" has voted, although his vote may be considered a spoilt vote, depending on each legislation, while an abstaining voter hasn't voted. Both forms (abstention and blank vote) may or may not, depending on the circumstances, be considered as protest vote.
An abstention may be used to indicate the voting individual's ambivalence about the measure, or mild disapproval that does not rise to the level of active opposition. Abstention can also be used when someone has a certain position about an issue, but since the popular sentiment supports the opposite, it might be not be politically expedient to vote according to his or her conscience. A person may also abstain when they do not feel adequately informed about the issue at hand, or has not participated in relevant discussion. In parliamentary procedure, a member may be required to abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest.
Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote negatively or positively; when members abstain, they are in effect attending only to contribute to a quorum. White votes, however, may be counted in the total of votes, depending on the legislation.
National proceduresIn the United States Congress and many other legislatures, members may vote "present" rather than for or against a bill or resolution, which has the effect of an abstention.
In the United Nations Security Council, representatives of the five countries holding a veto power (including the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and the People's Republic of China) sometimes abstain rather than vetoing a measure about which they are less than enthusiastic, particularly if the measure otherwise has broad support. By convention, their abstention does not block the measure, despite the wording of Article 27.3 of the United Nations Charter. If a majority of members of the United Nations General Assembly or one of its committees abstain on a measure, then the measure fails.
**In the Council of the European Union, an abstention on a matter decided by unanimity is in effect a yes vote; on matters decided by qualified majority it is in effect a no vote.**
The KWB notes that perhaps the leadership of GOA’L and the Group of 33 leader Kim Su Rasmussen consider that European Rules of Order for NGO and like the Council of the European Union are followed in the matter of Abstention Votes.
When a tie vote occurs the Abstention Votes are COUNTED as NAY IN EUROPEAN Rules of Order for Non-Government Organizations.
The first edition of the book, whose full title was Pocket Manual of Rules of Order for Deliberative Assemblies, was published in February 1876 by then
Robert's Rules applies best to private organizations and civic groups that do not meet in daily public sessions. http://www.ncsl.org/
Do abstention votes count?
The phrase "abstention votes" is an oxymoron, an abstention being a refusal to vote. To abstain means to refrain from voting, and, as a consequence, there can be no such thing as an "abstention vote."
In the usual situation, where either a majority vote or a two-thirds vote is required, abstentions have absolutely no effect on the outcome of the vote since what is required is either a majority or two thirds of the votes cast. On the other hand, if the vote required is a majority or two thirds of the members present, or a majority or two thirds of the entire membership, an abstention will have the same effect as a "no" vote. Even in such a case, however, an abstention is not a vote. [RONR]
Searching for your answer I first came across a page at Washington
University that notes:
"A Majority Vote consists of over 50% YES's of all the YES and NO ballots counted."
EXAMPLE: A tie is not a majority.
EXAMPLE: 23 votes are yes, 21 votes are NO and 345 votes are ABSTAIN.
This is a majority and the motion passes."
So, it would seem that the abstained votes are not counted at all and
a 3-3-5 vote as you asked would indeed, be a tie.
The College of Denver notes on a page on Robert's Rules:
"...Abstentions do not count in tallying the vote; when members abstain, they are in effect only attending the meeting to aid in constituting a quorum..."
THUS the Korean War Baby proposes that the election results of 27 March 2010 be declared NULL AND VOID.I call upon the duly appointed “Interim Secretary General Ms. Katie MeeJoo Kim Putes to assume her responsibilities to the ENTIRE paid up membership of GLOBAL Overseas Adoptees’ Link. What say you to this matter? Who is in Charge because the website has not been updated on the STAFF or the Board of Directors until this date April 12, 2010.
As a FORMER member I don’t care anymore. But for those
who had their VOICES stilled in the NEXT Bi-Annual General
2012some of them want ANSWERS.