Can a member of a governmental body running for an office or position of the body vote for himself or herself?
Under Robert’s Rules, the answer is probably yes. However, whether such a vote is permitted under the state ethics code depends on the specific facts involved.
Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.) states the following regarding a member voting for himself or herself: The rule on abstaining from voting on a question of direct personal interest does not mean that a member should not vote for himself [or herself ] for an office or other position to which members generally are eligible, or should not vote when other members are included with him [or her] in a motion.
Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised (11th ed.), p. 407-08, ll. 34-36 and ll.1-2. Thus, a member of a governmental body that follows Roberts Rules of Order and has not modified this provision of the rules is entitled to vote for himself or herself for an office or other position of the body.
However, whether such a vote is permitted under the state ethics code applicable to local officials depends on the specific facts. Wisconsin Stat. § 19.59(1)(c) prohibits local officials from taking any official action substantially affecting a matter in which the official has a substantial financial interest or from using their office in a way that produces or assists in the production of a direct or indirect substantial benefit. (rev. 11/19)