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Nonprofit Law/transparency in voting


I was recently informed that by law, MA non-profit organizations must do a public tally/accounting when voting for executive officers and other major internal changes. Of course I understand the outcomes and # or % should be available, but is it true that legally each member must have their name recorded for a specific voting choice? That an individual within the organization (such as the executive officer/s) cannot tally the votes and share the ensuing determination?

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. Your issue is controlled by state law and states may differ somewhat with how they would treat such issues. Even though this forum is not for such state law issues, if you give me your state's name, I may be able to direct you. is the  Massachusetts Law for Corporations for
Charitable and Certain Other Purposes on the site of the
Massachusetts legislature.  Section 6 of that chapter 180 indicates
that the chapter applies also to some religious corporations,
"Corporations organized under this chapter or corresponding
provisions of earlier laws exclusively for religious purposes..."

Especially note:
regarding meetings, "Except as otherwise expressly provided, a corporation may by its by-laws determine the manner of calling and conducting its meetings;"

There are some specific sections in that chapter 180 but many of
the provisions of Chapter 155 apply to nonprofit corporation as
well as to other corporations  as we see at

That Chapter 155 is available at

The Massachusetts Law for Parishes and Religious Societies is
available at

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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