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Abstentions

An abstention is a parliamentary maneuver by which a member of a legislative body chooses not to vote on a particular item of business.  A voting member may choose to abstain from voting for a number of reasons.  For instance, the member may be ambivalent about the item at hand, could feel that he or she is in a very small minority on the issue, or may feel that he or she is not informed enough to make a decision.  Members should also abstain in the case of a real or perceived conflict of interest with the issue.

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