Q Section 21-8-11 provides that a majority of the members of the City Council constitutes a quorum and requires affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum to pass any measure. Is an abstention considered an “affirmative vote” as required by Section 21-8-11?

A No, generally an abstention is counted with the prevailing side; however, there are exceptions to the general rule when a statute directs otherwise. In past Mississippi Supreme Court cases, the Court rejected the argument that an abstention should be counted as an affirmative vote in interpreting a statute with similar language. Consequently, the abstention does not count as an affirmative vote when the applicable statute requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Foote, November 6, 2015)