Board Voting Policies
Policy for votes taken by the Big 8 Board
- Calling for votes:
- Any board member may, through a public message to the board email list, suggest that sufficient discussion of an issue has taken place and it is time for the board to vote on the issue.
- Any board member may, through a public message to the board email list, request that a vote be taken to ascertain the will of the board on a particular issue, rather than a decision being reached through some other mechanism, e.g., consensus, acclamation, unilateral action by the chair, etc.
- The chairman decides whether to end discussion and vote on an issue, or to allow discussion to continue because it hasn't run its course.
- Votes involving people (e.g., voting for chairman, voting for who will fill certain roles, voting on adding or removing board members), hereafter referred to as "people votes," are by secret ballot -- the votes of individuals are known to the vote collector but are not published.
- Votes are collected and counted by the chairman or by another board member designated by the chairman.
- The chairman must designate another board member to collect votes on any people votes which directly involve him.
- Votes involving issues, hereafter referred to as "issue votes," are conducted either on the list or via email, at the discretion of the vote collector, and the results, including individuals' votes, are reported to the board.
- The chairman may, at his discretion, decide that an issue vote is sufficiently controversial that it should be conducted by secret ballot without individuals' votes being published.
- Voting Times
- All votes end one week after the vote began (as determined by the time at which the vote collector received the call for votes s/he sent back from the list server).
- The votetaker may end a vote early when a position has obtained the minimum number of votes necessary to guarantee passage, but is not required to do so.
- Deciding RFDs by consensus:
- When the Last Call for Comments (LCC) is posted to NAN, the chair will post a message to the Board that says "if you have objections to this proposal, make them known before [announced start date/time of vote]".
- If no objections are outstanding that time, the Chair declares the proposal passed by consensus.
- After a 24-hour decorum delay the decision is announced.
- Objections raised during the LCC can be retracted by the objector if his concerns are addressed to his satisfaction, or he considers his objection unfounded.
- The decorum delay serves as final confirmation of the consensus, as well as preventing the appearance of a "rushed" decision.
- Issue votes are won by a simple majority of votes cast, not counting abstentions.
- A vote requires at least half of the active members voting or explicitly abstaining in order to be decisive.
- If a vote is not decisive, the issue remains undecided, and options such as further debate, tabling the issue, or altering the question being voted upon may be pursued.
- Members are encouraged to abstain only in exceptional circumstances, but each member is free to use his/her judgment to determine when abstention is appropriate.
- Votes to overturn an issue vote taken within the last month are won by a 2/3 majority of votes cast, not counting abstentions.
- [there is no rule 11]
- Tie issue votes are broken by the chairman.
- People votes for a single slot are won by a 2/3 majority of active members.
- People votes for multiple slots OR with more than two candidates for a single slot are conducted using the Single Transferable Vote system.
- If the board has only two active members, then the chairman may unilaterally appoint a new board member if in his judgment he and the other member are at an irreconcilable impasse.
- If the board has only two active members and neither is chairman, then the active member who has been on the board longer selects the chairman (i.e., either him or the other active member). If both active members were appointed at the same time, then the member with the last name earlier in the alphabet selects the chairman.
- An active member is one who has sent at least one message to the list or voted in at least one public vote in the past 30 days. A member's active status may change at any time, even in the middle of a vote. E.g., if a member was inactive at the start of a vote, but sends a message to the list while the vote is in progress, he is immediately counted as an active member when determining the status and/or results of the vote.
- For the purpose of analyzing the results of a vote, a member is considered active if he was active at any point during the vote, even if he is not active at the end.
(Initial policies designed by Jonathan Kamens.)