RE: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics
I agree with Pat (and with the many other useful points made in this
As many people have said, I think we need to remember the distinction between:
(a) Rules ballots: These are letter ballots: long-term, deliberative,
and based around comments and resolutions. I think EC members should
vote on all of these [though I'm not ready to try to force us to do
(b) Email votes on motions: These are usually yes-or-no questions.
It's very hard to apply Robert's Rules to email voting; you can't
easily amend, table, etc. So email votes should be limited to very
clearly-delineated questions: to send a draft to Sponsor Ballot,
authorize a budget issue, etc. Generally, the EC should try to get
these issues addressed in meetings. If they can't, they can try the
email ballot route. However, I think that EC members understand that,
in an email ballot, the motion does not get the benefit of the doubt.
Email balloting is risky; EC members may be offline, or may just not
be up to the work it takes to make a decision (especially on a
controversial or complex issue, or when we can't even remember how
many simultaneous ballots are underway or which we have voted on).
The burden falls on the members pushing a motion to work with the
other members for a favorable result.
I think that's fair. When you move an email motion, you are asking
all of the EC members to put their time into your problem. I think
you need to request their time, not demand it.
>I will note one additional reason why the suggestion would not be a good idea.
>No matter how much we want to encourage participation, I don't think
>we should do anything that requires members to always have email
>Email votes can come up on short notice. There can be a number of
>them running close together or at the same time.
>Exec members may sometimes manage to take a two week or longer
>vacation on which they don't take their laptops. With the suggested
>rule, a member could lose voting rights because 2 email ballots
>occurred during that vacation - ballots that the member didn't even
>know would be held before the vacation started. There may also be
>occasions where one has to be "heads down" on a project for a short
>time. Being and SEC member shouldn't require 100% availability.
>I don't think 80% is a bad record. I would be concerned if there
>were times when business wasn't getting down (or where votes were
>just barely getting enough participation) or when we made bad
>decisions because of lack of participation.
>Getting higher participation might require accepting more
>constraints on when and how votes could be conducted, e.g. longer
>ballot periods, pre-established times when email ballots could be
>opened. This might make it harder to get work done under difficult
>From: Paul Nikolich [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 2:38 PM
>To: Bill Quackenbush; Bob O'Hara
>Subject: Re: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics
>The request to the EC to 'empower the chair' will come in the form of a P&P
>change request in November, altough it is becoming evident from this email
>thread that it would probably not receive approval. Good discussion though.
>I note that no one commented on the 80% response rate on the email votes.
>I'm not sure how to interpret that--it is an adequate response rate or not?
>My intent on the threat of suspending the EC email voting rights was to give
>the chair a motivational tool to encourage all EC voters (that are aware an
>email motion is open) to cast a vote. Why? It is my opinion that it is an
>EC member's obligation to cast a vote on a motion. We are a small group.
>Every vote and every opinion is important to our decision making process and
>to the LMSC. Therefore, I want to encourage maximum participation.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Bill Quackenbush" <email@example.com>
>To: "Bob O'Hara" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 2:04 PM
>Subject: Re: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics
>> There is in my view a very important reason why the requirements for a
>> motion to be approved by eballot are different from the requirements for
>> a motion to be approved during an EC (in person) meeting.
>> During an EC (in person) meeting, almost every voting member of the EC
>> is present, they are all (hopefully) paying attention and their vote can
>> be determined by visual inspection. However, there is no assurance
>> during an eballot that anyone except those who vote ever saw the ballot.
>> If eballot approval was determined as a majority of those voting
>> "approve" or "disapprove", then it would be possible for a motion to
>> pass an eballot with ONE "approve" vote and no other votes because no
>> one else saw the eballot. Such a possibility is simply NOT acceptable
>> > Bob O'Hara wrote:
>> > I don't believe that Paul has the authority to disenfranchise an EC
>> > member, in this manner. Nor does the EC have the power to give him
>> > this authority. This would require a change to the P&P. If you
>> > disagree, please cite the text in our P&P that allows him this power
>> > or allows us to grant him this power.
>> > Geoff is correct that the P&P explicitly makes a non-return by an EC
>> > member equivalent to a "NO" vote. From 188.8.131.52:
>> > "The affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Executive
>> > Committee with voting rights is required for an electronic ballot to
>> > pass except when specified otherwise by these P&P."
>> > -Bob