[802SEC] New IEEE Rules Change, Bylaw I-300.4 (4)
I propose that the SEC strongly support having the IEEE retract its recent rules change, Bylaw I-300.4 (4), made November 2003, and shown below:
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Any email ballot needs to receive approval from a majority of voting members (all official members of the Working Group) to allow an action to be taken. It should be noted that unofficial actions, such as straw polls, do not need to follow this rule.
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This rule is an onerous one that effectively eliminates IEEE 802 from effectively using electronic balloting to expedite our work. In addition, it places a tremendous new burden on us in the conduction of working group ballots on drafts, which are now being done electronically.
The LMSC POLICIES AND PROCEDURES for WG letter ballots from Section 18.104.22.168.2 states:
A 75 percent approval of the Working Group confirmation letter ballot is necessary with at least 50 percent of the members voting. The 75 percent figure is computed only from the “Approve” and “Do Not Approve” votes.
Even if there are no abstains, this rule allows decisions to be made with 37.5% of the voting members voting to approve. With abstentions, this number is reduced.
However the IEEE rule requires that at least 50% of the membership vote to approve the draft. I believe that the new IEEE rule places undue emphasis on protecting the voting rights of all the voting members, while neglecting to balance that objective against the need to effectively progress our work.
I propose having the SEC advocate and argue for a significant relaxation of this rule to better balance the competing needs of protecting members voting rights and allowing electronic voting to be used to progress our business.
My specific proposal would be to require electronic votes to achieve at least a 50% response rate from voting members, set a maximum abstention rate, and set the requirement for passage the same as it would be for the same issue voted on at a meeting, i.e. 50% or 75% of the YES and NO votes. However, I defer to the SEC in deciding specifically what alternative rules they should advocate to the IEEE body that approved this rules change.
I believe this is an urgent issue which should be addressed with all due haste.
Robert D. Love
President, LAN Connect Consultants
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