[Elections-committee] Election Committee Minutes - 10/15/13

Todd Moore tmmoore at us.ibm.com
Tue Oct 15 18:48:40 UTC 2013

The committee met again today to review draft materials for voting system
candidates: STV, and Condorcet.  The committee also discussed the best
approaches for ensuring informed decision making by both the board and the
Electorate.  Alan Clark has scheduled a special board session for reviewing
materials with the complete board on Thursday of this week.


Todd Moore
Tim Bell
Alan Clark
Tristan Goode
Mark McLoughlin
Troy Toman
Monty Taylor
Simon Anderson
Jonathan Bryce
Mark Raddcliffe

Simon and Monty provided description documents for the two systems that
remain under consideration, after the tweak to the current cumulative
system was deemed to also require a bylaws amendment.   These documents
have previously gone out to the election committee mailing list and will
not be duplicated here.

We opened the meeting with context set by Mark R. and Todd reiterated the
goals set forth in the previous minutes.

Goal of new system from previous minutes:

 "STV or Condorcet are under consideration as both provide a means of
offsetting the effects of casting all 8 votes for a single individual in
the current cumulative voting system.  The impression is that the
electorate is not expressing their complete preference for the elected
slate for fear that they have to cast their vote in a block to ensure their
individual of choice is elected.  Neither of these systems mitigate large
affiliated groups from expressing their vote for a single candidate, but
the they do improve the likelihood that the slate of directors chosen is
more thoughtfully elected as voter angst over the casting of all 8 votes as
1 would no longer be an issue.  Testing against past data would suggest
that the end results would have been the same directors elected in the new
system.  So careful education as to how to use and view either new system
would be required. "

We then dived into the systems with Simon discussing STV first.

The meeting ran for several hours, as considerable debate ensued.  We did
resolve that either system was permissible under Delaware law, that STV had
precedent from the stand point of use by other Delaware non-profit
corporations (Delaware does not have separate requirements for profit or
not for profit organizations in this matter) and neither appear to have
been challenged in the courts.  Both systems have variations in the way
that they are implemented, and therefore our explanations of the systems
needed to be easily understood by those that might adjudicate a dispute.
For this reason, we asked Monty and Simon to take another pass at the
details in the material for the board..  We expect that the Foundation
management will still need to add final details as to implementation once a
direction is set. ( It was noted that Delaware allows for a single
(default) or cumulative (optional - chosen to protect minority segments)
voting and states such as California make cumulative the default choice).

While STV was the most straight forward to explain, Condorcet requires a
more intimate knowledge of mathematics and graph concepts to truly
understand the results of the election.  Implementation details on whether
to require all preferences to be expressed in STV or not could also bear on
how it is considered compared to Condorcet which does not.  Our current
cumulative system allowing 8 votes to be cast for a single candidate is in
place to give a better voice to minority segments and STV and Condorcet
implementation details should be gauged also against their impact when
faced with larger voting affiliations that are still in place.

After lengthy discussion, we concluded that targeting a January Ballot item
for a candidate voting system change was still a good target, as it places
a timeline upon us to drive activity.  The complexity of what we are
describing and implications to the body as a whole require thoughtful
education and consideration by the board and the electorate.  We did not
feel that a single meeting where we brought a proposal to the board, in a
crowded agenda, would be adequate for educated debate.  We also preferred
to provide education to the electorate so that they can make a careful
choice. Therefore, we concluded to use the board time on Thursday to spend
to complete the initial education process, and that Alan would work to find
a slot on the Nov. board meeting for a vote on a predetermined and
publicized amendment to the bylaws.  The choice for the electorate would
then be retain current system or switch.

We resolved to meet again tomorrow morning to review the final material
from Simon and Monty and a timeline from Todd/Jonathan.

Please feel free to correct and add if I have missed any really salient

Todd M. Moore

Director, Interoperability and Partnerships

11501 Burnet Rd. MS 9035H014
Austin, TX , 78758.  (512) 286-7643 (tie-line 363)
tmmoore at us.ibm.com
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