Heads Up! A Slight Change to the Web Society Election Course of

I’m writing to the Web Society neighborhood at this time with a discover that there’s a key change to the Procedures for Deciding on Trustees beginning this 12 months.  This modification reduces the period of voting interval from 28 to 14 days within the Web Society Board of Trustees elections by which Chapters and Group Members get to elect candidates to the Board.

In case you learn the 2019-2020 Elections Timetable rigorously, you might discover that the Candidates Discussion board and the voting interval are now not finished in parallel. Because the under timeline reveals, the 28-day interval that was allotted for voting and the Candidates Discussion board is now cut up into two distinct sequential phases: the primary 14 days is for the Candidates Discussion board and the second 14 days is for voting.


This resolution was made for 2 causes.

The primary is to permit candidates to be heard absolutely earlier than votes are forged. Upon analyzing the exercise log of the final elections, we realized that some voters forged their ballots earlier than the candidates had an opportunity to work together with the neighborhood. Voting earlier than listening to what candidates should say within the Candidates Discussion board is detrimental to the elections course of because it encourages what one can name ‘electoral tribalism’ since voters base their choices on title recognition or recognition somewhat than on the deserves and concepts of the candidates.


Put your self within the footwear of a brand new candidate with nice concepts on the way to enhance the work of the Web Society. You aren’t recognized by many locally, however have plenty of helpful concepts that you just want to share to attempt to persuade voters to vote for you. Up to now, voting can be open instantly in the beginning of the Candidates Discussion board, therefore making no matter you say meaningless for many who are already dedicated to vote for his or her ‘favourite’ candidate. This will trigger you to be pissed off since voters could not hear you out as a result of they’ve
already made up their minds. It might likewise make these extra ‘standard’
candidates much less eager to have interaction within the dialogue as a result of they count on to have
voters forged their ballots already in the beginning of the voting interval with out the
want to listen to any candidate.

After this key change is made, this can now not be doable. Candidates could have their say first and voters can hear them out and weigh their choices if they’re eager on voting for these with the higher concepts and clearer imaginative and prescient. They may additionally contemplate trying into the candidates’ previous observe data in fact, however voters can not forged a poll till all of the candidates have spoken and answered all queries of the neighborhood. In different phrases, this makes responding and interacting with the neighborhood of better significance and worth for candidates, forcing them to be extra upfront and interesting and fewer laid again since no votes can be forged till the Candidates Discussion board is over.

This modification will most likely not deter some voters from voting for candidates they’d in thoughts earlier than, nevertheless it offers these voters a possibility to replicate and rethink their selections, as a result of they gave all candidates the prospect to argue for his or her positions and concepts.

Because the Chair of the Elections Committee on the time, I felt it was essential to make this transformation to make sure that all candidates, particularly new and comparatively unknown ones, are handled pretty and get the prospect to be heard. It’s not wholesome in a democratic course of to prejudge candidates earlier than listening to their concepts and responses to questions posed by the Committee or the neighborhood by the Candidates Discussion board. Candidates need to be heard and their competing concepts assessed by voters properly earlier than the primary vote is forged. Doing so promotes better consciousness and equips voters with all the data they should make knowledgeable choices.

The second purpose is predicated on our conclusion from the statistics of the voting report of the final elections that the interval of voting was apparently too lengthy and never effectively utilized. We discovered that almost all of the voters both voted instantly after they have been invited, waited till the final day earlier than voting, or forged their poll solely after they acquired a reminder because the under graphs present.

2018-2019 Chapter election:

2018-2019 Group Member election:

The empirical knowledge above clearly confirmed that the 28-day interval was not crucial because the majority of votes happened in just a few days. Whereas an extended interval of voting or early voting could be justifiable in paper elections to keep away from lengthy traces or to present voters the power to vote on weekends with out having to overlook work or college, in an internet voting surroundings, this isn’t wanted. In reality, a part of the month-long interval may very well be extra successfully used completely to listen to from and work together with candidates.

Sure, we’re halving the voting interval
from 28 to 14 days. However by doing so, we’re additionally offering candidates with 14
days completely to have interaction with the neighborhood, primarily by the Candidates
Discussion board, and to supply a possibility to create a way more knowledgeable voters.

I assumed I’d simply let you understand how we got here to this resolution and sit up for having a productive and democratic elections course of this time round.

If you’re an eligible voter, be sure to mark your calendar and be aware this necessary change.

Walid Al-Saqaf
Chair of the Web Society’s 2018-2019 Elections Committee