26 May 2003: Amend the Voting Procedures (Role of UKVoting)

From: Alex Holden <pro1-admin@alex-holden.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 26 May 2003 15:38:41 +0100
Subject: RESULT: Amend the Voting Procedures (Role of UKVoting) PASSES (36:13)
Newsgroups: uk.net.news.announce,uk.net.news.config,uk.net.news.management


RESULT: CFV: Amend the Voting Procedures (Role of UKVoting)

SUMMARY: Yes beat no by 36 votes to 13, proposal PASSES


Voting closed at 23:59:59 GMT, 19th May 2003

Proponent: David Mahon <dmahonRFD@amigo.co.uk>
Votetaker: Alex Holden <pro1-admin@alex-holden.org.uk>
Secondary Votetaker: Mark Goodge <mark@good-stuff.co.uk>

Distribution: uk.net.news.announce


The full results follow below in the following order:

1) Information on the ballot
2) Results
3) Individual Vote Details
4) Votetaker's Comments
5) Voting and Appeal Guidelines
6) Rationale and Proposal


The CFV opened on the 28th April 2003, and closed at 23:59:59 BST on
the 19th May 2003. The vote was conducted under the Guidelines
For Group Creation using the Yes/No vote procedure.

Voters were asked:

Amend the Guidelines as per the PROPOSAL above?

The votetaker used the ballot request by email system which utilises
the UKVoting mail server to dispatch a ballot paper containing a
unique voter ID for every mail received at the ballot request address.

The UKVoting mail server shows that 64 mails were sent to the ballot
request address. Copies of all 64 mails and a copy of the
associated ballot paper sent by autoresponse went to the votetakers.

The primary votetaker has compared his archive with the archive stored
on the UKVoting server and has found that ballot papers were
dispatched for all 64 requests.

From these 64 mails, 62 contained valid ballot requests received
during the lifetime of the vote. 2 mails were tests sent by the
votetaker prior to the opening of the ballot.

50 individuals used their ballot paper and voted.

Of the 12 remaining ballot papers, 2 individuals requested a second
ballot paper for the same email address, and one individual requested
a new ballot paper for a different email address, informing the
votetaker that the original ballot paper would not be used, and also
included the ballot ID for security and identification purposes.

This leaves 9 ballot papers unaccounted for at the close of the vote.

After adjusting for repeat requests, based on ballot papers requested
and votes received, the turnout is 84.7%.


The UKVoting server shows that 53 mails sent to the voting address
were received by the UKVoting server.

50 mails contained valid votes, 2 mails were tests by the votetaker
and 1 vote was rejected. This vote was subsequently corrected by the
voter using his original ballot paper and therefore his vote appears
within the results.

For the purposes of the count, 50 votes were received.

Number of people voting YES: 36
                         NO: 13
                    ABSTAIN:  1
                      Total: 50

YES beat NO by 23 votes. Under the Guidelines for Group Creation
there must be 12 more yes votes than no votes. Accordingly this
proposal PASSES.


Voters voting "YES"

Name                Voting Address

{R}                 {R}#semolina~gor
Adam D. Barratt     vote+pro-voting+2003-04#adam-barratt~gro~ku
Alan Fleming        af#etrigan~gor
Alan Ford           alan#whirlnet~oc~ku
Anthony Naggs       amn#ubik~demon~oc~ku
Barry Salter        ukvotes#salterg~demon~oc~ku
Bill Muskett        billn#musketts~gro~ku
Brett Paul Dunbar   brett~dunbar#dimetrodon~demon~oc~ku
Brian               Brian#bjforster~force9~oc~ku
Carl Inglis         cinglis#yoshiwara~gro~ku
Charles             littlewood~troston#lineone~ten
Charles Lindsey     chl#clerew~man~ca~ku
Clive Feather       xpro1#davros~gor
Clive R Robertson   voteproc#clive~gro~ku
David Mahon         dmahon_vote_xpro1#amigo~oc~ku
Dick Gaughan        dickg#dickalba~demon~oc~ku
Graham Drabble      graham~drabble#lineone~ten
Ian Jackson         ijackson#chiark~greenend~gro~ku
Jezza               jezza#hotwells~freeserve~oc~ku
Justa Lurker        jlurker#bigfoot~moc
kqr                 kqrq#freeuk~moc
Lt. Cmdr. Jim       jim#us-lot~gor
Mike Bristow        mike#urgle~moc
Mike Fleming        mike#tauzero~oc~ku
Molly Mockford      xpro1#mockfords~clara~oc~ku
Owen Rees           owen~rees#tesco~ten
paul                {voter}#watman~clara~oc~ku
Paul Carpenter      paul#pcserv~demon~oc~ku
Paul Harper         paul#harper~ten
Pete The Gardener   pete_the_gardener#hotmail~moc
Peter Munn          pmunnsub#pearce-neptune~demon~oc~ku
Peter Robinson      pmrobinson#gmx~ten
Rob Linham          rob_linham#yahoo~oc~ku
Scott Taylor        taylorscott67#yahoo~oc~ku
squire              squireb#bryhod99~demon~oc~ku
Steve Firth         vote#malloc~oc~ku

Total 36

Voters voting "NO"

Name                Voting Address

ace.agincourt       ace~agincourt#btinternet~moc
Anthony R. Gold     bigfoot#davros~gor
Dave                Dave#community-spirit~demon~oc~ku
Dave Mason          xpro1#sarnie~gro~ku
Dave Mayall         dave#research-group~oc~ku
fred                fred#fredc~demon~oc~ku
John Waterfoot      john#waterfoot~gor
Mark Eller          Marell#ellmar~demon~oc~ku
mysteron            mysteron#zetnet~oc~ku
Pete Fenelon        pete#fenelon~moc
Peter Smyth         p~smyth#ucl~ca~ku
Richard Clayton     richard#highwayman~moc
Steph Peters        urcy#sandbenders~demon~oc~ku

Total 13

Voters who indicated "ABSTAIN"

Name                Voting Address

Aspen3              aspen3#btinternet~moc

Total 1

Votes received: 50

Ballot Paper Cross-Check

Add Votes not received (9)

Total: 59 voters or ballot requesters

Add repeat ballot requests (3) = 62 ballot papers


A relatively straightforward vote to count. This was my first vote
using the new ballot request system now employed by UKVoting.

Almost one in five ballot papers requested were not used.

No bounces were received, either for ballot papers or for vote

Identity Verification

The ballot paper contained space for voters to enter the email address
that they normally use when posting to usenet. Voters had the option of
entering that address, entering the word "none" to signify that they did
not post to usenet, or simply to leave that space blank, as the question
was optional. Voters have had the opportunity to address this issue in a
separate CFV being handled by Molly Mockford (voting on that CFV has
closed,) and so this is going to be the last set of results to be issued
before the results of that CFV are known. The results of that CFV may
well change the way UKVoting handles the identity verification question.

So how did the electorate handle the identity question in this vote?

On the surface, it appears that the vast majority of voters found the
revised voting instructions easy to follow. I write that as 46 from 50
voters entered an email address for question 2 straight off.

Two people from 50 left the question blank. Under the current voting
instructions, that's fine. It's an optional question. One of those two
was a Committee member. Before anybody shouts, I'm naming no names, and
I'm not going to say if they were elected, co-opted or permanent

One person (out of 50) entered "see typical postings." This person was
also a Committee member. The question was for an email address. Not a
full history, but one address. I was able to verify the identity of this
individual by other means, so I allowed the vote. Voters should be aware
that if they vote using a domain name that more than one person votes
from, "see typical postings" is not helpful to the votetaker, it becomes
a hinderance.

One person entered the word "none" for question 2; in that they stated
that they do not post to usenet. I rejected this vote because a false
declaration had been made; the person who posted the vote has a long
and large posting history. After discussion by email, the person in
question voted in accordance with the instructions, and although the
email address the voter used in his revised ballot did not match what I
expected to see, I counted his revised vote. The person in question
stated in email that there is nothing in the voting instructions that
says that they have to answer questions truthfully.

Ballots within uk.* are held to guage the true opinion of the
electorate, they are not exercises in creative writing.

I find it interesting that 92% of voters answered the question with no
problems, and of the tiny minority of those who did not answer the
question as asked first time, 50% were members of the UK Usenet

For the avoidance of doubt, I should add that am not suggesting that
the Committee members highlighted were deliberately trying to disrupt
the vote, and a greater number of Committee members answered question 2
with an email address.


This vote was conducted by two neutral third party members of UKVoting.
UKVoting is a group of independent votetakers who count votes on behalf
of the uk.* hierarchy and other 3rd parties.

The rules under which votes for the uk.* hierarchy are taken are posted
regularly to uk.net.news.announce or can be found at the following URL:

The UKVoting web pages can be found at <http://www.ukvoting.org.uk/>

There is a five day discussion period after these results are posted to

Allegations of irregularity should be sent to control@usenet.org.uk.



When a vote is called for, the organisation called UKVoting is
approached and a votetaker is appointed from their ranks. Once that
votetaker has been appointed, UKVoting has no further control over the
vote, nor the votetaker assigned to it.

Should there be a problem with a vote, or a votetaker, during vote
proceedings there is nothing that can be done by anyone until the
results are produced. The committee can, if it sees fit, overturn or
amend the vote results after they have been published.

Should a votetaker disappear, for whatever reason, during a vote, the
guidelines do not give UKVoting the ability to continue using an
alternate votetaker despite it's facilities to do so.

There have recently been calls for UKVoting to act with regard to a CFV.
Even if it desperately wanted to act, UKVoting does not obviously have
the power to do anything. UKVoting can not order a votetaker to change a
CFV text nor can it change a votetaker assigned to a CFV. Even if
criticism levelled at a single votetaker were justified (and I am not
saying that any is, or has been) any criticism aimed at UKVoting for
failing to act against a votetaker would remain completely unjustified.
UKVoting cannot act. Even if UKVoting were to evict a member from it's
ranks, the evicted member would still, according to the present
guidelines, have control of any ongoing vote.

I therefore propose altering the voting document to give control of a 
vote over to the voting organisation rather than to an individual that 
is appointed by it. The organisation could then act to change votetakers 
during a vote, or to make alterations to the running of a vote, if it 
proved necessary.



"the votetaker" to "the votetaking organisation"
"the vote-taker" to "the votetaking organisation"
"a votetaker" to "the votetaking organisation"
"the votetakers" to "the votetaking organisation's"
"the vote-taker's machine" to "the votetaking organisation's server"


"Votes should be conducted by a third party, not involved with the 
topic. To this end a panel of volunteer vote takers has been set up, 
accessible by sending email to ukvoting@usenet.org.uk."

to read

"Votes should be conducted by a third party, not involved with the 
topic. The current group(s) of volunteer votetakers used for votes 
within the uk.* hierarchy, together with their email address(es) are:

UKVoting: ukvoting@usenet.org.uk"

Any other references to the email address of UKVoting in all uk usenet 
management documents should also be changed to 


"If the number of persons nominated exceeds the number of vacancies, an
independent votetaker(s) shall be appointed by UKVoting, and they shall
be responsible for conducting a vote ..."

to read

"If the number of persons nominated exceeds the number of vacancies the 
votetaking organisation shall be responsible for conducting an 
independent vote ..."



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