ProposedOnlineVoting

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Status

This proposal has been tabled. A committee, lead by Ishmael Rufus, will be created to address improving of our online voting process. The sponsor of this proposal is open to friendly edits.

Preamble

This is a proposal not intended to revise the Bylaws but rather as a matter of general practice and initiative. Its purpose is to expedite and to be inclusive when making decisions affecting the entire member body of PSOne. It is warranted by the excruciatingly long and unprecedentedly bureaucratic, time-restricted voting system already in place, established by the bylaws.

Body

This proposal consists of 5 clauses:

1

Voting will be done online

The vote can be proposed by any member in good standing, and will be put into a queue until it is seconded. Any member in good standing can second a motion to vote. When the vote has been seconded, notice will be sent to all current members in good standing, who are then immediately able to vote. The vote shall remain open for 7 days (168 hours), or the vote shall automatically close once votes sufficient to conclude it with absolute certainty have been tallied.

2

The voting can take many forms.

(secret, open, approval-voting, rank-voting, etc.) which are selectable by the member making the motion. It is important that members reviewing the proposed voting queue examine details of the vote and reject it (by not seconding it and commenting) if they do not feel that it is appropriate.

3

The CTO will oversee the implentation and security of this polling/voting tool.

The CTO doesn't have to write it from scratch or anything, and can certainly solicit input/assistance from the membership, or even just use some prewritten module. The important thing is that the CTO makes sure that it works correctly (every paying member gets one vote). The CTO will ensure that administrative access to the voting mechanism is passed on in the case of resignation of the office or expiration of his/her term.

4

Members have an obligation to pay attention to votes and polls, and participate / discuss.

They also should also not simply vote "to get it over with," and at least read the arguments in the discussion of a contentous issue. Conversely, issues that are not contentious in the least and are essential to getting things done should be decided upon quickly.

5

This proposal is an initiative and not a law
This is merely to establish the principles and design guidelines for the voting mechanism to be established. The voting mechanism or method shall not be implemented until the CTO is reasonably satisfied by its effectiveness and security. The mechanism will be subject to further revision and continual updating.

Discussion

Arguments For

  • immediate resolution of non-contentious issues, while still respecting a 7-day limit
  • voting can be opened up at any time
  • multiple voting / tallying systems (public, secret, multiple choice, non-binding polls)
  • clear delegation of administrative oversight to the CTO

Arguments Against

  • lack of readiness for implementation
1: no, we can simply vote via this email list, even if it only allows for one type of vote (public).
2: why would someone spend X hours coding something that has a possibility of not being wanted or used?
  • we should have the debates at meetings and not online (as a thread of a posted, pending vote)
1: that goes against the MIBS rules, which is part of the bylaws.
2: it limits discourse to those who make the meeting.
  • people behind a firewall might not be able to participate
1: It's not the hackerspace's responsibility to ensure that people have access to the Internet.
2: The LAN at the PSOne location will not be firewalled in such a way.
  • there's no truly secure way to vote / the proposal does not specify security
1: The proposal delegates the security question to the CTO, who will determine how much security is "enough."
  • it changes the bylaws and the way we operate / makes meetings unnecessary
1: yes, it does. instead of waiting 7 days, we can make decisions (that aren't contentious) immediately. For instance, if this proposal passes tonight, and then the lease was up for voting, we could approve it right away (if over 50% of the overall membership voted affirmative right away.) Then we can get on to the next thing right away, since we would know that the vote was a sure thing.
2: part of the goal is to make general, administrative meetings unnecessary.
  • this proposal is identical to the proxy vote we already have via the email list
1: the proxy vote is underutilized and still contingent on physical meetings taking place
2: the email list is (arguably) not as secure as some would have it
3: the proposal is about several things besides simply the mechanism
  • this sets the precedent of taking decision making-power away from the whole group and giving it to a few or an individual (such as the CTO)
1: yes, it does, but that is not necessarily a "bad" precedent. delegation of responsibility is more efficient, and doesn't rule out constructive input from others.

Voting

Previous Deadline: Tuesday 3/24/2009 9pm Central - TABLED AT MEETING NO FUTURE VOTE SET

Votes For

Votes Against

Abstaining