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Subject: FW: Voting Process Question


From: John Borras
Sent: 29 April 2010 08:56
To: storm@breitenbush.com; election-services@lists.oasis-open.org
Cc: mary.mcrae@oasis-open.org
Subject: FW: Voting Process Question

Hi Shawn


I'm forwarding your enquiry to members of my Committee to see if any of them can provide an opinion on this issue.  You have to realise though that any response will only be a personal opinion as we are not in the game of providing legal opinions. 


TC Colleagues


Can anyone help Shawn please and point him to an authoritative answer to his question?




John Borras


Chair OASIS E&VS Technical Committee


m. +(0)44 7976 157745

Skype:  gov3john



From: Shawn Liebling [storm@breitenbush.com]
Sent: 28 April 2010 23:38
To: Mary McRae
Cc: John Borras; David RR Webber (XML)
Subject: Re: Voting Process Question

Hi Mary,


Thank you for forwarding my question.  I look forward to a response.






On Apr 28, 2010, at 2:39 PM, Mary McRae wrote:

Hi Shawn,

  I'm forwarding your question to the chairs of our Election and Voter Services TC; they are likely to be better equipped to answer your question than I.


Best regards,




On Apr 28, 2010, at 2:27 PM, Shawn Liebling wrote:



I have been looking for the answer to a question about election process and I was hoping you may be able to provide an answer.  If not, could you possibly refer me to a source that may be able to answer my question?  Thanks!


I work for a small worker owned corporation in Oregon that annually elects between 1-5 directors to serve on our "Board of Directors".  It is my understanding that the default election process for a Corporation in Oregon is the "Plurality" voting system.  Our bylaws designate a different voting system which I believe to be the "Plurality with Exhaustive Ballot" electoral system (I will include the language from our bylaws at the end of this email).  Another unique aspect of our business is that each owner/member has a single share of the stock and therefor each of us have a single vote for each open position.  I think our current voting methods work fine in general, but in my understanding it is intended to be used in a "Single Winner" election.  When we are electing the directors there is often 2-4 open positions which we elect from a single group of candidates.  It is my understanding that this would be a "Multiple Winner" election and therefor shouldn't utilize the Exhaustive Ballot system which is designed for a Single Winner election.  Do I have valid concerns?


I have brought my concerns to the membership, but I have been not able to convince people that we are doing something wrong.  I am not yet able to find definitive information as to why our current election system would be inadequate for a Multiple Winner election.   I am hoping you can provide that information, or point me to a source that could provide it.  


I also admit that I could be wrong in my interpretations and am open to the possibility that our electoral system is working just fine.   I look forward to your thoughts.


Thank you,

Shawn Liebling



PS - Here is the exact language extracted from our bylaws which defines our election process:



4.2.4 Voting Procedure: Upon close of said nominations, vote by written ballot shall be completed and the person receiving in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the total votes cast shall be declared the winner. If no person receives in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the total votes cast for each Board position on the first ballot, the person receiving the fewest number of votes (or in the event of a tie, by flip of a coin) shall be disqualified as a nominee for that Board position and a new written ballot for the remaining nominees shall be submitted to the membership for a vote, with the person receiving in excess of fifty percent (50%) of the total votes cast being declared the winner. If on reballoting no person receives in excess of the fifty percent (50%) of the total votes cast, disqualification of the nominee receiving the fewest number of votes and reballoting shall occur again, in the manner provided in the preceding sentence, until such time as one person shall receive in excess of 50% of the total votes cast for each Board position. Nominations and balloting likewise shall be conducted for each of the other positions, until people are elected for each position.




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