Managing electronic ballots is a headache for the chairs. This
is especially true for email ballots, but it applies to the web-based ones as
well to some degree.
IMO, it’s MUCH more efficient to get the discussion done
on the list and, most importantly, see if anyone objects to the proposal on the
list before it comes to a vote. Voting in the meetings is normally MUCH
more efficient in this manner, by far:
Make a motion to adopt a proposal
Second the motion
Chair: “any objection to accepting the motion by unanimous
TC – silence
Chair: “Hearing none, the motion is carried.
30 seconds max. Only in the case where someone objects do you
have to do a roll call vote. And that can be avoided by tabling the
motion or having the proposer of the motion withdraw it from consideration at
the current meeting. The discussion can then be taken back to the list
and the motion re-made or pulled from the table at the next meeting if the
issues get resolved.
Having co-chaired a fairly large TC (SSTC) for 3 years, I assure
you this is quite efficient and a LOT less work for the chairs. And given
the time commitment they already make to the TC work, that should also be a
consideration for all of us J.
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From: Jon Callas
Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2009 2:41 PM
Subject: Re: [kmip] Voting by email?
IMO, email voting is not likely to "speed things
up". An email vote is considered an "electronic ballot" and
is treated the same as a ballot using the web-based Kavi ballot system.
The TC Process requires electronic ballots to remain open for a minimum of 7
Also, unless the TC has adopted the standing rule described below
(which we have not done), the motion/second to do an email/Kavi ballot must be
done during a TC meeting with quorum present. So, at the next TC meeting,
we could move to start an electronic email ballot, but we can’t close it
until a minimum of 7 days have passed.
In general, non-f2f TC meetings work most effectively if as much
discussion as possible on important items is driven to the email list. The
meetings can then focus as much as possible on items that simply require some
clarification and voting.
“Electronic Voting: TCs may conduct electronic ballots, either by using the
TC’s general mail list or the publicly archived electronic voting
functionality provided by OASIS. The minimum period allowed for electronic
voting shall be seven days; the TC may specify a longer voting period for a
particular electronic ballot. Any Specification Ballot conducted as an
electronic ballot must permit each voter to choose "yes",
"no" or "abstain."
“A motion to open an electronic ballot must
be made in a TC meeting unless the TC has adopted a standing rule to allow this
motion to be made on the TC’s general email list. When such a rule has
been adopted, motions made on the mail list must also be seconded and discussed
on that list.”
Okay, it sounds to me like we're in mostly violent agreement.
I agree completely with your comment that as much should be
done on email lists as possible. This morning, it took us twenty-plus minutes
on the call to do a roll call and achieve quorum. Yes, that can likely easily
halve itself, but we're still consuming a large part of the meeting in pure
When I said "email" I mean more of an electronic
ballot of any sort. I really don't care what the mechanism is, I just want more
effective use of the phone call.
If the web-based voting has higher latency, that's too bad,
but I think we can get higher throughput that way. In most ballots, it's going
to be mostly obvious where things are going, anyway. For example, with Matt's
binary alignment proposal, we're mostly in agreement on it with just one point
open for debate. That debate's likely to sort itself out on the mailing list.
We can thus use the valuable phone time for things that are best done on the
phone other than running down a roll call. That's the sort of boring,
repetitive task that computers are ideal for solving.
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