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Re: questions on WG Letter Ballot


I'll answer what I can.  In some cases, I will go beyond the requirements of
a WG ballot and talk about subjects that are of importance to RevCom. My
general advice is that you run your WG ballots just like sponsor ballots.
It's good practice, and it offers the least chance for screw-ups or questions.

1) Tailor the duration of the recirc to the size of the material being examined.
10 days is a good minimum, as long as it applies to the amount of time that
the voters actually get to look at the material.  I think it is reasonable
to add a day or two of turn around time for email.  If you are recirculating a
small amount of material (under 100 pages) then 10 days is a reasonable amount
of time. If you are recirculating a large amount of material, then increase
the duration of the recirc proportionately.

The most important thing you can do on a recirc is to CLEARLY IDENTIFY THE
summarizes the changes, including subclause, page, and line numbers. Then,
highlight the changes using strike through and underscore.  Note that color,
while attractive on a screen, usually looks lousy on a printed copy. So,
I advise against using color to highlight changes.

Clearly written cover letters are a vital part of the ballot package.  
Be clear, be explicit be complete. Put a date on all correspondence with
balloters, your WG, and RevCom.

2) 50% is 50%.  

3) The voting pool cannot change during a ballot (even in the event of the
death of one of the balloters). Therefore, all of the people who were 
eligible to vote at the time a ballot was issued are eligible to vote
on a recirculation.

4) Since you have to achieve the desired return rate on the initial ballot,
it shouldn't really matter if people vote for the first time on a
recirculation ballot.  However, you would count such ballots as part of
the return rate.  Note that once you have achieved the required return
rate on the initial ballot, it is not necessary to achieve a 50% return
rate on recirculation ballots.  On a recirc, the voter's previous ballot
stands unless they respond on the recirc.

5) I'll let WG chairs respond to this one.

6) I'll let WG chairs respond to this one.

Some things you didn't ask, but I'll offer anyway.

A) Get a group of "hound dogs" lined up.  These are people who will follow
up with voters to get them to turn their comments and ballots in as early
as possible.  Don't rely on email alone for this process.  The personal
touch, in the form of a phone call, is very important.  By all means,
send reminders via email, but if you want your ballot to close, and
(most important) you want to get the comments in as early as possible,
a phone call will help.

B) What if you don't get the required return rate by the close of ballot?
Well, this is not good, but not fatal.  If you miss by a couple of ballots,
then get on the phone and pester the voters who have not returned a ballot.
If you miss by a mile (which actually happens some times) then you need
to get your hound dogs in high gear.  I believe that you are allowed up
to sixty days after the close of ballot to try to achieve the required 
rate of return.

C) Get the comments in early, and start working on them early.  Get a team
set up to handle the comments as they come in, and produce responses
and get feedback from the balloters.  You should get your WG to approve
official responses, and you should tell the balloters that an early draft
of a response from an editor or "Ballot Resolution Committee" is subject
to change, but you will find that the more you work with the balloters to
develop a reasonable response, the easier it will be to resolve their 

D) Consensus does not require unanimous approval! Don't bend over backwards
to accomodate some one who is obviously at odds with the consensus of the
group.  You can go to RevCom with unresolved negative comments, as long
as the WG has responded to the comment and recirculated it.

E) It is a very good idea to diligently track the status of comments from
negative balloters.  If the WG and the balloter reach agreement on the
resolution of a comment, get the WG to vote to that effect, and get the
balloter to sign a piece of paper (or send an email) acknowledging that
the comment has been resolved.  Then, once all of their comments have
been resolved, get the balloter to sign a piece of paper (or send an email)
stating that the ballot should be changed to "affirmative with comments".
In other words, don't wait for and don't count on the recirc process.
People forget to send in recirc ballots all the time.  RevCom will accept
email from the balloters, or signed pieces of paper.

F) Do everything you can to explain the balloting, comment, response, and
resolution process to your editors, your WG and the balloters. Some of
them will be old pros, and some will be total novices.  During 802.3z
I produced a FAQ that helped guide people through the maze. The FAQ is
available at:

I make no warranties or guarantees that this FAQ is up to date, or even
accurate, but hey! it's free, and it's already written!


"Roger B. Marks" wrote:
> Folks,
> I have some questions on the Working Group Letter Ballot rules, both
> written and unwritten. I'd appreciate your guidance:
> (1) The 802 Rules don't specify a recirculation duration. Is there
> any objection to 10 days (all-electronic)?
> (2) The 802 Rules specify "at least 50 percent of the members
> voting." Does the SEC in practice have a stricter demand?
> (3) During recirculation, is it customary (or permissible, or
> advisable) to allow voting by members who failed to participate in
> the first round? This seems problematic for several reasons.
> (4) Would such votes be countable for the purposes of computing the
> return rate?
> (5) The 802 Rules say that WG 'Membership may be lost if two of the
> last three Working Group letter ballots are not returned, or are
> returned with an abstention other than "lack of technical expertise."
> This rule may be excused by the Working Group Chair if the individual
> is otherwise an active participant.' In deciding how to apply this
> rule, I'd appreciate hearing the policies and experiences of other
> Working Groups.
> (6) If (as in (3)) someone skips the original ballot but is allowed
> to vote in the recirc, would you count them as having returned the
> letter ballot for the purposes of membership retention (5)?
> Thanks for your help.
> Happy New Year!
> Roger