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RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on WG electronic voting

I agree with most of what Bob says.

1) The most urgent matter is to legitimize the Voting by Letter ballot
provisions for progressing drafts.

As such, I note that there is still a whole in that the text still does not
recognize a shorter ballot period for recirculation. I would like to see a
statement added to the paragraph like: "These times do not apply to
recirculation ballots." or "Recirculation ballots must be at least 15 days
for postal ballots and 10 days for email." 

If working out the details of non-letter ballot email votes takes more time,
then they should probably be split into separate rules change ballots.

2) Procedural - according to the text here, procedural motions don't exist
at all. The chair decides procedural matters. (see This is
different from the practice in many (all?) of the working groups which do
vote on procedural matters. The usual working group practice of majority
vote on procedural matters doesn't seem to be in the LMSC rules at all. 

I also think the particular example Bob O'Hara raises of sending a liaison
letter would be a technical vote in most cases because our liaison letters
often contain technical material such as advising another group of a working
group's opinion on a technical matter.

I'm not sure what to do about procedural matters as some more minor ones are
decided by chairs but substantive ones like setting times and places for
interim meetings and affirming agendas are done by working group votes. One
way to handle this would be for the LMSC rules to make the LMSC rules a bit
more flexible on this point changing the first line of "Procedural
matters may be decided by the Chair of the Working Group or by a vote of the
working group. The Working Group Chair decides which procedural matters
should be voted upon using the guidance of the Working Group operating

3) When motions are conducted at a meeting, there is an opportunity for
people to discuss their points of view on the strengths and weaknesses of a
motion before voting. There is also the ability to adjust the motion based
upon that discussion. If email voting is to produce decisions of equal
quality, then there needs to be a provision for discussion. (This is part of
the rat hole, but it needs to be addressed or email votes should not be
given an equal standing to meeting votes.) 

There isn't a Robert's Rules of Order for email motions so we need to create
at least a minimal structure for them.

Add a paragraph to
When it is necessary to conduct a vote on a technical motion by electronic
means, then the following procedure shall be followed. The Working Group
Chair or Vice Chair shall send a notice to the Working group to initiate a
discussion period on the proposed motion. Discussion shall use a means that
allows working group members to observe and comment upon the discussion. At
the end of the discussion period, the Working Group Chair or a Vice Chair
shall post the final motion and open the balloting period.  Working Group
operating rules should provide guidance on the length of the discussion and
ballot periods.

4) Abstentions - Working groups cover a large scope and not everyone feels
able to have an opinion on everything. I hesitate to do something where an
abstention equals a NO. If someone really doesn't have a clue, I don't want
them to just cast a Yes vote because it is easy and they don't want to
obstruct what they don't understand. Therefore, I prefer a separate limit on
percentage of abstentions over putting the abstentions into the calculation
% Yes votes. I wish there were two kinds of abstain - one for "I don't care
about or understand this area and never will" and one for "I'm not ready to
vote on this yet because I am undecided but I expect to have a position
later." Because a lot of the latter kind of abstention usually indicates
that the vote is on shaky ground but the former doesn't.

5) I don't see the relevance of the historical notes and I don't think one
voter should be singled out as the cause of earlier non-passage.


-----Original Message-----
From: Grow, Bob []
Sent: Tuesday, April 02, 2002 5:28 PM
Subject: RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on
WG electronic voting

My vote is still pending awaiting comments from my WG.

WARNING!!!  We are starting down the same "rat hole" that stopped any change
in 1999.  As I recall, when we started hacking up the text to open the WG
electronic ballot process for purposes other than electronic letter ballots,
every proposed alteration created additional conflicts with other provisions
in the rules, and approval decreased.  I think most of the problems stemmed
from conflicts on eballot periods, and lack of clarity as to how an
electronic motion is made, seconded (?), etc.  If we want to codify
electronic WG motions and voting in the LMSC rules, I expect many more
changes will be required than what has been proposed by the other Bob's

I would recommend that we first legitimize our current electronic processes
before trying again to enable and fine tune additional business via
electronic means (i.e., make those other changes a separate rules change
proposal).  Personally, I need to get my taxes done before I spend any time
revisiting the more complex proposals.

Some comments:

1.  The addition of "technical" to the first line of was to
eliminate a conflict with other parts of the rules.  The 75% threshold
already in was clearly only to apply to technical decisions.
Reading all the rules with current text will show an inconsistency on the
approval threshold for a procedural motion at a meeting.

2.  The essence of the proposed change is to allow electronic means for a
letter ballot.  (The added sentence to  In that context, Bob
O'Hara's change #1 is not necessary.  It is a letter ballot if electronic or
written if we adopt the proposed change.  This change was felt necessary
because the word "postmark" implies a snail mail ballot process (and the
different ballot period recognizes the improved delivery time of electronic

3.  The rules already allow the Working Group Chair discression to submit
other matters to letter ballot (  Bob Love, if you want anything
other than an electronic letter ballot, we are heading down the "rat hole".
Bob O'Hara, could we please make your #3 a seperate rule change effort for a
new section as you offer.

4.  Bob O'Hara and Geoff.  I don't recall if "quorum" comments were part of
the discussions three years ago.  The proposed text makes no change to
existing letter ballot thresholds (again, it only allows a letter ballot to
be electronic).  The proposed text will not do anything to change what is
currently allowed other than:  a) decrease the letter ballot period to 35
days when conducted electronically, b) lower cost and resource barriers for
submitting other matters to letter ballot.

5.  It is possible within WG rules to tighten things up (e.g., 802.3 rules
include a 30% abstention threshold).

6.  Recent activities indicate that we need to improve our language on
quorums.  To that end, my preference would be a separate rules change for
the WG quorum text.  As part of that change, I would extract the quorum
sentences from into a new subsection and work on them
independent from enabling electronic letter ballots.

Something about this change engenders scope creap.  From the comments so far
we have desire to extend scope to: define electronic motions, change the
definition of quorum, add an abstention threshold

--Bob Grow

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert D. Love []
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 2:49 PM
To: Bob O'Hara;
Subject: Re: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on
WG electronic voting

Bob, certainly once we open up balloting to electronic ballots I assume that
they could be used for purposes other than voting on document drafts.  It is
for these other drafts that I would propose the change.  The wording for
voting on document drafts should be generalized to include electronic
balloting so that we do not have to separately spell out what the rules for
voting are electronically on those drafts, as distinct from voting in a
letter ballot.

Best regards,

Robert D. Love
President, Resilient Packet Ring Alliance
President, LAN Connect Consultants
7105 Leveret Circle     Raleigh, NC 27615
Phone: 919 848-6773       Mobile: 919 810-7816
email:          Fax: 208 978-1187
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bob O'Hara" <>
To: "'Robert D. Love'" <>; <>
Cc: <>
Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 5:16 PM
Subject: RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on WG
electronic voting

> Bob,
> I would consider such an addition.  However, I think that this would
> that we describe voting by electronic means in a section of its own, since
> there are now exceptions only for electronic ballots that do not apply to
> letter ballots.
>  -Bob
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Robert D. Love []
> Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 2:11 PM
> To: Bob O'Hara;
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on WG
> electronic voting
> Bob, for email balloting, I believe that "Lack of Time" is a real and
> reason for not voting on some of the issues.  Would you consider allowing
> "other than "lack of technical expertise.""  to change to "other than
> of technical expertise" or "lack of time"", in your proposed text change?
> Best regards,
> Robert D. Love
> President, Resilient Packet Ring Alliance
> President, LAN Connect Consultants
> 7105 Leveret Circle     Raleigh, NC 27615
> Phone: 919 848-6773       Mobile: 919 810-7816
> email:          Fax: 208 978-1187
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Bob O'Hara" <>
> To: <>
> Cc: <>
> Sent: Monday, April 01, 2002 3:02 PM
> Subject: RE: [802SEC] +++ SEC Rules Change Letter Ballot +++ Ballot on WG
> electronic voting
> >
> >
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > I vote DISAPPROVE until the following additions are made to the text
> > to be changed:
> >
> > 1) In an earlier email exchange I suggested that non-returned email
> > ballots be considered exactly the same as non-returned letter
> > ballots, i.e., that they negatively affect the non-balloter's voting
> > status.  Please change the first sentence in to the
> > following:
> >
> > "Membership may be lost if any two of the last three Working Group
> > letter or email ballots are not returned, or are returned with an
> > abstention other than "lack of technical expertise.""
> >
> > 2) Contrary to Geoff's position, I would like to see a minimum return
> > requirement as it is currently stated in, without requiring
> > that non-returned ballots be considered negative votes.  Counting
> > non-returned ballots as anything at all makes absolutely no sense to
> > me.  It means that someone who is no longer participating, who has
> > retired, who has moved into another area of work, possibly even
> > someone who is dead, can affect the outcome of an electronic ballot
> > simply by not replying.  They can continue to do this until their
> > voting status is lost as described in  Last I checked, the
> > Daly's of Chicago were not running the LMSC.
> >
> > What I would like to see is a minimum abstention requirement, like
> > that for sponsor ballots.  Please add to "Non-returned
> > ballots on votes by electronic means are not counted as either yea,
> > nea, or abstain.  On votes by electronic means, a vote is not valid
> > if more than 30% of the ballots returned are abstentions."
> >
> > 3) I believe that the change to the title of section has
> > the unfortunate effect of limiting voting by electronic means to only
> > technical matters.  As such, it would prevent a WG from voting by
> > electronic means on any procedural matters, such as sending liaison
> > letters that were not available by the close of a meeting.  Is this
> > the intent of the rules change?  If not, perhaps there should be a
> > separate section on voting by electronic means, as there is for
> > voting by letter ballot.
> >
> >  -Bob
> >
> > Bob O'Hara
> > Black Storm Networks
> > 250 Cambridge Avenue
> > Suite 200
> > Palo Alto, CA 94306
> >
> > Phone:  +1 650 617 2935
> > Mobile: +1 408 218 4025
> > Fax:    +1 810 277 4718
> > email:
> >
> >
> > Version: PGPfreeware 7.0.3 for non-commercial use <>
> >
> > iQA/AwUBPKi8uTuemr5DGCQrEQJA8QCgnJ+erQwmlZ9lqdwRJQvM5q8+XrwAnjU8
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> > =Yw9D
> > -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----