Thread Links Date Links
Thread Prev Thread Next Thread Index Date Prev Date Next Date Index

RE: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics

I agree with Pat (and with the many other useful points made in this 

As many people have said, I think we need to remember the distinction between:

(a) Rules ballots: These are letter ballots: long-term, deliberative, 
and based around comments and resolutions. I think EC members should 
vote on all of these [though I'm not ready to try to force us to do 

(b) Email votes on motions: These are usually yes-or-no questions. 
It's very hard to apply Robert's Rules to email voting; you can't 
easily amend, table, etc. So email votes should be limited to very 
clearly-delineated questions: to send a draft to Sponsor Ballot, 
authorize a budget issue, etc. Generally, the EC should try to get 
these issues addressed in meetings. If they can't, they can try the 
email ballot route. However, I think that EC members understand that, 
in an email ballot, the motion does not get the benefit of the doubt. 
Email balloting is risky; EC members may be offline, or may just not 
be up to the work it takes to make a decision (especially on a 
controversial or complex issue, or when we can't even remember how 
many simultaneous ballots are underway or which we have voted on). 
The burden falls on the members pushing a motion to work with the 
other members for a favorable result.

I think that's fair. When you move an email motion, you are asking 
all of the EC members to put their time into your problem. I think 
you need to request their time, not demand it.


>I will note one additional reason why the suggestion would not be a good idea.
>No matter how much we want to encourage participation, I don't think 
>we should do anything that requires members to always have email 
>Email votes can come up on short notice. There can be a number of 
>them running close together or at the same time.
>Exec members may sometimes manage to take a two week or longer 
>vacation on which they don't take their laptops. With the suggested 
>rule, a member could lose voting rights because 2 email ballots 
>occurred during that vacation - ballots that the member didn't even 
>know would be held before the vacation started. There may also be 
>occasions where one has to be "heads down" on a project for a short 
>time. Being and SEC member shouldn't require 100% availability.
>I don't think 80% is a bad record. I would be concerned if there 
>were times when business wasn't getting down (or where votes were 
>just barely getting enough participation) or when we made bad 
>decisions because of lack of participation.
>Getting higher participation might require accepting more 
>constraints on when and how votes could be conducted, e.g. longer 
>ballot periods, pre-established times when email ballots could be 
>opened. This might make it harder to get work done under difficult 
>time constraints.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Paul Nikolich []
>Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 2:38 PM
>To: Bill Quackenbush; Bob O'Hara
>Subject: Re: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics
>The request to the EC to 'empower the chair' will come in the form of a P&P
>change request in November, altough it is becoming evident from this email
>thread that it would probably not receive approval.  Good discussion though.
>I note that no one commented on the 80% response rate on the email votes.
>I'm not sure how to interpret that--it is an adequate response rate or not?
>My intent on the threat of suspending the EC email voting rights was to give
>the chair a motivational tool to encourage all EC voters (that are aware an
>email motion is open) to cast a vote.  Why? It is my opinion that it is an
>EC member's obligation to cast a vote on a motion.  We are a small group.
>Every vote and every opinion is important to our decision making process and
>to the LMSC.  Therefore, I want to encourage maximum participation.
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Bill Quackenbush" <>
>To: "Bob O'Hara" <>
>Cc: <>
>Sent: Friday, August 01, 2003 2:04 PM
>Subject: Re: [802SEC] EC email vote statistics
>>  All,
>>  There is in my view a very important reason why the requirements for a
>>  motion to be approved by eballot are different from the requirements for
>>  a motion to be approved during an EC (in person) meeting.
>>  During an EC (in person) meeting, almost every voting member of the EC
>>  is present, they are all (hopefully) paying attention and their vote can
>>  be determined by visual inspection.  However, there is no assurance
>>  during an eballot that anyone except those who vote ever saw the ballot.
>>   If eballot approval was determined as a majority of those voting
>>  "approve" or "disapprove", then it would be possible for a motion to
>>  pass an eballot with ONE "approve" vote and no other votes because no
>>  one else saw the eballot.  Such a possibility is simply NOT acceptable
>>  Thanks,
>>  wlq
>>  > Bob O'Hara wrote:
>>  >
>>  > I don't believe that Paul has the authority to disenfranchise an EC
>>  > member, in this manner.  Nor does the EC have the power to give him
>>  > this authority.  This would require a change to the P&P.  If you
>>  > disagree, please cite the text in our P&P that allows him this power
>>  > or allows us to grant him this power.
>>  >
>>  > Geoff is correct that the P&P explicitly makes a non-return by an EC
>>  > member equivalent to a "NO" vote.  From
>>  > "The affirmative vote of a majority of all members of the Executive
>>  > Committee with voting rights is required for an electronic ballot to
>>  > pass except when specified otherwise by these P&P."
>>  >
>>  >  -Bob
>>  >