On 7 October 2014 00:57, John Mark Vandenberg <jayvdb(a)gmail.com> wrote:
On Tue, Oct 7, 2014 at 10:29 AM, Risker
IMO the election must be run by a third party, as happened prior to
2013, by SPI.
Adequate staff support from WMF is also needed.
The elections have never, even once, been run by a third party. For two
board elections, the voting was hosted off-site, although vote verification
was still carrried out by internal volunteers (the election committee); on
the last board election, to avoid the problems that arose with off-site
hosting, the election key (which acts as a kill-switch for the election)
was held by a third party. All the rest of the activities were done
on-site by volunteers with some help from staff. All of the organization
except for the hosting of votes has always been done internally.
In my own post-mortem after the last election, I too suggested that the
elections be hosted off-site; however, my reasoning was that it would be
difficult to justify the expense of redeveloping SecurePoll sufficiently to
make it straightforward enough to use given that it's only used once or
twice a year. However, work has been happening on SecurePoll pretty much
since the last election, so there's no benefit to hosting elsewhere,
especially given the difficulties that were encountered in the past.
External election hosting is a fairly big ticket item if it is being done
well (and it would probably involve non-free software and as much if not
more work on the part of WMF staff), although I do understand that there
are certain advantages to going outside or more precisely not hosting on
our own servers.