(Excuse the cross-posting.)
During even-numbered years, the Wikimedia chapters have had the responsibility to select two persons to serve on the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. These seats are known as the "chapter selected board seats."
The Board of Trustees has been considering an amendment to the Wikimedia Foundation's bylaws which would allow thematic organizations to participate in this process equally with chapters. The proposed amendment—consistent with language in the current bylaws—requires that the selection process be agreed to by a majority of chapters and thematic organizations (which I will refer to collectively as "affiliate organizations" for this purpose) and by the Board of Trustees. In January, the affiliate organizations began debating how this process should be carried out, culminating in a resolution which was voted upon by the organizations. After voting took place from February 1–28, a majority of organizations have voted to approve the process. The resolution is printed at the bottom of this email.
We now request that the Board of Trustees approve the resolution. In the meantime, the Election Facilitators selected by the resolution (Chris Keating, Laurentius, and myself) will begin the work of accepting nominations. The relevant Meta page will be updated shortly.
I would like to thank Chris and Laurentius for volunteering to serve as Election Facilitators, the community for providing feedback on the proposed resolution, the various affiliate organization boards for debating and voting on the resolution, the Board of Trustees for their cooperation in this matter, and María Sefidari for coordinating with the affiliate organizations on behalf of the Board of Trustees.
If you have any questions, feel free to send an email.
On behalf of the affiliate organizations and Election Facilitators,
Whereas the Wikimedia chapters and thematic organizations (collectively, "the affiliate organizations") are responsible for selecting two members of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees during even-numbered years,
Whereas it is necessary for the affiliate organizations to agree on a process by which such Board members are selected, and
Whereas the Foundation's bylaws require that the selection process be determined by the Board of Trustees and a majority of the affiliate organizations,
We, the affiliate organizations, resolve that:
1. There shall be an election among the affiliate organizations to determine the two Board members selected by the affiliate organizations.
2. There shall be three Election Facilitators who are jointly responsible for overseeing and carrying out the election. Election Facilitators shall not be candidates in the election and shall not endorse any candidate nor shall they participate in any public discussions of candidates' merits. Where they are Board members of organizations voting in the election they are expected to recuse themselves from any decision about how the organization's vote is cast.
3. James Hare, Chris Keating, and Laurentius shall serve as Election Facilitators until the conclusion of the 2014 election process. For subsequent elections, the Election Facilitators shall be selected by the consensus of the affiliate organizations no later than March 1 of each even-numbered year. Those who wish to serve as Election Facilitators shall indicate their interest on a designated Meta-Wiki page.
4. The Election Facilitators shall determine the dates of each biennial election, provided that there is a nomination period of at least 30 days, a nomination finalization period of at least 15 days, and a period for discussion and voting of at least 45 days.
5. Candidates who seek to represent the affiliate organizations on the Board of Trustees shall post their names and nomination statements on a designated Meta-Wiki page. For a candidate to be listed on the ballot, he or she must submit a nomination statement during the nomination period and shall have secured the written endorsement of at least one affiliate organization. Endorsements may be posted until the time that nominations are finalized and the ballot is prepared. [Footnote added February 12: The Election Facilitators wish to note that "representation" in this context refers to the role of the affiliate organizations as a constituency, not that the selected trustees will be acting as advocates for the affiliate organizations. Per the Bylaws of the Wikimedia Foundation, the selected trustees will be required to represent the entire interest of the Foundation as an organization and not just the affiliate organizations. We are keeping the text of the resolution as-is, since voting has already begun.]
6. The Election Facilitators shall conduct voting through a designated page on the private Chapters Wiki in the form of a table. The Election Facilitators shall ensure that each organization has access to this wiki. Each organization is responsible for determining by what process it casts its vote, as well as who has the authority to cast the vote on behalf of the organization; a statement shall accompany each vote describing such process. A majority of organizations voting during the election period shall constitute a quorum. Votes cast following the conclusion of the election period are invalid.
7. Each organization shall rank candidates in order of preference, with a vote of "1" indicating the strongest preference. If the same number is used to rank more than one candidate, it shall be deemed a statement of equal preference, with the organization's vote split equally among the candidates selected. An organization leaving a candidate unranked shall not count as a vote for or against such candidate.
8. Within 15 days of the conclusion of the voting period, the Election Facilitators shall calculate the outcome of the election in the manner of the single transferable vote, using the Droop quota to determine the number of votes needed to be elected. The Election Facilitators shall announce the results to the Board of Trustees and to the Wikimedia community, and publish the calculations used to determine the outcome of the election to allow others to check the results.