[Foundation-l] Election rules modification regarding suffrage issues raised on this list

Michael Snow wikipedia at verizon.net
Wed Apr 30 02:28:33 UTC 2008

Kwan Ting Chan wrote:
>> What is the vital interest in "ensuring" that long time inactive
>> editors don't vote? What is the threat scenario there?
> In my opinion, I would prefer the decision to elect whoever to sit on
> the Board to have come from active community members, rather than
> someone who might have been inactive / left for years suddenly coming
> back purely to vote for/against someone they like/hate. The decision for
> such a criteria by the committee reflected such viewpoints by its
> members.
There have always been opposing schools of thought on this issue. Some 
people feel that allowing inactive participants to vote allows too much 
uninformed voting, because they're presumably less up to speed on the 
current situation. Or, it makes the process less resistant to 
"sockpuppet" voting by those who aren't truly inactive. Other people 
think longstanding but inactive contributors could make more 
knowledgeable votes, because they're familiar with more of the history. 
And, coming back to vote shows that they still care about Wikimedia, 
even though they may not edit. Similar issues are involved in the 
question of whether inactive administrators are allowed to retain that 
status; different projects have reached different conclusions here, 
which is entirely okay.

I gather the election committee has considered such issues, though 
people are welcome to raise them again to ensure the committee has made 
an informed judgment here. If this remains in place, I might mention 
that inactive contributors could still have the ability to participate 
in selecting the board through, dare I say it - chapters, where their 
membership would not lapse on account of failure to edit. Indeed, one 
reason to integrate chapters into the process is to provide more 
alternatives for people to maintain their connection to the community.

--Michael Snow

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