[Foundation-l] Board elections

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 20 17:46:52 UTC 2008

Philippe Beaudette wrote:
> Hi Andrew:
> I can only speak for my experience last year.
> Last year, we had essentially three main tasks: rule-making, communication, 
> and logistics.
> 1)  Rule-making was, far and away, the easiest.  Part of that is because we 
> were sort of locked into one voting system for technical and timing reasons 
> (no time to change it really), although we spent a good deal of time looking 
> at it to see if it could be done prior to making a recommendation to the 
> board.  Then, we created the endorsements system and wrote the documents to 
> make them public that had the rules of the election on it.  We also codified 
> who was eligible to vote in that election, etc.
> 2)  In Communication, we (by we, I mean "Aphaia" primarily) found people to 
> translate the documents into as many languages as possible and posted them 
> as many places as we could think of ... including the Village Pump or 
> equivalent on EVERY wiki ... and pushed the documents out as far as we 
> could.  This took a major chunk of our time.  Throughout the election, 
> communications dominated my life, and I can't even imagine how much work 
> Aphaia put into it.
> 3)  For logistics, we communicated with SPI to get their agreement to help 
> and to audit, and we set up (by we, I mean "Tim and SPI") a wiki on SPI's 
> server.  Then, the messages were localized on that Wiki and prepared for 
> voting.  In addition, we reviewed each endorsement to see if they were 
> appropriate to the rules and watched (closely) for sockpuppets on the SPI 
> wiki.  We also had to deal with importing (and then re-importing, because of 
> a technical glitch) the list of voters with suffrage.
> It was hard work.  Frankly, there were some things that I wish we'd had time 
> to do that just didn't get done.  I couldn't even guess how many hours went 
> into it for each committee member.  The committee we had worked well 
> together, as a rule - like any group working under that much stress, there 
> were disagreements - and worked hard.  I can remember several IRC meetings 
> that were hours long.
> I hesitate to guess how many total hours I put in, but I'll tell you that 
> when the election was over, my partner joked that he hadn't seen me in 
> weeks.  I was up very late many nights, and cancelled a lot of "non-wiki" 
> events in order to be online as each of our several deadlines rolled over. 
> My boss still shudders when I mention that time.  So, while the time 
> commitment is great, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  As a study in web 
> 2.0 communities, it's fascinating work.  As a study in election systems and 
> methods, it's even more fascinating.
> Philippe
> --------------------------------------------------
> From: "Andrew Whitworth" <wknight8111 at gmail.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 8:21 AM
> To: "Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List" <foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org>
> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Board elections
>> A few quick questions about this: First, what are the responsibilities
>> of this committee? How much work is involved in it? When does work
>> start?
>> I would love to volunteer for something like this, if an opening were
>> available.
>> --andrew whitworth

Agreed, it seems to be a lot of hard work (not that I want to discourage 
anyone here :-)).
One more point not mentionned: quite obviously, a member of the election 
committee must not be a candidate to the board himself.


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