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Forum Talk:Elections and Referenda

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Elections and Referenda
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Announcements and discussions of forthcoming elections and referenda

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Managing Editor checked voter registration and audited the ballot to his satisfaction

I have checked voter registrations and audited the ballot to my satisfaction, and as ME, I certify the result.

Thanks, Anthony. The final results are here. John Stephenson (talk) 22:46, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

Managing Editor authorizes ballot

the Managing Editor authorizes use of the BallotBin account for voting beginning 00:01 UTC Sunday June 5, 2016. The ballot will not be accepted after midnight UTC on Saturday, June 11th 2016. Citizens may continue to register until 24 hours before the vote ends on June 10, 2016. Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 21:07, 3 June 2016 (UTC)

What will appear on the ballot for ElectionJune2016

The election committee has closed the nominations/proposals period for the Citizendium election. This means that people can still accept/decline or change their minds about their nominations, but no further nominees may be added. Similarly, referendum proposals may still attract support but no new ones may be introduced.

Regarding Referenda

Referenda/1, Elections, will appear on the ballot.

Referenda/2, Renaming the Constabulary, will appear on the ballot.

Referenda/4, Election committee, will appear on the ballot.


The remaining three Referenda will not appear on the ballot unless one or more receive a sufficient number of supporters.

-Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 21:21, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Update on Referenda

All six Referenda have received sufficient support to merit a place on the ballot.

-Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 20:46, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Note from Managing Editor regarding supporting Referenda

Six Referenda have been proposed for ElectionJune2016. However only three (Referenda/1, Referenda/2, Referenda/4) will give the voters a chance to approve or disapprove of them. That is because only those three Referenda have three supporters (two supporters plus the proposer), while none of the other three Referenda have two supporters in addition to the proposer.

You do not have to agree to vote yes on the ballot for a Referendum that you supported. Supporting a Referendum ensures that it will get on the ballot, thereby giving all of the voters a chance to vote on it, yes or no. Because all of the proposers of the three Referenda that do not have a sufficient number of supporters have given thought and effort to proposing their Referenda, it would be discouraging to them if their Referenda were ineligible for a place on the ballot, and of no benefit to Citizendium if the voters did not have a chance to consider the merits of those Referenda.

For those reasons, your Managing Editor encourages you to add your support to those three Referenda currently ineligible for a place on the ballot, whether you plan to vote yes or no on them. You can add your support to allow them a place on the ballot by clicking: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/User:ElectionJune2016/Referenda#Citizen-initiated_referenda. Just enter four tildes (~~~~) next to the words ‘**Supported by’. Do that, of course, in Edit mode.

-Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 21:18, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Regarding nominations

Two members have accepted the nomination for Citizendium Council: Gareth Leng, and Anthony.Sebastian

No members have accepted nomination for Managing Editor.

-Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 21:18, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Citizendium Election 2016

Regarding Citizendium Election 2016:

Citizendium Election 2016 will use ballot in in order to speed up counting and providing for anonymous voting. Voters will register by e-mail via the wiki to an account to ensure that only CZ account holders can vote. Citizens will then be sent a link by an Election Committee member that allows them to vote and view provisional results as soon as the ballot closes. Official results would still have to be ratified by the Managing Editor or Council and published.

The timetable for the election is as follow:

Begin accepting nominations and referenda at 00:01 UTC on Sunday, May 15th 2016;

Begin registration of voters on Ballotbin from Sunday, May 15th, 2016;

Close the period for nominations and referendum proposals at midnight UTC on Saturday, May 28th 2016;

Nominations and election statements are accepted, and referendum proposals may be supported or amended, until the Council or Managing Editor authorises the ballot (up to June 4th, 2016);

Have the ballot prepared and begin accepting ballots from eligible voters from 00:01 UTC on Sunday, June 5th 2016;

Close voter registration period at midnight UTC on Friday, June 10th 2016;

Stop accepting ballots at midnight UTC on Saturday, June 11th 2016 (provisional results available immediately);

Ratify and officially publish the results by midnight UTC on Monday, June 20th 2016

In accordance with the election rules, all of the voter applications sent via email have now been destroyed. John Stephenson (talk) 11:25, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Using another site for Elections

The current election system suffers from two main flaws: firstly, there is no strict anonymity for voters; secondly, the whole process requires significant effort on the part of the Council and the Election Committee. A possible solution is to hand over the running of the election itself to a third-party site. For example, BallotBin allows people to run elections and surveys for free. I tested it recently and found that I could fit candidate lists and yes/no questions into it quite easily. It offers the advantages of much quicker processing, anonymity and quicker results. (Other sites are also available.)

The main problem would be ensuring the everyone who participates is eligible to vote. If we just have an open ballot or leave it to some sort of honour principle, there is nothing to stop people voting multiple times using different e-mail addresses or casting a ballot despite not being a member of Citizendium. I think the only way to avoid this is to make people register for each election by e-mailing an account on the wiki, similar to how they currently vote. The administrator would then take the registered email from the wiki and copy it to BallotBin, which would automatically send a voting link. (We could simply send out BallotBin codes to people whose e-mail addresses we know,as a start, but that arguably gives an unfair advantage to CZ 'regulars', and runs the risk of the codes going to the wrong people.) So, there would still be some work involved. BallotBin does allow you to copy settings from election to election, so ballot #2 onwards would be even easier.

Other issues would be how comfortable we are with another site doing the work, worries that the site might disappear, and the fact that the ballots cannot be inspected in case of dispute. But these have to be weighed against simplification and anonymity. Do you think we should look into this further, perhaps run a test election with it? John Stephenson (talk) 19:36, 28 June 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Not that I have any specific reason to distrust you, but it does seem like a bit of a conflict of interest to have the same person both proposing ballot measures and counting the ballots. (It also may mean that the results don't accurately reflect community preferences; for myself personally, I know that my vote on referendum 3 was influenced by the fact that I knew that the proposer would see my vote). Certainly another person audits the results, but it wouldn't be difficult for the person administering the election, if they so desired, to fool the auditor by spoofing vote e-mails. Compared with these drawbacks to our current voting system, the issues with using a third party seem minuscule by comparison. Cheers, James Yolkowski (talk) 20:47, 28 June 2015 (UTC)
If I were interested in fiddling the process, and had somehow hoodwinked everyone else involved, I would be unlikely to then propose replacing it. The problem of overlap is one of the things I'm trying to address here, but it's up to the Council to change anything. Meanwhile, if you come up with a specific reason to distrust anyone, you can bring it to their attention. John Stephenson (talk) 14:37, 29 June 2015 (UTC)
Is this the comment you intended to write? Your edit comment reads, "problem of overlap," which to me suggests one of two constructive ways of continuing this discussion. If the comment above is the one you intended to write, whatever happened to assuming good faith? Did I say that you rigged the previous election? No. I said you had a conflict of interest, that anyone administering the election could rig the election, and that I don't distrust you. I would have expected better from someone whom the community entrusts with a position of authority and responsibility such as you. Cheers, James Yolkowski (talk) 03:06, 30 June 2015 (UTC)
You have brought up matters of distrust, conflicts of interest and vote-rigging in the context of my recent administration in the elections, in what is supposed to be a discussion about the merits of a new system; you are the one assuming bad faith, and I have no intention of further engaging with you on this. Would anyone else like to comment on the BallotBin idea? John Stephenson (talk) 10:34, 30 June 2015 (UTC)

..... I would support the proposal to use another website for CZ elections if one or more test runs gave favorable results.Anthony.Sebastian (talk) 00:39, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

OK. I will start with a test account and invite people to try voting with it. John Stephenson (talk) 10:04, 1 July 2015 (UTC)

On the issue of conflict of interest, maybe in the next election we could have a referendum to say a member of the election committee can't propose a referendum. Peter Jackson (talk) 10:55, 2 July 2015 (UTC)