[Talk-us] OpenStreetMap US Local Chapter Election Ballot

Serge Wroclawski emacsen at gmail.com
Mon Feb 15 22:42:31 GMT 2010


Thanks for the interest in the US Local Chapter and expressing your
concern about the elections. Let me see if I can address your concerns
in this mail.

The working group that is working to create the United States local
chapter has made a lot of progress, but to go any further, it needs to
incorporate as a legal entity. Doing that requires a board of
directors. The working group (the group that meets on the call)
decided that the most fair way to do this was to hold an informal
election. It's an informal election because there aren't any true
members yet, so the criteria by which someone was able to vote had to
be chosen. It's also not a secret ballot. SurveyMonkey was chosen
because it served our needs.

Originally, Kate, who was leading the calls, was going to run the
election, but since she's been unavailable for the last month (due to
the crisis in Haiti), I've been running the calls, acting as
secretary, and running the election. Kate is also overseeing the
election, which is why all nominees had to contact both myself and
Kate, and Kate will oversee the results on SurveyMonkey along with me.

Circling back, we've discussed the voting procedure on the calls. It's
been a major area for discussion: ensuring that the new organization
is created in a way that's fair and transparent. We've discussed
voting mechanisms, schemes, the length of time we'd give people to
vote, etc. Each issue was discussed until there was unanimous consent
in how we'd proceed. If even one person had any question, or
objection- we didn't move forward.

In addition to discussions within the working group, we've announced
the election process on the talk-us list several times, and I've been
sending out regular notifications about the election process for the
last several weeks in order to let folks know where the working group
was at, what it was planning, and to solicit feedback from the larger
community. We've also been increasing the amount of communication the
working group has had with the larger community in order to try to
bring more parties onto the call.

This is the election process that's been selected for this first
board. Once there is an actual organization, it will open up
membership and a board can be elected by the members.

We've done our best to make the process as fair and as transparent as
we could. Again, Kate is overseeing the election along with me. That
reduces the chances that one of us could taint the election.

If that doesn't satisfy your concerns, the other option available to
us would be to release the votes once they're collected. I don't know
how I feel about this. On the one hand, it increases transparency (and
people could do their own tallies), but on the other, someone may not
want their votes out for all to see. This issue would need to be
discussed during the next working group call, this Thursday at 8pm
EST/5pm PST.

Lastly, I want to re-emphasize that this election is for the board
that will serve temporarily, and that there will be a true election
later this year.

- Serge

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