Wikipedia:Association of Members' Advocates/Election procedure/Archive

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Archival Nature of this Page[edit]

This page is currently a historical record of what occurred during the first election of the AMA. It will be updated with a new procedure when then membership calls the next election. Alex756:The Coordinator 08:30, 6 Jan 2005 (UTC)

To qualify for voting[edit]

  1. You must be a AMA member, and that membership must be registered before April 16, at 16:00:00 UTC.

To vote[edit]

  1. Send a message to wikipedia_ama_voting@yahoo.co.uk. Your message must include:
    1. Your Wikipedia username
    2. Your choice for AMA Co-ordinator
  2. Messages sent before April 16, at 16:00:00 UTC will be disqualified. Senders of votes before this time will be notified by election inspector that their vote is void, and will be asked to submit again, after the above date and time.

Questions[edit]

Just wondering what steps are being taken, if any, to verify that the votes received are actually from those members who have signed up. Can't anyone say that they are a certain user, or are the inspectors just assuming that if only one vote is received for each member that the vote is valid? In a paper based election ballots are issued in some kind of authoritative manner (serial number, special papers, voting machines, etc..). As this election is a precursor to the general Board of Trustees election and our job is advocacy this question is submitted to review the issues, not because I have any suspicions about this election. — © Alex756 03:15, 18 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I am going to confer with the MetaWiki about voting procedure. While this election may not be threatened with vote buying and other forms of fraud eventually it will occur as more organizations are created in the future. --Pharotic 18:05, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Having a secret ballot was a painfully poor decision, and the above concern is just the tip of the iceberg. I predict the whole thing will either be thrown out, or be misrepresentitive. Sam Spade 20:02, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Speaking on behalf of Zanimum (who I hope won't mind), we were happy to anything you darn well please. We asked questions and were given almost zero guidance on the Election Info page. So Zanimum set up an email address, at which point we just proceeded. If the decision was so painfully poor, Sam, why didn't you make clear on the Election page that you wanted an open ballot, or respond to our question on that point? Seems confusing to me to be reprimanded when we weren't told anything much. I think we settled on secret ballot because otherwise it didn't make any sense to have "ballot counters". If there is objection, Zanimum and I will do whatever the AMA wants. I just wish the members of the AMA would be more vocal when it is asked for feedback up front, and less accusatory when those who try to help it make decisions in the absence of guidance. Thank you. Jwrosenzweig 20:09, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
And to Alex756, yes, we are assuming that if only one vote arrives from a user, that vote is valid. I don't know what the odds are that someone who is ineligible would choose to vote and select the name of an AMA member who happened not to cast a vote, but I assume they're low enough for this election. It is an excellent question, however, that Zanimum and I did not consider....perhaps we should have asked users to make a logged-in edit to this page when they had cast their vote? An interesting idea. Jwrosenzweig 20:13, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Actually I wasn't complaining to you Jwrosenzweig (is that how I have to refer to you, can you perhaps advise me of something acceptably shorter?) but rather to my cantidate, whom I and angela both complained to about the secret ballot, which was to my knowledge his idea. Sam Spade 23:16, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
P.S. [1] details the discussion. As far as us being indecisive as a group, thats why we want a co-ordinator for :{ At least were aware of our faults, eh Sam Spade 23:32, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)
Sam, "Jwr" or "JR" work for many people, and are fine by me. "James" would also be acceptable (though should likely be avoided, as there are many James's here :-). Sorry for getting grumpy -- I got irritated at the lack of response from the AMA to my initial questions (save two responses, for which I am grateful), and so I think I was too quick to assume I was being criticized. I hadn't seen the lengthy discussion of secret ballots.....wish someone had pointed me to it when I asked my question. :-) Ah well. You're right, a coordinator would be a very good thing, it seems. :-) I will say that, speaking candidly, I don't think there will be any arguments over the decision Zanimum and I are about to announce (once a few more votes are in), given my interactions with the candidates. So I'm hoping this is moot for now, and optimal elections procedure can be discussed in the abstract in the near future with this experience offering some good indications of how _not_ to do things. :-) But if the AMA demands a very different election that must be restarted, I'm happy to make it happen, and I imagine Zanimum would agree. Jwrosenzweig 00:10, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
For my part, I apologise for my cynical predictions of gloom and surly tone, I was worried trolls had already swarmed in to present you w a flurry of fake ballots, which seems pretty clearly not to be the case. Once more we have avoided a fight, shall I write you another hiaku to celebrate? ;) Sam Spade 05:05, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
I am sorry I started such a controversy. I had been busy and did not have a chance to respond to the excellent work that the ballot team has undertaken. I don't really think that there is a problem with this election procedure. At least we are not using any Diebold software! We really do need a coordinator to get discussion going and as Sam points out that is part of the problem. I don't want to take too much of a role because I started the organization and do want all to feel welcome and participate, but perhaps we have taken this election thing too far. My personal opinion: I think that Zanimum and Jwrosenzweig are capable of conducting the election and I trust their discretion to determine if the voting is valid. If they get a vote from everyone and then inform them that they have voted on their talk page (so that whomever has the password for a particular account can verify that they did vote when they did) that should be verification enough for now. As far as verifying who users actually are, well I guess we can all be sock puppets, but I doubt it very much....— © Alex756 05:42, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)
For the record, I'm behind everything Jwrosenzweig has expressed in the conversation.
One of the advantages of the request for AMA abstaining from voting to send us a message saying that so, is that if one e-mail address sends in a vote, claiming to be user A, and another e-mail claiming to be user A sends in a vote, then we know that something is seriously wrong. If A wants to abstain from voting, but doesn't tell us, and B votes in A's name, A has left us no choice to believe that B is indeed A.
Based on the ratio of votes for a certain candidate, the clear majority outweighs the possible but unlikely fraudulent votes. -- user:zanimum

Theoretical sock puppetry/voting fraud[edit]

I can cite sources of me having been accused of being a sock puppet, among other people by one of the candidates in this election :D I likewise trust the vote counters, and no longer have much concern about the election going awry, but I would hope you would excuse my previous lack of faith due to both the unprecedented style of this vote, and the number of acts of vandalism/etc.. which occur on the wiki in a given day. Sam Spade 05:57, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Results[edit]

JW and I were discussing results, should we declare a winner, or declare the percentages for each candidate? -- user:zanimum

Both, I think, once the election closes. At least in most elections, the specific results are considered significant, not just the final outcome. For example, there's far more reason to be concerned about possible improprieties in a very close election. Not that I'm suggesting we have any problems here; I'm satisfied based on the discussion above that reasonable precautions have been taken. There's the theoretical problem of impersonating voters, but to do that successfully, you would need to know or guess who isn't planning to vote - otherwise any fraud is quite apparent.
By the way, I really wish you two would stop hinting at the outcome. Even the news media generally avoid projecting results before the polls close, on the theory that it might influence people who haven't voted yet, thus skewing the results. --Michael Snow 15:36, 21 Apr 2004 (UTC)
So do we release the exact results, or merely the winner. -- user:zanimum
I think they've asked for exact results, zanimum. Shall I let you do the honors? :-) Jwrosenzweig 15:38, 30 Apr 2004 (UTC)