[Community-Discuss] [members-discuss] Faulty result for Western Africa in AfriNIC AGMM Elections

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Sat Jun 2 03:22:36 UTC 2018

> On Jun 1, 2018, at 10:34 , Ornella GANKPA <honest1989 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Mark
> My comments inline
> Le 30/05/2018 à 19:13, Mark Elkins a écrit :
>> On 30/05/2018 19:20, Arnaud AMELINA wrote:
>>> Owen, 
>>> 2018-05-29 22:34 GMT+00:00 Owen DeLong <owen at delong.com <mailto:owen at delong.com>>:
>>> Arnaud,
>>> While I agree that additional clarity is needed and I agree that there is some validity to the claim that none of the above MAY not have been a legitimate choice to place on the ballot, I think we cannot go changing the rules of the election and violating the expectations of the voters, membership, and community after the election has run.
>>> Voters, membership and community are saying: <<a mistake has been made; let's fix it!>>
>> And members are saying "We are happy with the outcome" (I am, anyway). The only folk that should be commenting on this are the voting membership.
> Why is the former board member and board chair so nervous about the scope of this discussion?  This is a matter of concern for the community at large. This is not a remake of the elections. Or maybe,  it is time to listen to the other 1409 members who did not vote?

If you chose not to vote, then really, you’ve effectively asked us not to listen to you.

Just my $0.02.

>>> Nobody raised an objection to the presence of none of the above on the ballot for seat 2 prior to or during the election.
>>> No one is raising objection even now on  this option being on the ballot as the guidelines are clear on that. the issue at hand is the correct implementation  of the guidelines as written.
>>> Since there were more than enough voters who selected none of the above to change the result among the remaining two candidates, it is not legitimate to simply discard the none of the above votes and declare one of those candidates a winner. Indeed, I would argue that is the worst possible choice among all other options.
>>> The other options as I see it are:
>>> 	1.	Allow the board to treat the seat as vacant and appoint a board member until the
>>> 		next AGMM.
>>> 	2.	Treat none of the above as a valid election result (in which case it should be
>>> 		considered the same for all 3 seats) and preclude the board from appointing
>>> 		anyone to the seat(s) until an election can be run.
>>> 	3.	Treat none of the above as a valid election result only for seat 2 and preclude
>>> 		the board from appointing seat 2 while still allowing them to appoint seats 5
>>> 		and 6.
>>> As I see it, the best option is option 1. It allows the organization to proceed with a full board until the next AGMM where a hopefully more effective election can be accomplished.
>>> I think option 2 is bad because it leaves the board precariously short-handed with only 5 of the expected 8 members, including the CEO. (The 3 elected members which remain, whoever is appointed to fill Haitham’s vacancy, and the CEO).
>>> The problem I have with option 3 is I have trouble justifying treating the election of “none of the above” differently in this circumstance than in the case of a single unopposed candidate. In both cases, more voters felt that they didn’t want any of the options on the ballot and voted not to elect any fo the candidates. The outcome is, IMHO, the same regardless of the number of candidates and should be handled identically.
>>> Why? There are places in the world where "none of the above" is on ballot and has not effect on the results 
>> What would the point of that be then - or are people confusing "None of the above" with "Abstain" ?
> The guidelines  say:
> "The ballot paper should provide voters with the option to not vote for any candidate (a. k.a. "None of the Above")"
> It does not say to "reject all  the proposed candidate". 
> It says to not vote  for any candidate and the guidelines states that , the candidate with the highest votes wins.
> Let us stop  this harmful interpretation.

Wow… This takes sophistry to a new level. Regardless of the polite language used in the guidelines, it is an obvious implication that the intent is to provide an option to affirmatively vote against all of the candidates on the slate.

Otherwise, abstention (simply leaving all choices for that office blank) would suffice.

The specific affirmative act of selecting “none of the above” must be interpreted as if “none of the above” were, in fact, a candidate. In the event where “none of the above” gains the most votes, it is completely unfair to the plurality of voters which selected that choice to turn around and then seat one of the other candidates in the race.

I agree that we should learn from this event and clarify this in the guidelines, but the fact that there are those who would argue to disenfranchise the plurality of voters in this election by stripping them of their right to block the seating of candidates which were so thoroughly opposed is, IMHO, absurd.

>>> and candidates with the highest votes wins. It is matter of the elections rules. In the current  situation,  the guidelines are clear  and explicit  on how we should  handle the results. So let follow it and engage on discussions  for amending the rules  if we see need to do so.
>> I was on the Board when this was introduced (6 or so years back?). Its doing exactly what it was intended to - that if a person does not like *anyone* on the list of choices - the member can instead select "none of the above". Why does this seem so hard to grasp?
> Can you point to board meeting minutes, resolutions or any other document   which support your statement?  Some seems to refuse to read the guidelines  and just regurgitate whatever works for them.
> The guidelines are clear and may have not been written to match your statement

A reasonable interpretation of the language as written without extraordinary mental gymnastics supports this statement.

Your interpretation of the guidelines is absurd in the extreme. I don’t know if that’s because you are reading the literal meaning of the words individually and outside of the context or if it is because the logical meaning of the words taken as a whole fails to support your position. Regardless, it is clearly the “spirit of the law” and the clear intent of the words in the guidelines when taken in context to allow voters to express an affirmative opposition to the entire slate of candidates.

Your interpretation would reduce it to mere abstention, in which case there would be no point of putting “none of the above” on the ballot because that can be achieved by merely leaving that office blank when filling out the ballot.

> .
>> I also fail to understand why this is fine when there is only one natural person on the list but not fine when there is more than one natural person on the list.
> One explanation:
> When I only have one candidate, the vote becomes a "yes" or " no" vote . I need a way to count the "no" vote.
> a- change the ballot to  "yes" or " no", "in favor" or "against "
> b- use  natural candidate and " none of the above"
> We were  using b)

Sure, but there’s no reason that can’t work the exact same way in a multiple-candidate race and that was the clear expectation of the voters in this case.

a) Candidate A
b) Candidate B
c) None of the above

If you wanted to abstain, you didn’t choose any of those options and left that part of the ballot blank.
If you wanted to express a desire that neither candidate A nor candidate B be seated, then voting for option c is the correct action.

That’s what happened. In fact, a plurality of voters chose option c. It’s quite clear they did that not with the intent of abstaining, but with the intent that neither candidate A nor candidate B be elected.

Why is it so hard for you to accept this?


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