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Election process (was re: [rpd] AFRINIC Board Elections - 2014: Call for Nominations)

Owen DeLong owen at
Sat May 10 13:13:55 UTC 2014

> There are some logistics which people may be missing.
> I see that there is a goal to move to 100% electronic voting, however
> until then.....
> Practically, the e-vote needs to be terminated some time before people
> collect their ballot papers. This is so that the ballot papers can be
> provided only to those entities allowed to vote because they have not
> yet exercised that right via the e-vote. In order to do this, logically,
> one needs to see which entities have used the e-vote so their
> representatives are not also given a ballot paper to vote with.

Actually, an alternative to this might be to in real time, be able to lock each voter
receiving a paper ballot out of eligibility for e-vote while leaving e-vote open. In
such a case, at the time the person requests a paper ballot, you could:

	1.	Lock them out of e-vote.
	2.	Verify they have not yet e-voted.
	3.	Issue the paper ballot.

In this way, you can leave e-voting open until the close of the election, but still
provide for paper voting as well.

By voter, I mean an entity eligible to cast a particular vote. Some persons are
multiple voters (such as Mark describes below) representing multiple voting
entities. In such a case, the above choice between paper and e-vote would
be on a vote-by-vote basis for each of the votes a given person is eligible to
cast. An optimization could make it convenient to make the election across
all eligible votes for a person in cases where the person wanted to, but that
would be optional.

> From a convenience point of view, the e-vote cut-off time is the evening
> before voting day. Names can then be checked. From the morning of voting
> day, paper ballots are issued to all still legible voters. This takes
> time. Paper Ballots are carried by their owners until they are
> "exercised" later on in the afternoon. 
> I guess that in the process of checking the names of entities who have
> e-voted, one may also know how they have voted (though I might be
> wrong). I personally have no issues with this as long as the e-vote
> results are kept strictly confidential (as has been done).

If the system is properly designed, then the voter registration/admission
process does not have any access to the tally process.

> Once all the paper ballots have been submitted and counted, the results
> of the two systems can be safely merged into one election result and
> announced.

Yes. The e-vote tally should not be accessible to anyone until the paper
ballots have begun to be counted. In an ideal world, paper ballots would
be in a machine-readable form and could be scanned to produce a single
e-vote tally which includes both on-line and scanned votes.

> Due to the fact that I represent more than one entity, I have more than
> one vote to cast. Last year, I cast some by e-vote and some by ballot
> paper. I was happy to see that the system worked.
> Before asking for change, please carefully consider how one might do
> this better whilst we have both e-votes and paper ballot votes.
> ... and I believe I have the general details and reasoning
> correct... :-)
>> Regards
>> sent from Google nexus 4
>> kindly excuse brevity and typos.
>> On 10 May 2014 07:04, "Noah Maina" <mainanoa at> wrote:
>>        ++1 suen
>>        I would lean on this suggestion as it makes more sense and
>>        both online counting and physical counting should be done
>>        simultaneously.
>>        Noah
>>        You got into the party when we all have had a fair share of
>>        the drinks ;)
>>        The drunken part of me is therefore agreeing that the only fix
>>        is to go electronic 100%. However the conscious part of me
>>        still thinks it's not good ethics to have a voting means
>>        shutdown before the other for the same election.
>>        In view of this, I will suggest that while closing of online
>>        voting is done a day before AGM, it's actual
>>        unlocking/counting of votes should be done same time with
>>        counting of paper based. This means that as staff clear a
>>        member for online voting such member is struck out from the
>>        members list.
>>        Hope this is an acceptable compromise otherwise I am open to
>>        why this isn't.
>>        Regards
>>        sent from Google nexus 4
>>        kindly excuse brevity and typos.
>>        On 9 May 2014 15:16, "Douglas Onyango" <ondouglas at>
>>        wrote:
>>                Hi Seun, et al,
>>                Sorry I am joining the party  late, but given my
>>                experience on the
>>                Nomcom, my few cents are inline:
>>                On 8 May 2014 09:05, Seun Ojedeji
>>                <seun.ojedeji at> wrote:
>>> - The electronic voting is starting before getting
>>                the opportunity to hear
>>> from the contestants. In view of this, does it mean
>>> 1. There will be no time when the contestant will
>>                speak to the community
>>> (i.e the only information posted on the website is
>>                what will be used for
>>> both at online and f2f voting)
>>                My recollection is that the comment period, and the
>>                feedback form
>>                specifically is designed to allow pre-f2f online
>>                engagement . It is
>>                Nomcom's expectation that by the time of the f2f, the
>>                electorate
>>                should have interacted via this platform to form an
>>                opinion on the
>>                candidate. It is also for this reason that the speech
>>                at the f2f is
>>                trimmed to a minuscule 2 or so minutes.
>>> 2. The speech of the contestants will be uploaded
>>                before the electronic
>>> voting starts and further speaking opportunity
>>                awarded to contestants
>>> present at f2f
>>                In the past, recorded speeches have only been for
>>                candidates who are
>>                not at the f2f in person and as such this is not
>>                available to the
>>                public until the other candidates are speaking --
>>                typically minutes
>>                from the voting.
>>> - The closing date for the online voting has been
>>                set to end before f2f; as
>>> mentioned in the last AGM why does the online voting
>>                have to close earlier
>>> than the f2f voting?
>>                The online vote has to be tallied and our current
>>                procedure specifies
>>                that the tallying happens before the elections which
>>                makes sense if
>>                you asked me because three trustees have to unlock the
>>                votes with
>>                their private keys around the same time. Leaving this
>>                until the paper
>>                ballot is tempting fate: Internet connectivity or one
>>                of the trustees
>>                may just not be present. This can jeopardize the
>>                entire exercise as
>>                there might not be enough time to fix the issue.
>>                On 8 May 2014 14:48, McTim <dogwallah at>
>>                wrote:
>>> If I recall correctly, there is only one person (the
>>                CEO) who is able
>>> to obtain the results
>>> of the e-vote and he does this just before the f2f
>>                vote.
>>                Not entirely accurate. The online voting system is
>>                designed such that
>>                the result is unlocked and tallied by three trustees.
>>                These
>>                individuals have to validate the result and as such
>>                have knowledge of
>>                it.
>>                Regards,
>>        _______________________________________________
>>        rpd mailing list
>>        rpd at
> -- 
> Mark James ELKINS  -  Posix Systems - (South) Africa
> mje at       Tel: +27.128070590  Cell: +27.826010496
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