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

Mark Elkins mje at
Sat May 10 14:21:35 UTC 2014

On Sat, 2014-05-10 at 12:42 +0100, Seun Ojedeji wrote:
> Hello Mark,
> First considering that i wrote to chair (you) and nomcom, i assume
> this response is on behalf of nomcom (do let me know if its otherwise
> in your individual capacity). Kindly find my comments below:
> On Sat, May 10, 2014 at 11:10 AM, Mark Elkins <mje at> wrote:
>         Firstly, NomCom does not run the elections. The job of NomCom
>         (Nominations Committee) is to provide suitable candidates for
>         various
>         elections or appointments, Board Members, PDP Joint-Chairs,
>         and NRO/ASO
>         representatives.
>         >
> Although nomcom may seem to mean what you indicated above. However
> nomcom according to the AFRINIC website means this: 
> The NomCom (Nominations and Elections Committee) [1]Functions of the
> Nomination Committee: 
>       * The Nom Com shall 
>               * use its best effort towards ensuring that a
>                 satisfactory number of individuals from the African
>                 internet community stand as candidate for the election
>                 of the directors of AFRINIC.
>               * have general responsibility for, and shall supervise
>                 the conduct of the polls by the election Committee on
>                 election day.
> Although the second role seem to imply that there is another team
> called "election committee" and at this point, i seem to be lost on
> how that committee come to play. Nevertheless its still clear that
> your team coordinates the process and your role exceeds what you have
> stated above. 

OK - let me use less of my own words and quote from the Bylaws...

There shall be a Nomination Committee (NomCom), which shall consist of a
chairman and three other members as appointed by the Board and
composed of qualified and experienced persons. The Board shall make a
public call for voluntary nomination from the African Internet

There shall be an election committee comprising of such staff members of
AFRINIC as may be designated by the Chief Executive Officer.

>         > Thanks for the opportunity to participate in nomcom.
>         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.....
> Yes thats the final desire,(which will perhaps require the blessings
> of BoD) but that is not the request for this upcoming election.
>         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.
> I still find it not convincing that the termination of e-voting is the
> only way to avoid multiple voting. Especially since it is clear that
> you go through a process before you can do e-voting, and it is
> expected that anyone that opt for e-voting obviously doesn't want to
> paper ballot. So its clear those to give paper ballot can be known
> easily. 
> What needs to be avoided is having privileged prior knowledge of the
> e-voting status, your comment above doesn't prevent that.
>         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.
> Please see my comment above about why i think we don't have to count
> the e-votes just to get the numbers of those who used the e-voting
> platform. Even if you don't think that option is totally perfect
> (because some would already gotten their BPKI) then the voting
> platform should be able clearly separate actual voting result from
> from users(members) who has actually voted. Considering the level of
> technicality already exhibited on the e-voting platform, i believe a
> feature like that is the least challenge of the technical team (if it
> doesn't already exist).
>         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).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.
> Kindly refer to my comment above; keeping the e-vote confidential is
> the main goal.
>         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.
> I did mine via e-voting and i believe no body who has used the
> e-voting platform would deny that it was quite functional. I was
> however surprised at the AGM when it was said that the voting system
> closed and the result counted. The way i know that election is done is
> that you count votes in the presence of the voters (or at least before
> the candidates party representatives). On that basis as an individual
> and member i wouldn't know whether something has happened to my votes
> (although the platform worked).
>         Before asking for change, please carefully consider how one
>         might do this better whilst we have both e-votes and paper
>         ballot votes.
> Nobody, and certainly not me is asking us to move to 100% e-votes for
> now (but we agree its something to consider for future). What we are
> saying is that you while may stop e-voting at a point (which i find
> un-necessary though) the opening of the e-voting voting status by the
> 3-trustees should be done the same time the paper ballot is counted.

>         ... and I believe I have the general details and reasoning
>         correct... :-)

> Not quite Mark as i think you perceive we are calling for 100%
> electronic voting which is not the case.

My own personal thoughts..... (Lots of 'I')

I believe Owen makes a good case for running e-voting to the end of the
election time.

However, it does appear to me to make things more complicated.
I can not quantify to myself though how useful it would practically be.
I have no idea what technical changes would be necessary and if AFRINIC
is going to change something - I'd rather see it spend the energy going
to a full e-voting solution.

E-vote starts 10 days before the elections. I see it as a very suitable
replacement for Proxies or for those that can not attend.
Extending it to the last second will possibly encourage people to wait
for the last second. I personally prefer the way it currently is which
gives a few hours in case of technical difficulties.
I like the KISS principal.

The AFRINIC website does state that e-votes and the people who have cast
them are not conjoined. As I don't know how the software actually
functions, I can not comment further.
(last line)

> Thanks
> Kind Regards


Mark J Elkins - AFRINIC 2014 Nominations Committee Chair
mje at - nomcom2014 (at)
Tel: +27.128070590  Cell: +27.826010496

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