Annual General Meetings/2019/Voting Information and Instructions
- 1 Voting eligibility
- 2 Mechanics of voting
- 3 Voting duration
- 4 Result verification
- 5 Questions and Answers
- 5.1 What is the voting system?
- 5.2 Am I eligible to vote?
- 5.3 Will my vote be secret?
- 5.4 How many emails will I receive from the OpaVote system?
- 5.5 I haven't received the link to vote. Can you help?
- 5.6 How many candidates should I add on my list?
- 5.7 Can I change my vote? Can I vote again?
- 5.8 I was in a hurry and I think I sent an empty vote. Can anything be done?
You are entitled to vote for the elections if
- your membership is current,
- its start date is before the 14th of November 2019 and
- its expiry date is after the 14th of December 2019.
Mechanics of voting
For this election, polling will be performed online using the widely-used OpaVote, which is a hosted platform.
Each person entitled to vote will, on the opening of the polls, receive one or two emails (one for Associate members and two for Normal members) from OpaVote, each containing a unique, non-spoofable, voting link. The emails will be sent to the address you used when you registered as an OSMF member.
- The subject of the first email will be: OpenStreetMap Foundation Election 2019 and fee waiver change [some_random_letters]. Normal members will also get a second email to vote on special resolutions, with subject OpenStreetMap Foundation Special Resolutions 2019 [some_random_letters]
- The sender will be: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check your spam folder. If you believe that you should have received an email to vote, but you can't find it, please send a message to email@example.com with the subject "AGM2019 - No voting email received".
IMPORTANT - Test your browser settings
The voting link will lead to a secure web page listing each candidate in random order and allowing you to rank the candidates in order of preference.
Voting will open early on the week before the AGM and continue until the AGM. Because the count is electronic, it is expected that the result will be announced without delay. Please try to cast your ballot well in advance of the deadline.
The raw ballots (which are anonymous) become available after the end of the election and can be exported as a structured data file to a stand-alone tool, OpenSTV, for independent verification of the count and the outcome.
- The OpaVote results will be verified by Ilya Zverev (Communication Working Group) using OpenSTV before they are announced.
- The raw ballots will be made available to any member wishing to reassure herself or himself of the correctness of the result.
Questions and Answers
What is the voting system?
OSMF elections are, in accordance with our Articles of Association, now to be held in accordance with the Single Transferable Vote model. This is an approach designed to allow for a more equitable outcome to multi-candidate elections than would a simple “most votes” model. Specifically, it permits each voter to rank candidates in order of preference, with the number of available seats being allocated to the most preferred candidates on their reaching of a “quota” or threshold of votes. Where a candidate fails to achieve a quota, s/he is eliminated, but the next preferences of each voter having chosen that candidate will be distributed to other candidates. This is intended to reduce strategic voting and allow voters to allocate their first preference to their actual preferred candidate, secure in the knowledge that their second and subsequent preferences will be heeded even if the preferred candidate has only a slim chance of success.
A number of approaches are available both in determining the quota and in the detail of how votes are transferred. Our rules do no stipulate which should be used for OSMF elections and the distinction is in practice not a large one. This election will be conducted according to the Scottish rules for STV elections:
Am I eligible to vote?
Entitlement to vote requires you to be a paid-up member of OSMF for at least the 30 days preceding the close of poll. In addition, you must be fully paid up. Please review article 75 of the OSMF Articles of Association where this is laid out.
Will my vote be secret?
The platform preserves the expected secrecy of ballot, exposing operational statistics related to turnout and including details of who has and has not voted. OpaVote conducts the counting process automatically and generates a result and the outcome of each round of counting. It does not provide information about what specific voters have voted, but after the end of the election it provides a file with anonymised raw ballots.
How many emails will I receive from the OpaVote system?
- If you are an Associate member, just one. It will enable you to vote for the board elections and the proposed Membership Fee Waiver change.
- If you are a Normal member, you will receive an extra email, enabling you to vote for the proposed Special resolutions.
- Please check whether you are eligible.
- Please search the email account you used during your OSMF membership registration, including your spam folder. See the section Voting email for the subject line and sender.
- If all fails, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "AGM2019 - No voting email received".
How many candidates should I add on my list?
There is no obligation to assign a preference to each candidate - you may, if you wish, vote for only one single candidate or for a small number. However, doing so may deny you from further influence on the outcome of later rounds of vote counting if none of your chosen candidates are elected. Please see the voting system for more information.
Can I change my vote? Can I vote again?
You may vote only once - attempting to re-enter the voting process using the same link will deny you access, but your earlier ballot will still count. So if you think you have not made up your mind yet, wait and vote later.
I was in a hurry and I think I sent an empty vote. Can anything be done?
Unfortunately, the vote was lost. Once it has been sent, the system does not give us any ability to cancel it/revoke it or reset it. If you would like to help us, you can test your browser settings, and let us know which addon/plugin caused the problem.