Annual General Meetings/2021/Voting Information and Instructions
IMPORTANT - Test your browser settings, otherwise you might send an empty vote
The voting email from Opavote links directly to the voting page, which is listing each candidate in random order and allowing you to rank the candidates in order of preference. The voting emails will be sent on the 4th of December 20210.
You are entitled to vote for the election if
- you are a member for the full 90 days prior to the AGM date (membership start before 2021-09-11 23:59 UTC) and
- your membership is not in arrears 7 days prior to the AGM date and
- you are a natural person.
Special resolution: Allow non-board members to sit on OSMF Committees
You are entitled to vote on the special resolution (count time as associate member for board candidacy requirements) if all of the above criteria apply and you are a normal member.
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 (Saturday, 4th of December 2021 at 16:00 UTC), 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 email(s) will be sent to the email address associated with your OSMF membership.
- The subject of the first email will be: 2021 OSMF board election and proposed resolutions [some_random_letters]. Normal members will also get a second email to vote on the special resolution, with subject 2021 OSMF AGM - Voting to count time as associate member for board candidacy requirements (special resolution) [some_random_letters]
- The sender will be: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "AGM2020 - No voting email received".
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 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?
Please see the "Voting eligibility" section above. You can also review article 75 of the OSMF Articles of Association.
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 non-special resolutions.
- If you are a Normal member, you will receive an extra email, enabling you to vote for the proposed Special resolution.
- Please check whether you are eligible.
- Please search the email account associated with your OSMF membership, including your spam folder. See the section Voting email for the subject line and sender.
- If all fails, please email email@example.com with subject line "AGM2021 - No voting email received", from the email account associated with your membership.
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 section "voting system" above, 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 add-on/plugin caused the problem. Please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "AGM2021 - Add-on/plugin causing problems". Thank you.
- Emails (to be sent to eligible voters on Dec. 4th, after 16:00 UTC) linking to personal voting pages
- Voting pages
- <placeholder> Preview of voting page for election and three resolutions
- <placeholder> Preview of voting page for special resolution] (for Normal members only)
- Voting information and instructions (this page)
- AGM page on the OSMF website
- Election to Board page on OSM wiki (warning)
- Page with candidates answers and manifestos on the OSM wiki (warning)