Voting policy


  • Number: Policy-004
  • Status: voted
  • Author: Pieter Hintjens
  • Date: 2007-11-18

This policy defines how votes are carried out. The goal is to enable electronic voting and to arrive at a consensus with the minimum of traffic and delay.


Votes may be carried out in any workgroup that has the responsibility for decision making. As Digistan is a digital organization, votes are mainly carried out via email.

Electronic voting

Proposals must be documented as a wiki page on a site by the person or people submitting the proposal for a vote. Votes that are carried out on undocumented matters, described only by email, are indicative only and not binding.

When a submitter has documented a proposal and s/he can ask the workgroup to vote, specifying the URL of the wiki proposal page. Workgroup members have 48 hours to respond. The valid responses are:

  • +1 (for)
  • +1 (for) with comments
  • -1 (against) with comments

Responses should come from email addresses that are listed on the voter's membership page.

Silence within 48 hours is considered as abstention. Comments are requests to change the proposal. Comments may be made by email, or attached to the wiki proposal page. The submitter of the proposal must make a good faith attempt to incorporate or answer the comments. When the comments have been incorporated, the submitter notifies the workgroup. If there are no comments within 48 hours, the proposal is accepted. If there are further comments, the submitter will repeat the editorial process.

At any stage the submitter may choose to not respond to comments, in which case any remaining unresolved comments will be attached to proposal wiki page, and the voting position (votes for and against) also recorded.

All votes are documented on the workgroup wiki. When a proposal is documented as "accepted" or "rejected", following the above process. the vote is closed.

The board of the association is the final authority on proposals that are contentious or blocked by argument. It is considered bad form to:

  • Be against a proposal without specifying a pragmatic modification
  • Repeatedly argue with proposals from specific people
  • Propose large-scale, destabilizing changes to proposals
  • Make proposals or comments that indicate pure self-interest

Face to face voting

In some cases face-to-face voting may be more appropriate. The workgroup must document its proposals and voting results as for electronic votes. In a face-to-face meeting, votes are carried by simple majority of those present who vote and do not abstain. The chair of the meeting can choose whether or not to include a comment resolution process as is done for electronic votes.


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