[NCG-EL-REF] Election reform: agenda

Tapani Tarvainen ncsg at tapani.tarvainen.info
Sat Mar 11 16:48:37 EET 2017

Dear all,

Elections will be upon us again soon enough, it's high time to restart
discussion about them.

Besides the infamous None-of-the-Above thing, there're a number of
other issues that should be decided or at least documented,
procedures, terms in charter that are open to interpretation &c.

While these mostly are the responsibility of the Executive Committee,
I think they merit discussion with wider audience, and this list was
created just fot the purpose. If we can come up with a consensus here,
I'm sure the EC will be happy to follow it. And of course it may be
necessary to bring some issues to the full ncsg-discuss list at some

Below is an initial list of issues I came up with. It's not very
well-organized, indeed they clearly overlap in places, I just tríed to
collect all issues I could think of - please feel free to suggest
additions. My idea is that we could then work through the list
piecemeal, one issue at a time (of course backtracking as needed if we
realize we've missed something earlier).

As a general point, we’re bound by NCSG Charter, GNSO operating
procedures and ICANN Bylaws. While they could be changed, and indeed
we should make a list of things in our own Charter that we should
consider changing, for now we'll have to work with it as is.

(1) Procedures
* who does what
  Chair, EC, do we need exceptions if Chair is a candidate &c
* general timeline
* ballot format

(2) Interpretation of eligibility and limitation rules
* Term limits (this comes from GNSO OP, just needs to be opened up so
  everybody understands them)
* Regional balance: what exactly does "to the maximum extent possible" mean?
  What constitutes "reasonable effort"?
  If there's doubt about someone's region (people with multiple citizenships &c),
  how should they be handled?
* Gender balance: "under no circumstance" - if there aren't enough candidates
  of one gender, what should we do?
  What constitutes "reasonable effort"?
  What about transgender or intersex people?
* How do the above apply to temporary alternates and replacements?
  Presumably they generally bind EC similarly to elections, but could the
  EC bypass a totally incompetent candidate from minority gender or
  region in favour of a qualified one from an overrepresented gender
  or region?

(3) Voting process
* Time limits, deadlines
* How to break ties (preference to minorities, lottery, something else?)
* Keep using ICANN staff to manage elections or consider something else?
* Exception handling (should ICANN staff react to bad ballots?)
* What happens if a candidate pulls out half-way?
* When should elections be cancelled and restarted, who decides and how?
* If an organization's representative is also an individual member,
  can they vote in both roles?

(4) NotA
* Should there be a NotA option at all? Does our Charter even allow it?
* How should NotA be interpreted in affecting results?
* Should there perhaps be separate options "I don't care" and "I want
  new elections rather than accept that guy" or the like?
* How should NotA be presented in the ballot?

Tapani Tarvainen

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