'kent crispin' kent at icann.org
Wed Jun 21 21:57:57 UTC 2006

Hi Marilyn

On Wed, Jun 21, 2006 at 07:51:11PM +0000, Marilyn Cade wrote:
> This response is not directed at technical staff.  However, this situation
> with voting is a little strange.

I have run many elections, and from my perspective there was nothing unusual
about this one.  It's part of an extended history of email elections in the
ICANN environment, and details, including the use and hazards of email to
distribute ballots, have hashed out in excruciating detail long beforehand. 
The procedures for this election were posted at


The nature of email is well-known to everyone concerned.  In particular, it
is well-known that, like physical mail, email can be lost or delayed.  We
handle that contingency by 1) allowing a full week for balloting, 2)
providing an alternate web-based interface, and 3) resending ballots whenever
there is a request.  In extreme cases (documented in the procedures) votes
can be collected via personal contact with the Secretariat. 

Implicit in this arrangement is that people who want to vote are responsible
for their mailboxes.  We can't control peoples spam filters, or their
accidental deletions, or their ISP's servers, or simply not noticing the
email message in their box. 

> Three people did not receive ballots,

It was sometimes necessary to resend, but in fact, there was only one person
who did not ultimately receive a ballot, and, to my knowledge, that person
did not request another until after the election was over.  Everyone else not
only received a ballot, but voted. 

> although technical staff validate the sending of ballots and receipt but not
> in the mailbox of the intended recipient.

Delivery is verified to the extent it is technically possible.  Once mail is
delivered to the remote server it is out of our hands, and it becomes the
responsibility of the recipient.  We cannot examine the recipients mailbox
(most people would think that was a good thing :-)). 

> I ask that the election "team" work out a way to allow all councilors to vote. 
> We have documented complaints about the flow and receipt of ballots. 
> This needs to be addressed by the General counsel, and adm staff
> responsible for managing the election, and a process addressed for councilors
> who did not receive the ballots but stated their intention to vote.
> Let's not have a contested election over technical failures. 

>From my perspective, there have been no reports of anything remotely
resembling either a technical failure or a process failure.  

> I voted in the first round and have a "sent" message in my email outbox. 
> Yet when I asked for verification of receipt, my vote was not received. 
> The second round seems to have worked for me. 

Recall that email is an imperfect medium.  In fact, your first round vote was
ultimately received, and your vote was counted. 

It is up to others to decide, of course, but from my perspective this was a 
perfectly reasonable election.

Best Regards

Kent Crispin 
kent at icann.org    p: +1 310 823 9358  f: +1 310 823 8649

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