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Proposal Details

Proposal ID900
ProposalCertification of the 2017 Election for Co-Chairs and Secretary
PresenterSteering Committee
Floor ManagerDarryl Moch
PhaseClosed
Discussion05/01/2018 - 05/02/2018
Voting05/03/2018 - 05/09/2018
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum33 0.6666
Consens Quorum36 A Majority of Yes and No Votes

Background

Part I- reporting the initial tabulations of the seven (7) candidate
election which ended July 15, 2017. (posted 26 July 2017) See Resources below.

Part II- re-tabulating the election results in light of any resignation
or resignations from the Steering Committee submitted since the most
recent Steering Committee Elections. (posted 28 July 2017) See Resources below.

Part III- includes the results of the election for Secretary, enumerates
reported problems with voting and anomalies, and issues our
recommendations on how to mitigate for or prevent these issues in future
elections. (posted 19 March 2018)

I. NATIONAL COMMITTEE CERTIFICATION OF ETC REPORT

As this is the final part of the ETC report, we recommend that the
Steering Committee schedule an election certification proposal as per
the Rules and Procedures.

II. DECLARATION OF RESULTS FOR SECRETARY

We declare that Jody Grage was duly elected Secretary of the Green Party
of the United States on July 15, 2017, according to the rules specified
in Article VII of the Green Party Rules and Procedures.

III. DETERMINATION OF VALIDITY OF RECORDED VOTES

The voting software recorded a total of 129 ballots for secretary.

GPUS Bylaws state that the Steering Committee election shall end at
5:00pm in the time zone in which the ANM is held, in this case Eastern
Daylight Time. A review of ballot confirmation emails reveals that all
votes were posted between 12:15 am 10 July 2017 and 4:48 pm 15 July
2017. One person reported attempting to vote after 5:00 pm, and that the
voting system did not allow that delegate access for voting. This
indicates that the vote was closed at the scheduled time.

Ballots listed on the vote result page
 were checked
against the ballot confirmation emails that were sent to the ETC email
account. Two delegates reported not getting their copy of the email,
but the ETC did receive email for each person who so reported. The
votes for these delegates showed correctly on the vote result page.

IV. TABULATION OF VOTES

The recorded first preference votes for secretary indicate that a
majority (72 of 129 votes) were cast for Jody Grage, removing the need
for further rounds of counting. A hand count of ballots reported on the
vote result page is sufficient to confirm outcome.

V. REPORTED ISSUES WITH VOTING

The Green Party Secretary posted a request for reports of voting issues
to delegates, with a set of questions from the Election Tabulation
Committee to help pinpoint reported problems. A dozen forms were sent
to the given address, or forwarded from the delegates listserve or from
replies to the secretary. Calls were attempted to about a dozen
delegates who had not voted, yielding a few additional reports. Five
reports received were for failed attempts for three eligible votes (Two
were for the final vote of the same delegation, and one was attempted
after the deadline).

Two reports indicted no problem with voting or checking results. One
report indicated some confusion in casting a vote, but the vote was
recorded. One report indicated a problem accessing the vote result page
on Saturday.

Two reports of ballot keys not received, were from voters who's votes
were properly reported. Both had ballot keys received by the voting
system email, though one was sent to a previous email address of the
delegate.

One report was of a ballot not listed on the result page, though the
page properly showed that the delegate had voted. The ballot was found
listed with a state that the delegate had formerly represented. Another
report received indirectly, indicated the same issue.

Two reports indicated trouble logging in to vote over repeated attempts.
 Both of these were linked to internet connection issues. One
successfully voted, the other case was attempted after the poll closed.
Another reported being caught off guard by timing of election, missing
deadline.

Three delegates reported inability to login due to not remembering their
password, or their username, for the voting system. One indicated that
a requested password was never received.

Contact with nonvoting delegates in Illinois revealed that they thought
that they were allotted three fewer delegates than they had, and
consequently cast three fewer votes.

One delegate reported voting, but not receiving a ballot key, nor having
the vote listed in the result.

The ETC does not find evidence of a failure of the voting application in
these reports. Ways to address some of the reported issues are
addressed in the recommendations in the following section.

VI. RECOMMENDATIONS

  A. Voting application issues

  1. Several delegates had problems logging in to the voting
page. Two of these were linked to internet connectivity issues with
confusion about the status of the login attempt. To facilitate such
users, we recommend a robust login page with communication that login is
processing, succeeded and loading target page, or that login failed with
reason (timed out, username not recognized, incorrect password).

  2. A couple of delegates indicated not knowing their vote page
username, and one delegate reported requesting a password reminder but
not receiving it. We recommend using their registered email address as
the username to login, to reduce chance of forgetting username or
forgetting to update email address.

  3. Election instructions state that no write-ins are allowed,
but write-in options shows on the ballot. Other choices like "no
write-ins" are sometimes added by election administrators to allow
corrections or updates to listed choices. We recommend providing for
removal of write-in options for elections that do not allow them, and
providing a means for the floor manager to cleanly edit the list of
candidates, if necessary.

  4. There was one report of confusion while voting, and one
report of a vote not recorded. In order to reduce the chance of failed
votes, and to help determine the cause of future failures, we recommend
that the vote confirmation page be more clear and persistent. Suggested
features include a prominent green "confirm" button, a nag before
leaving the page without confirmation, and a reminder email if a vote is
not confirmed. [This issue was also reported in 2010 ETC report section
"Problems With Election/Requests for Clarification" point 4; and in 2013
ETC report section III, second paragraph under "Known Bugs".]

  5. One ballot was reported without a ballot key. This
corresponded with two confirmation emails to the same delegate
indicating identical votes for the same election. The votes were
re-tallied by the ETC without the duplicate vote. We recommend that
this known issue of double votes be a priority in votes application
fixes. [This issue was reported in the 2010 ETC report section
"Problems With Election/Requests for Clarification" point 3; in the 2011
ETC report section III.2; in the 2013 ETC report section III, first
three paragraphs under "Known Bugs"; and in the 2014 ETC report section
III, under "Known Bugs".]

  6. One report of a missing ballot, that was found listed with
the delegates former delegation, is due to a known problem with RCV
elections, but reportedly not with single seat elections. A second
report of the same issue was received indirectly. We recommend
providing for the votes application to use current delegation, instead
of historic delegation info for reporting ballots on close of the
election. Updating and cleaning the delegate database may be needed as
well. [This issue was reported in the 2010 ETC report section "Problems
With Election/Requests for Clarification" point 8; in the 2011 ETC
report section III.5; and in the 2013 ETC report section III, fourth
paragraph under "Known Bugs".]

  7. The voting application omitted an accented e (), from a
candidates name in the reported result and the reported ballots. This
may be related to problems with hyphenated names and apostrophes in
prior years. We recommend updating the votes application to use a
Unicode character set. [This issue was reported in the 2013 ETC report
section III, third paragraph under "Known Bugs".]

  8. The vote result file included on the election result page is
brief. To facilitate auditing, increase transparency and improve
understanding of the election, we recommend that a "verbose" result file
be included instead.

  9. The link to the voting page included in emails from the
voting system is to an insecure login page,
. Similarly the link "gp.org/vote"
redirects to an insecure votes page,
. Although these interface
with the same application and data as the secure voting page,
, we recommend that these
links be redirected to a secure voting page. We also recommend that the
proposal and election message templates be updated to include a secure
voting page link.

  10. The request for server logs returned logs for the the wrong
dates, leading further requests to include each of the various domains
for the full date range of the election, with corresponding delays. In
a prior year logging was not enabled during the election. To streamline
communication and to give advance notice, we recommend that the vote
application send a notice of intent to request logs, one week before the
vote starts, and sends a request for server logs covering 24 hours
before the vote starts through 24 hours after the vote is closed,
following the election. Consolidating domains with access to the vote
application would simplify the log request.

  B. Bylaws issues

  1. The Green Party US Bylaws section VI-2.1
, provides for steering committee
elections to conclude at 5 pm local time, on Saturday of the Annual
National Meeting. This provision is a legacy from when votes were cast
by delegates present at the ANM. Although this election was closed at
the proper time, this was done manually, due to limitations of the
voting application. One delegate reported a failed vote shortly after
the poll closed. We recommend that the specific day and time for
closing the election be removed from the bylaws, allowing for closing at
the midnight pacific time default for the voting application, and
allowing flexibility for planning the ANM schedule. [This issue was
reported in the 2010 ETC report section "Problems With Election/Requests
for Clarification" points 1 and 2; in the 2011 ETC report section III.1;
and in the 2013 and 2014 ETC reports section III, under "Further
Recommendations".]

  2. The Green Party US Rules and Procedures section VII.B
, indicate that elections can be
verified by a specific website , though the
legacy application found there is no longer updated nor supported. The
limited documentation on the site indicates that the RCV rules supported
vary slightly from those spelled out in our Rules and Procedures. We
recommend that a currently maintained vote counting application be found
to verify votes, and that the specific tabulation rules in the bylaws be
consistent with what is supported by available software. [This issue
was reported in the 2013 ETC report section III, fifth paragraph under
"Known Bugs".]

  3. The way in which elections are carried out, and the role of
the ETC, has changed significantly from what is described in the Green
Party US Rules and Procedures section VII.C
. When these rules and procedures
were developed more than 10 years ago, we were still voting with paper
ballots. The use of an online voting system with remote voting by
delegates, automatic tabulation, and reporting of election results,
leaves the ETC in the role of auditing the performance of the voting
system and reporting on issues found. We recommend that the Rules and
Procedures section VII.C be updated to reflect the realities of how
elections are run, and the current roles of the voting application and
of the ETC. We further recommend that the requirement for a National
Committee vote on the ETC report be dropped in the absence of any
challenge to the election result. We also recommend that the Rules and
Procedures section VII.D be updated to reflect that election records,
ballots and reports are in electronic format, rather than as physical
objects.

  4. Following the ANM and the cochair election, two cochairs
resigned, one of which was elected in 2016. This raised differing
interpretations of the Green Party US Bylaws section VI-3
, and Rules and Procedures section VII.E
, regarding withdrawals within one
month of an election. We recommend that these sections be clarified to
address ambiguities and inconsistencies.

VII. CONCLUSION

  This completes the report on the Green Party
US steering committee elections which ended 2017 July 15th. The
election for secretary is concluded as defined in Rules and Procedures
section VII.B.1.(b).

Proposal

The Green National Committee hereby certifies the results of the 2017 Steering Committee elections for Co-chairs and Secretary.

Submitted, 2018 March 19
GPUS 2017 Elections Tabulation Committee:
  Holly Hart
  David Gerry
  katija gruene
  Violet Rose Zitola
  Charles Sherrouse
  Frank Young

Resources

None

References

2017 Election for GPUS Secretary
http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/irvresult?pid=873

2017 Election of Steering Committee Co-chairs
http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/irvresult?pid=872

[usgp-nc] ETC Report 2017- Part I
https://pairlist6.pair.net/mailman/private/natlcomvotes/2017-July/083613.html

[usgp-nc] ETC Report 2017- Part II
https://pairlist6.pair.net/mailman/private/natlcomvotes/2017-July/083690.html

Certification of 2014 Steering Committee Elections
http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=765


Questions about this system?
Contact the Voting Admin.
The Green Party of the United States voting system is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
You can download a copy here.
To independently verify a ranked choice vote, or for information about how that works, go to Jonathan Lundell's Voting Page and upload the ballot file from the ranked choice vote result page. JL's ranked choice module is licensed under an alternate free software license.
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