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[802SEC] WG P&P baseline concern


Trying to guide a project that is having problems reaching consensus, I have been reviewing rules carefully to make sure our process is solid.  I came across something in the WG P&P and baseline I think deserves improvement.

As I’m sure you know, the baseline wasn’t written with the experience of doing most or all business via electronic tools.  A problem I have found is in 7.1:

7.1 Approval of an Action

Approval of an action requires approval by a majority (or two-thirds) vote as specified in subclauses 7.1.1 (majority) and 7.1.2 (two-thirds) and may occur in the following instances:

a)       At a meeting (including teleconferences) where quorum has been established, a vote carried by majority (or two-thirds) approval of the votes cast (i.e., Approve or Do Not Approve votes, excluding abstentions) by the voting members in attendance.

b)       By electronic means (including email), a vote carried by majority (or two-thirds) of the votes cast (i.e., Approve or Do Not Approve votes, excluding abstentions), provided a majority of all the voting members of the Working Group responded.

The Chair (or presiding officer) may exercise their vote only when it could affect the outcome or when the vote is by electronic or letter ballot.

It would appear that items a and b are intend to be mutually exclusive.  Searching the baseline for “electronic” shows the use of "electronic ballot" is mostly consistent.  I think in all cases but the two quoted above, the phrase “letter or electronic ballot” is used.  If I remember correctly the use of “letter ballot” years ago was thought to be too restrictive as it implied use of mail and paper.  Now “electronic means” is a problem because a meeting vote in a teleconference is certainly using electronic means.  If someone wants to use Direct Vote Live, that is not the teleconference tool but is another case of "electronic means".  Use of DVL during an in-person meeting would similarly increase ambiguity with the last sentence on when the chair can vote. 

I have seen teleconference meetings where the Chair votes via DVL along with every one else, and the opposite where the Chair reserves their vote and only uses it if it will "affect the outcome”.

Note — The closing sentence of 7.1 for some reason says “electronic or letter ballot” when all other references to a vote between meetings is letter of electronic ballot (admittedly a nit).

You may at some point want to raise this to AudCom and I personally would support another term than “letter or electronic ballot” ("non-meeting vote”, “vote between meetings”, etc.),  but at a minimum think the term should be used consistently if it isn’t changed (replacing “electronic means” and “electronic or letter ballot” with “letter of electronic ballot”).


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