[802SEC] Loss of voting membership for failing to return ballots
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- Subject: [802SEC] Loss of voting membership for failing to return ballots
- From: "Law, David" <dlaw@HPE.COM>
- Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2022 17:52:31 +0000
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- Reply-to: "Law, David" <dlaw@HPE.COM>
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- Thread-topic: Loss of voting membership for failing to return ballots
Dear IEEE 802 EC,
As I've had a few projects move to Standards Association ballot in the last few weeks a few issues have become apparent regarding the new (Revision 23, approved 7 December 2021) subclause 4.2.1 'Requirements to Maintain Voting Membership' language in the Policies and Procedures for Standards Development for the IEEE 802 Local Area Network/Metropolitan Area Network (LAN/MAN) Standards Committee All Working Groups <https://mentor.ieee.org/802-ec/dcn/21/ec-21-0207-23-0PNP-ieee-802-lmsc-working-group-policies-and-procedures.pdf#page=12> that reads 'A voting member that fails to return 2 of the last 3 Working Group Letter Ballot Series in which they are eligible to vote loses membership.'.
 The old text read 'Excepting recirculation letter ballots membership may be lost if two of the last three Working Group letter ballots are not returned, or are returned with an abstention for other than "lack of technical expertise."'. The new wording seems to have removed the text about abstaining, other than for 'lack of expertise', not counting. So, it seems that an abstain 'lack of time' or for any other reason is now considered sufficient to retain voting membership. I don't think this was intended.
 Imagine an individual has lost their voting membership for not returning a vote on the last two ballot series. I'll represent this as 'Y N N' (see key below). There are then several ballot series while the individual is not a voting member. I'll represent this as 'R R R - - - -'. The individual then regains voting membership and returns a vote on the next ballot aeries after that. I'll represent this as 'R R R - - - - Y'.
If, however, I was to apply the '... last 3 Working Group Letter Ballot Series in which they are eligible to vote ...' literally, this would seem to include the two ballots before they lost their voting membership and the one after they regained their voting membership. Doing this would mean they would immediately lose their voting rights again as their record would be 'Y N N - - - - Y' and would not have returned a ballot for 2 of the last 3 Working Group Letter Ballot Series in which they are eligible to vote in.
Again, I don't think that was intended as there would be no way for an individual in this situation to avoid losing their voting membership immediately after regaining it. Instead, I think the intent is for the window to be the three most recent ballot series.
Y : Submitted a ballot
N : Did not submit a ballot
- : Not in balloting group for ballot
R : In balloting group but subsequently lost voting rights
 There has been a discussion within the IEEE 802.3 leadership about what should happen if a new voter, or a returning voter, fails to respond to the first two ballot series they are eligible to vote in. I'll represent this as '- - - - N N'. One argument is that they should immediately lose their voting membership, since even if they do respond during the third ballot series, they can't possibly meet the two out of three requirements. The counterargument is that they don't lose their voting membership until the end of the third ballot series.
Suggested new text to address the issues above would be 'A voting member that fails to return 2 of the last 2 Working Group Letter Ballot Series, or 2 of the last 3 Working Group Letter Ballot Series, if eligible to vote in the respective Working Group Letter Ballot Series, loses membership. Abstaining, other than for 'lack of expertise', is not considered returning a ballot.'.
I've made James aware of these concerns and expect they will be discussed at the upcoming March 2022 IEEE 802 Rules meeting.
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