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Affiliate-selected Board seats election FAQ/en

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

This guide is presented to provide information about the Wikimedia Foundation affiliate-selected Board seats election.


What is this election?

The "affiliate-selected Board seats election" is an election among Wikimedia affiliate organizations to select nominees to join the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees filling the affiliate-selected Board seats.

What is at stake?

The election seats 2 of the 10 positions on the board of the Wikimedia Foundation for 3-year terms.

What is the Wikimedia Foundation?

The Wikimedia Foundation is the nonprofit organization which acts as steward of the Wikimedia projects.

What is the board of the Wikimedia Foundation?

The board of trustees governs the Wikimedia Foundation. Among other things, the board oversees the work of the executive director and approves the organization's budget.

Who can vote?

In the affiliate-selected board seat election, all Wikimedia affiliates recognized and in good standing at the beginning of the election may vote. The list of eligible affiliates is available here.

Voting instructions

Voting will be done trough Qualtrics. Communications will be done through the all-affiliates mailing list.

What kind of vote is requested?

This is a single transferable vote election using droop quota. Votes should give a candidate ranking. Votes cast giving the same ranking to two or more candidates will divide the weight of the vote among all listed candidates. Organizations which have a vote but which do not wish to select candidates are requested to vote "none".

For instance, if Alice, Bob, Charlie and Dave are candidates, examples of valid preferences are as follows, where the top rank is 1:

  • none
  • 1. Alice; 2. Bob; 3. Charlie; 4. Dave;
  • 1. Alice;
  • 1. Alice; 2. Bob;
  • 1. Alice; 2. Bob; 3. Charlie, Dave.

Note that the last two votes are equivalent (but the first way of writing it is preferred for simplicity).

How many votes can each voter cast?

Each affiliate may cast one vote.

How many eligible voters are there in 2019?

149. There are 41 Wikimedia chapters,1 Wikimedia thematic organization and 107 Wikimedia user groups. About a dozen are behind on reporting and might not be eligible to vote.

Who decides who is eligible to vote?

The Affiliations Committee grants voting rights to this election when it recognizes an organization as a Wikimedia chapter or thematic organization or user group.

What can individuals do to participate in the election?

Nominations, candidate statements and questions to candidates will be conducted in public on Meta and anyone in the Wikimedia movement is welcome to participate in this. Many voting organizations also promote discussion of their vote among their membership (e.g. on their own email lists or at a General Meeting). Consider asking voting organizations if they wish to talk about how they will cast their vote.

About the candidates

Who are the candidates in this election?

People who are listed on the nominations page are the candidates.

What are the eligibility requirements for being a candidate in this election?

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

  1. Candidates in 2019 must have endorsement for candidacy from exactly two Wikimedia affiliates which are eligible to vote in this election
  2. Candidates must be listed on nominations page during the scheduled nomination period

Unlike the community election, there are no criteria regarding previous contributions to Wikimedia projects. WMF Board members are also required to be over 18, willing to publically disclose their real name, to submit identity documents to WMF, and not to have been convicted of serious crimes. Candidates and voting organisations are advised to take these prerequisites for community elections into consideration.

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees wrote an Ideal candidate profile as some thoughts and suggestions for what they believe to be desirable expertise for being a candidate.

Results determination

How are election results determined?

This is a single transferable vote election using droop quota. See further description on English Wikipedia at :en:Counting_single_transferable_votes#Droop_quota. Surplus votes are transferred at fractional value, e.g. if Candidate A has 20 first preferences and the quota is 10, all 20 ballot papers are redistributed to their second preferences but with a weight of 0.5.

What happens if there is a tie?

In the event of a tie at any stage, the tie will be settled in favour of the candidate with the highest number of first preference votes, or if tied on first preferences, in favour of the candidate performing better at the earliest stage of the count at which they performed differently.

If there is a tie that cannot be resolved by this method at an intermediate stage, the facilitators will proceed with the count in both possible ways to see if there is a difference in final result. If there is a difference in final result dependent on an un-resolvable tie, the facilitators will report this to the affiliates and to the WMF Board and the final decision of which candidate to seat will rest with the WMF Board (who may draw lots if they see fit).

Who is allowed to see the votes and when?

Votes are made through Qualtrics. No one will see them until the deadline for voting has passed.

As of the 2019 election, votes become public after all votes are cast, as stated in the 2019 Resolution: 9. By June 30, the Election Facilitators shall calculate the outcome of the election and provide the results to both the Board of Trustees and to the Wikimedia community. The calculations and each Affiliate vote will be published to allow the community to check the results. ...

Before 2019, the election itself did not require public votes. However, any affilliate which wished to publish its own vote could do so.

About this election

Who decides the rules for this election?

The rules are set by the affiliates that are eligible to cast votes in the election, and agreed by the WMF Board. They are then implemented by the election facilitators. In more detail;

  1. The basis for this process is Section 3D of the Wikimedia Foundation bylaws which set out that 2 Board members are selected by the affiliate organisations, and that the affiliate organisations need to define the process by which this selection happens. As the WMF Board is self-governing, only the WMF Board itself is in a position to change these bylaws.
  2. In 2014, the Chapters (and Thematic Organisation) agreed a resolution setting out the broad timeline and process for these selections. The WMF Board stated its approval of this resolution in 2014 and 2016. As you can see from the text of the resolution, it covers issues like the overall length of the process, nomination criteria, the place in which votes are to be cast, and the election system to be used. For 2019 a new resolution has been agreed upon Affiliate-selected Board seats/Resolution 2019 and has been approved by the WMF Board.
  3. The resolution also creates the role of "election facilitator". The facilitators are responsible for filling in those details of the selection process which aren't specified by the bylaws and the resolution. In effect, they deal with matters like: proposing a detailed timeline, receiving and managing nominations, arranging questions for candidates, monitoring voting, and counting the final votes.
  4. Anyone is welcome to propose amendments to the election rules. Depending on what amendments are suggested, these may require the agreement of the election facilitators, or the voting affiliates, or the WMF board to be effective.

How can one fundamentally change the structure of this election?

Any idea that has consensus backing of the Wikimedia Foundation board, voting affiliates, or the Wikimedia community can change the election. This election goes most smoothly when those groups of stakeholders are in agreement with each other. Anyone with ideas on how to improve this or future elections should share those ideas.

How can I get other questions answered?

Either add them as you like to this FAQ, or perhaps post them to the discussion page of this page.