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Wikimedia Foundation elections/Board elections/2004/FAQ

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This page answered questions concerning the 2004 elections for the Board of Trustees (see other board elections or FAQs by year). For more information, see Board elections/2004.
2004 board elections

Please vote in the language that you use to edit most. To find the link, go to Election FAQ/Voting links. The text appearing in these links should be translated into the appropriate language.

Many of the responses appearing in this FAQ are based on the understanding of the Co-Chairs of this, the first election to the Wikipedia Board. Since the Board itself is still in the earliest stages of development, many of the exact policies regarding the roles of the two elected board members and other information will be reassessed once the first Board convenes.

The Election[edit]

In this election, we are voting for two members from any of the Wikimedia projects to join the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation. This is necessary for the Wikimedia Foundation, the body that oversees all of the various projects, to maintain its status as a charitable organization.

Q: What are the Board's responsibilities?[edit]

A: The Board is charged with overseeing the operation of the Wikimedia foundation. It decides how moneys will be directed and how information about the Wikimedia Foundation will be disseminated to the general public. It is also the final arbiter on all decisions relating to Wikimedia projects, however, the role of the Board is not governance but rather overseeing the many autonomous projects to ensure that they are running smoothly.

Q: How many people are on the Board?[edit]

A: The Board will have five members:

  1. Jimbo Wales: Chairman of the Board and Founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation. He is the only designated life member of the Board.
  2. Michael Davis: Appointed by Jimbo Wales.
  3. Tim Shell: Appointed by Jimbo Wales.
  4. Contributing Active Member Representative: To be elected.
  5. Volunteer User Representative: To be elected.

Q: What is the exact difference between a "Contributing Active Member Representative" and "Volunteer User Representative"?[edit]

A: A "Contributing Active Member Representative" is elected only by dues-paying members of the Wikimedia Foundation. That person represents the interests of the dues-paying members. A "Volunteer User Representative" is elected by all users of any of the Wikimedia Foundation projects and represents their interests. This allows for dues-paying members to have two votes for their representative.

As of May 2004, the dues-paying system has not been implemented is not in effect for the first June 2004 board elections. Any person qualified to vote may vote for both Contributing Active Member Representative and Volunteer User Representative. (In the future, this may change to reflect dues-paying and non dues-paying users, respectively.)

Q: Which responsibilities will each of these representatives have?[edit]

A: The distinct responsibility and duties of each representative has yet to be determined (however, see below for a few future differences). Since a dues system has yet to be implemented, everyone eligible to vote may vote for both positions.

Q: If so, which one should I run for?[edit]

A: That is entirely up to you. The Contributing Active Member Representative will be responsible to those people who have decided to contribute to the Wikimedia Foundation by paying dues and possibly, by making a long-term commitment to further any or all of the projects. The Contributing Active Member Representative will be responsible for leading the discussions to determine what the dues are, organizing the Contributing Active Members as a group, and representing their specific interests to the Board. The candidates for this position should be prepared to be Contributing Active Members themselves once such a structure is in place. The Volunteer User Representative will be responsible to all users, both named and anonymous, who decide to participate in the Wikimedia projects but, for whatever reason, do not join the Wikimedia Foundation. They will be the address to which any person who has stumbled across a Wikiproject and wants to raise some issue with the Board will turn.

Q: In the future, will Contributing Active Members be able to vote for the Volunteer User Representative as well?[edit]

A: Yes. By paying dues and joining the Wikimedia Foundation, they will be entitled to vote for two representatives. Volunteer Users who are not Contributing Active Members will only be allowed one vote.

Q: Is that fair?[edit]

A: We think so. By virtue of having paid dues, they have shown a certain level of commitment to the Wikimedia. Of course, this is not to belittle those other members who cannot pay dues for any number of reasons. The Contributing Active Member Representative will be expected to respond to those users on a case by case basis, as well as deciding the amount of money being paid as dues.

Q: Who Can Run?[edit]

A: In this election, the demands of candidates are minimal. Anyone can run, provided that they meet the legal qualifications for sitting on the Board of a charitable organization. They must be prepared to disclose their identity to the voters, they must be of legal age (eighteen and older), and they must not have been convicted of a felony. Verification of this to at least one Co-Chair of the Election Committee will be required of all candidates before the voting begins. All candidates will be required to include their real name and approximate location (city, state/country) in the Candidate Form.

Q: How does one apply to run?[edit]

A: ???

Q: Who Can Vote?[edit]

A: Anyone who has been with any of the Wikimedia projects for at least three months or if they have sysop status on a Wikimedia project which is less than 3 months old. There is no restriction of age in the voting.

Any person qualified to vote may vote for both Contributing Active Member Representative and Volunteer User Representative. (In the future, this may change to reflect dues-paying and non dues-paying users, respectively.)

Voting procedures[edit]

Q: When will voting take place?[edit]

A: ???

Q: Will voting be secret?[edit]

A: The actual votes will be secret. No one but User:Imran and User:Danny will be able to find out who you voted for, and we will only do so if votes must be disqualified. On the other hand, once you have voted, your name will be listed publicly. This is actually a protection for you against sockpuppets and other attempts to vote more than once. By scrutinizing the lists, all voters will be able to contest a vote.

Q: Who can vote for each position?[edit]

A: Everyone who is eligible to vote can vote for both positions in this election.

Q: Can candidates vote?[edit]

A: Candidates may vote, and may vote for themselves, if they are eligible per the requirements above.

Q: May users who know they will be unavailable during the 14-day voting period submit votes ahead of time?[edit]

A: This will be determined on a case by case basis. If you require an absentee ballot, please notify us at WikiElections AT aol DOT com.

Q: Is it one vote per user or per user account?[edit]

A: It is one vote per user.

More information about the Wikimedia Foundation elections is forthcoming.

Q: Where do I go to vote?[edit]

A: You will be able to vote on the Special:Boardvote page of any wikipedia where you have held an account for a sufficient timeperiod. To find the link to the voting page on your wikipedia see Election_FAQ/Voting_links.

Q: What is the voting system that will be used?[edit]

Will it be w:proportional representation, first past the post or something else?

Q: Will the voting be prolonged? Downtime might have interfered with the voting process[edit]