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[council] Names Council Elections of ICANN Board Members - Process with Expert Advice
Names Council, Berkman Centre.
Here below is the expert recommended process for the election by the Names
Council of the three ICANN Directors. This process is simple (YES, it is),
guarantees that voters preferences are followed, ensures that no votes are
wasted, guarantees a geographically diverse outcome, ensures that a single
vote gives a result (i.e. no rounds of voting with the risk of each
subsequent round being influenced by the previous rounds), and is
internationally recognised as "sound". (The expert advice came from Mr.
Simon Hearn of the Electoral Reform Society of the UK - )
The process uses a Single Transferable Vote.
The Electors (19 Names Council voters) list their candidates in order of
preference - 1, 2, 3 etc.
The person with the highest number of first preferences (No. 1s) gets seat
A, provided they get the required quota of votes (19 seats divided by (3 +
1) - i.e. 5 votes). Other candidates from the winner's geographic region
are then eliminated and their votes redistributed for the next stage, in
the usual way and so on.
If nobody reaches the quota on the first count, which is more than likely
if there are many candidates, the candidate with the least votes is
eliminated and his/her votes are redistributed, and this proceeds
repeatedly until someone passes the quota mark.
Once a person is elected to Seat A, their surplus of votes is redistributed
according to the next preferences indicated on the votes cast for them.
The next person past the quota get seat B - after which candidates from
seat B winner's region are also eliminated for the next round and their
votes redistributed (always providing there are candidates from other
It may sound complicated, but a simple calculation gives the results
This method is fair, guarantees that the preferences of all the voters are
taken into account, and definitely gives a geographically diverse outcome.
It is also a standard process, and can be objectively scrutinised by an
independent expert. It is also understood to be sound, PROVIDED that the
geographically diverse elimination mechanism is well publicised in advance
and is clear to all the voters (in this case the NA members - so this is
not an issue)
To meet the 50% rule, the following is added. On completion of the voting
and elections as described above, a ratification vote is held - i.e. the
result is voted on the by Names Council, each member having one vote. To
ratify the election, the result must receive approval by 50% of the votes
cast. If the result fails this test, a new election is held. (This
provides a useful final confirmation (or rejection) process).