From: Dennis Jennings
To: "Names Council (E-mail)"
Subject: [council] Names Council Elections of ICANN Board Members - Process with Expert Advice
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 00:43:20 +0100

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 regions). Etc.

It may sound complicated, but a simple calculation gives the results immediately.

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).