[Nanog-futures] Memberships, Bylaws and other election matters

Kevin Oberman oberman at es.net
Tue Oct 5 14:47:30 UTC 2010

> From: "Randy Epstein" <repstein at hostleasing.net>
> Date: Tue, 5 Oct 2010 09:37:46 -0400
> >Yes, I think 'yes' is the right vote. I do have one major concern, but I will vote 'yes' on both issues, regardless.
> > I really worry about the voter base becoming disjoint from the attendee base. I think meeting attendees should get a vote as a part of attendance.
> <CLIP>  
> What worries me more is the lack of voter participation from the
> eligible voters.  I really think this needs to be addressed in the
> upcoming year, possibly even going as far as putting an asterisk next
> to those who have voted in the previous election on the eligible
> voters page to encourage people (shame them?) to vote.  Maybe a Get
> Out The Vote campaign is also needed.  I realize voting is quite
> optional, but there are very few excuses not to vote.  Something is
> wrong when an organization like ours has voter turnouts in the 5-10%
> range.

I would always like to see greater participation in governance, whether
in presidential elections or the local Elks club, but I do strongly feel
that the act of voting should be entirely voluntary. Those who do not
care enough about the issues or the organization to vote are likely also
not sufficiently educated on the issues to cast a ballot that is likely
to be beneficial to the organization.

I do favor an outreach effort to educate the membership and make them
want to vote, but any effort to shame people into voting is an
invitation to random voting just to avoid the attention and that usually
just favors the first name in the list of candidates.

I don't find the turnout to be at all disturbing. When I was in charge
of our homeowners' association, it was hard to get more than a quarter of
the homeowners to vote on things which had a significant financial
impact directly on them. (Not that it stopped them from getting upset
when a fee increase was approved.) I fear that this is human nature.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at es.net			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751

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