[Foundation] (no subject)

Dirk-Willem van Gulik dirkx at webweaving.org
Wed Aug 21 16:26:33 CDT 2002

On 21 Aug 2002, Justin Kirby wrote:

> There are obvious benefits to have a closed vote. What, if any, benefit
> can be had by the votes being open?

Easy verification afterwards. With a closed vote - you typically do this:

Hand out 1-N numbered voting ballots (*). Receive them; strike the numbers
of a list and check for doubles or numbers outside the range. Once done or
on forehand; separate the vote from the number. And then count. And then
keep it all on file to allow a recount if needed. (*: or any other clever
cryptographic system - there are actually quite a few - and depending if
manual verification is essential).

For an open vote - none of that. Simply count; file - and recount as
needed. No messing about.

To give you an idea of how we've been handling votes like this in the ASF
- the procedure (see http://www.apache.org/~dirkx/)

-	send out a mail to all committers + general mailing lists
	-> repeat and give time for corrections
	=> result: list of voters and verified addresses

-	send out the ballot to each address. Publish the final
	list of voters allowd to vote and their official addresses.

*	for each ballot coming in - check with the master list,
	bounce so they can contest - assign an  MD5, split the
	message. match up and mark as voted.

*	for each sender - verify that you have just one last vote
	and only one and that they did not contest it and that
	they did receive the confirmation.

*	Go through each receipt and match up with the list; once
	you are sure you have no doubles; file those away and no
	longer keep the receipts or the MD5's

*	strip the votes received; count to make sure the numbers
	of votes cast matches with the number on file.

-	then count the votes by looking at them.

The three steps with a * are work for the counting volunteers - of which
you need to have at least three to make sure they control each other. And
because it is email and inherently unreliable you have a lot of extra
work. Sure - a lot is automated - but still. Open votes are much an
d much and much easier.


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