Annual General Meetings/2023/Voting Information and Instructions
IMPORTANT - Test your browser settings, otherwise you might send an empty vote
The voting emails from OpaVote (to be sent on the 2nd of December, after 16:00 UTC) will link directly to the voting page, which will be listing each board candidate (self-nomination have not started) in random order and allowing you to rank the candidates in order of preference.
You are entitled to vote in the 2023 OpenStreetMap Foundation board election if:
- you are a member for the full 90 days prior to the Annual General Meeting (AGM) date and
- your membership is not in arrears 7 days prior to the AGM date and
- you are a natural person.
Mechanics of voting
For this election, polling will be performed online using the widely-used OpaVote, which is a hosted platform.
Each person entitled to vote will receive - after the opening of the polls (Saturday, 2nd of December 2023 at 16:00 UTC) - one email from OpaVote, containing a unique, non-spoofable, voting link. The email will be sent to the email address associated with your OSMF membership.
- The subject of the email will be: [OpenStreetMap Foundation] Voting on 2023 board election [some_random_letters].
- The sender will be: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please check your spam folder. If you believe that you should have received an email to vote, but you can't find it, please send a message to email@example.com with the subject "AGM2023 - No voting email received".
Voting will open early on the week before the AGM and continue until the AGM. Because the count is electronic, it is expected that the result will be announced without delay. Please try to cast your ballot well in advance of the deadline.
The raw ballots (which are anonymous) become available after the end of the election and can be exported as a structured data file to a stand-alone tool, OpenSTV, for independent verification of the count and the outcome.
- The OpaVote results will be verified by Michael Spreng (Membership Working Group volunteer) using OpenSTV before they are announced.
- The raw ballots will be made available on this page to any member wishing to reassure herself or himself of the correctness of the result.
Questions and Answers
What is the voting system?
OSMF elections are, in accordance with our Articles of Association, now to be held in accordance with the Single Transferable Vote model. This is an approach designed to allow for a more equitable outcome to multi-candidate elections than would a simple “most votes” model. Specifically, it permits each voter to rank candidates in order of preference, with the number of available seats being allocated to the most preferred candidates on their reaching of a “quota” or threshold of votes. Where a candidate fails to achieve a quota, s/he is eliminated, but the next preferences of each voter having chosen that candidate will be distributed to other candidates. This is intended to reduce strategic voting and allow voters to allocate their first preference to their actual preferred candidate, secure in the knowledge that their second and subsequent preferences will be heeded even if the preferred candidate has only a slim chance of success.
A number of approaches are available both in determining the quota and in the detail of how votes are transferred. Our rules do no stipulate which should be used for OSMF elections and the distinction is in practice not a large one. This election will be conducted according to the Scottish rules for STV elections:
Am I eligible to vote?
Please see the "Voting eligibility" section above. You can also review article 75 of the OSMF Articles of Association.
Will my vote be secret?
The platform preserves the expected secrecy of ballot, exposing operational statistics related to turnout and including details of who has and has not voted. OpaVote conducts the counting process automatically and generates a result and the outcome of each round of counting. It does not provide information about what specific voters have voted, but after the end of the election it provides a file with anonymised raw ballots.
How many emails will I receive from the OpaVote system?
One, if you are eligible to vote for this election.
- Please check whether you are eligible.
- Please search the email account associated with your OSMF membership, including your spam folder. See the section Voting email for the subject line and sender.
- If all fail, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "AGM2023 - No voting email received", from the email account associated with your membership.
How many candidates should I add on my list?
There is no obligation to assign a preference to each candidate - you may, if you wish, vote for only one single candidate or for a small number. However, doing so may deny you from further influence on the outcome of later rounds of vote counting if none of your chosen candidates are elected. Please see the section "voting system" above, for more information.
There are three seats in this election.
Can I change my vote? Can I vote again?
You may vote only once - attempting to re-enter the voting process using the same link will deny you access, but your earlier ballot will still count. So, if you think you have not made up your mind yet, wait and vote later.
I was in a hurry and I think I sent an empty vote. Can anything be done?
Unfortunately, the vote was lost. Once it has been sent, the system does not give us any ability to cancel it/revoke it or reset it. If you would like to help us, you can test your browser settings, and let us know which add-on/plugin caused the problem. Please send a message to email@example.com with the subject "AGM2023 - Add-on/plugin causing problems". Thank you.
- Emails (to be sent to eligible voters on the 2nd of December, after 16:00 UTC) linking to personal voting pages.
- Voting page: Preview of the board election voting page
- Voting information and instructions (this page)
- AGM page on the OSMF website
- Election to Board page on OSM wiki
- Page with candidates' answers and manifestos on the OSM wiki