[cabf_governance] Ballot(s) around Voting

Rich Smith richard.smith at comodo.com
Tue Jul 18 11:41:25 MST 2017

I agree with Virginia.  The wording Jos has proposed is a good solution to solve the theoretical problem of a technical glitch preventing a legitimate vote from posting to the listserv.  That has never happened to the best of my knowledge.  Mike was not subscribed to the Public list.  That is why his vote didn’t post and why under current bylaws, and these proposed changes, it did not and would not constitute a legitimate submission of a vote.  So thus far the current bylaws have worked as designed in 100% of cases.


From: Govreform [mailto:govreform-bounces at cabforum.org] On Behalf Of Virginia Fournier via Govreform
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 9:27 PM
To: Jos Purvis (jopurvis) <jopurvis at cisco.com>; CA/Browser Forum Governance WG List <govreform at cabforum.org>
Subject: Re: [cabf_governance] Ballot(s) around Voting


Hi Jos and all,


I generally do not agree with the proposed approach.  Please see my comments below.  The process in the Bylaws should stand.  If someone doesn’t follow the process and their vote doesn’t count, then it doesn’t count, and we have to live with the result.  If a ballot doesn’t pass as a result, then the proposer should consider re-proposing it, and hopefully getting more votes so that one faulty vote doesn’t make the difference between passing and failing.


Other SDOs don’t have a “redo” process for faulty votes.  If you don’t enter your vote properly, it doesn’t count.  End of story.


This seems to be a reaction to one corner case that happened with one ballot.  I don’t believe this situation has happened in the whole rest of the Forum’s history.  There’s no need to change the Bylaws for one corner case.  If we made changes to the Bylaws for every blip along the way, the Bylaws would be 157 pages long.  Let’s stick with what we have, which works in 99.99999% of the cases.  It’s up to each member to make sure they submit their votes according to the process so they can be counted.

Best regards,


Virginia Fournier

Senior Standards Counsel

 Apple Inc.

☏ 669-227-9595

✉︎ vmf at apple.com <mailto:vmf at apple.com> 






On Jun 30, 2017, at 7:31 AM, Jos Purvis (jopurvis) via Govreform <govreform at cabforum.org <mailto:govreform at cabforum.org> > wrote:


We had some brief discussion at the face-to-face about potential ballots to help tweak the voting process. I do think we need a larger effort around changing and improving the voting process, but that’s (a) something that should wait until after the working group changes, and (b) perhaps something that each working group will need to sort for itself. So for right now, to deal with a couple bumps in the road we’ve encountered recently, I have some proposed patches. Since they’re governance-related and might (Maybe? Probably not?) affect the bylaw proposals, I thought I’d float them here first and see what people thought.

Since they’re only slightly related, I would recommend breaking them into two ballots.


Ballot 1: Voting Method Changes

Section 2.2 (b) of the Bylaws shall be revised from this:

Only one vote per Member company shall be accepted; representatives of corporate affiliates shall not vote.

To this:

Only one vote per Member company shall be accepted; representatives of corporate affiliates shall not vote. Members SHOULD subscribe all voting representatives to the Public Mail List prior to the start of the voting period for which they will submit a vote. Vote submissions SHOULD be digitally signed via S/MIME using a publicly trusted certificate to ensure the integrity of the voting process.


VMF:  Since these added sentences are both optional (“should”), do we really need to add them?  My view is that we should only add items that are absolutely necessary, and this does not pass that test.


Section 2.2 (d) shall be revised from this:

All voting will take place via the Public Mail List. Votes not submitted to the Public Mail List will not be considered valid, and will not be counted for any purpose.

To this:

All voting will take place via the Public Mail List. Votes not submitted toposted 


VMF:  Is there a big enough difference technically to warrant this change?  Will it cause confusion for members who are wondering how to post vs submit their vote?  This doesn’t seem to add any clarity, so I’m wondering why it’s necessary.


on the public record of the Public Mail List

VMF:  Same question - will members be left wondering what the difference is between the Public Mailing List and the public record of the Public Mailing List?  Do they have any control over that?  I think we’re making this less clear.


 when the voting period expires will not be considered valid, and will not be counted for any purpose. In the event a legitimately submitted vote is not posted to 

VMF:  I think I saw someone else make this comment, but what does “legitimately” mean?  This doesn’t clarify the requirement.


the Public Mail List when the voting period expires, the Member who submitted the vote may petition the Forum on the Public Mail List to have the vote counted, providing evidence of proper submission to demonstrate validity.

VMF:  I’m still wondering why this would be allowed.  To me, it makes sense that the member needs to make sure their vote is entered correctly for it to be counted.  If it’s not entered correctly and not counted, tough turnips.  Either it’s there or it’s not.  The effort should be put in WHEN THE VOTE IS CAST to make sure it’s done correctly and will count, not afterwards to somehow try to patch it up.  Now, if you’re talking about a technical glitch on the Forum side, that’s a separate issue - but has that ever happened?


 In the event the vote would not change the outcome of the ballot, the chair MAY exercise the chair’s discretion about counting the vote and SHALL post a resolution of the matter on the Public Mail List.

VMF:  In my view, you would never get to these options, but if the vote wouldn’t change the outcome why would you ever worry about whether or not to count it?  


 In the event the vote would change the outcome of the ballot and the evidence of submission indicate the vote was legitimately submitted prior to the deadline, the chair SHALL declare a new seven-day voting period on the same ballot to begin in no less than three calendar days and SHALL post an announcement about the new voting period on the Public Mail List. Evidence of legitimate vote submission SHALL include, at a minimum, email headers demonstrating successful submission of the vote prior to the deadline to the email server hosting the Public Mail List from an address subscribed to the Public Mail List at the time of submission.

VMF:  I don’t agree with this approach.  Members need to vote early enough and make the effort to be sure their vote is entered correctly.  There should not be a revote option.  Other SDOs don’t have this, and it doesn’t happen with presidential elections or otherwise.  If you don’t vote according to the process, then your vote doesn’t count.  Period.  No mulligans.  If a ballot doesn’t pass because of it, then it will need to be resubmitted according to the process in the Bylaws.


Ballot 2: Red-Line Attachments to Ballots

Section 2.3 (a) of the Bylaws shall be revised to add the following:

A Draft Guideline Ballot will clearly indicate whether it is proposing a Final Guideline or a Final Maintenance Guideline. If the Draft Guideline Ballot is proposing a Final Guideline, such ballot will include the full text of the Draft Guideline intended to become a Final Guideline. If the Draft Guideline Ballot is proposing a Final Maintenance Guideline, such ballot will include a redline or comparison showing the set of changes from the Final Guideline section(s) intended to become a Final Maintenance Guideline, and need not include a copy of the full set of guidelines. Such redline or comparison shall be made against the Final Guideline section(s) as they exist at the time a ballot is proposed, and need not take into consideration other ballots that may be proposed subsequently, except as provided in Section 2.3(j) below. In the event there is a conflict between the ballot text itself and the red-line/comparison copy of the Bylaws attached to the Draft Guideline Ballot submission, the ballot text itself shall in all cases take precedence and shall be the text used for implementation should the Ballot pass.

VMF:  This addition seems ok, although hopefully this is a rare problem.


 If such a conflict is discovered during the discussion or voting period of the Ballot, a new copy of the redline/comparison SHOULD be submitted to the Public Mail List to correct the issue; this correction shall not require a new ballot.

VMF:  Why is this optional (should)?  It should be required to minimize any confusion.





Jos Purvis ( <mailto:jopurvis at cisco.com> jopurvis at cisco.com)

.:|:.:|:. cisco systems  | Cryptographic Services

PGP: 0xFD802FEE07D19105  | +1 919.991.9114 (desk)


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