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Re: [council] Motion for using a secret ballot for the chair election on 28 Oct.


I received some follow up questions as to whether there would be any reason, should the council vote to have a secret vote, why one could be prohibited or sanctioned for revealing their vote (whether by reportage or, I guess, by taking a picture of their ballot before submitting it). So I posed these questions to legal and policy staff.

I was reminded that there is nothing in the ByLaws or Operating procedures to preclude reporting on ones vote, and that in fact some constituencies require such transparency.

I also, for completeness sake, asked whether the GNSO council could choose to impose a gag rule and was informed this "would be inconsistent with ICANN's commitment to openness and transparency and would not be binding on Council members."

I must say, speaking personally, that it felt weird having to ask these questions after all these years in the GNSO Council. I also must say that it seems to me ironic that these questions should be coming up just as we enter an age of the GNSO council were we were supposed to see the lessening of the influence of the vote. But at least I now feel that I have the answers that I might need during the election of the next chair.


On 20 Oct 2009, at 11:45, Avri Doria wrote:


I have checked with legal and with Policy Staff and it has been determined:

- That voting for Chair may be either by open or closed vote, there is nothing in the bylaws or operating procedures to prohibit a secret ballot.

- No default currently exists since nothing is specified in the bylaws or operating procedures, and there is a new Council being seated. The Council could vote on whether to conduct a closed vote which would be decided by a simple majority of both voting houses.

- That for election of Council chair, if the 60 % threshold of both houses is met in a face to face vote, there is no need for an absentee vote.

Since we have a difference of opinion within the old council, and I assume within the new council on this issue, it makes sense for there to be a vote to determine whether the vote is open or closed.

I propose (although I cannot move, as I will not be a voting member at the time the motion is voted on) the following motion:


Whereas the ByLaws and Operating Procedures are silent on whether elections are held as open or secret ballots,

and the old council has in its history held both open and secret ballots,

and the new council has not yet set any precedents,


The 2009 Ballot for GNSO Council, and any necessary followup ballots, will be held as secret ballots using paper ballots for council members in attendance at the Seoul meetings and, if required, using a 24 email ballot for any absent members.


Paper ballots are being prepared in the eventuality that this motion is made, seconded and prevails by a majority in each house. The vote on this motion would be taken as the first item during the Election agenda item of the Wednesday 28 October meeting. I will ask for someone to move and second the motion at that time.

Thank you


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