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[Membership] [Comment-Mac] Re: Secret ballots

Kent Crispin wrote:

> Online elections can be extremely cheap.

Indeed, we should be leaders in the development of this form of democracy.
Does ICANN need a committee to work on this issue?

Jim Dixon was chosen to develop an on-line voting mechanism for the IFWP.  I
think he has significant experience and recognizes/is concerned about many of
the problems which bother Kent.  There are other responsible people who can
help work through the various issues and develop several approaches for

> One of the recurring criticisms of ICANN is that it is a rich man's
> game (Roberto Gaetano hypothesizes that ICANN is really a conspiracy
> hatched by the Airline Industry).  The undeniable fact is that full
> participation in ICANN is an expensive proposition, and that expense
> leaves many interested parties (such as myself) at a significant
> disadvantage.  The only way that such people can effectively
> participate is through online activity; and therefore, I consider it
> a high priority for ICANN to conduct as many of its activities on
> the net as possible.

I second that motion.

> ...You should control your jerking knees and sloganeering, and try to
> think outside your box.  "Privacy" is not an absolute, it's not a
> mantra, a religious matter, or a "prime value"...

Perhaps we should choose a more appropriate descriptor.  Would "important" or
"critical" be more appropriate?

Assume that AT&T has 400,000+/- employees.  1,000 of them join ICANN.  Should
AT&T be able to monitor how those employees vote?  What about the employees of
its vendors or customers?  What about BWG-n-friends and all the other "parties"
and interest groups?  Should they know how their "members" vote?

We all have relationships demanding that we vote in ways which differ from our
own instincts on specific issues and candidates.  Shouldn't we protect the
ability to vote our conscience without worrying about reprecussions?

Won't that result in decisions based more upon the merits than upon party

I do not consider the cost which Kent has identified to be unacceptable.
Indeed, the figures reported on the IFWP list last September were very
reasonable.  Shouldn't we look at them, again, before reaching conclusions?
Here is what Mark Rhoads reported:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 13:02:02 EDT
From: MarkRhoads@aol.com
To: msondow@ic.sunysb.edu
Subject: Re: nomination and election procedures

   Feel free to post this to the wider list if you think there is general
interest.  I just spoke with Jeffrey Zaino who is Assistant Vice President for
Elections at the American Arbitration Association in New York (212-484-3224).
His boss, the Vice President for Elections is Kenneth Egger in Philadelphia at
   The American Arbitration Association has not yet designed or supervised an
election by Internet but that option is in their 1999 business plan.
Currently they tabulate and authenticate elections using traditional mail and
electronic phone-in ballots with voter ID codes assigned to each voter.  Right
now, they could supervise nominations and elections using either method and
Jeffrey indicates they could supervise up to 1,000 voters by e-mail using
codes assigned to each voter.  This would be new territory for them too but is
an area they very much want to explore.
    I have explained to Jeffrey a little bit about what is involved with this
new international mechanism but I could not answer his questions about how
many voters might be involved.  My understanding is that for regular mail
elections, the nonprofit AAA charges about $2.50 for ballot processed for
mailing, tabulation, and certification of an election.  But this should be
much cheaper by e-mail since no postage would be involved.  I suggested to
Jeffrey that someone like PGP could donate digital signatures for
authentication as an idea to think about.

Mark Q. Rhoads
Legislative Director
United States Internet Council