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Electronic Voting FAQs

At the RIPE NCC General Meeting (GM) October 2009 in Lisbon, the RIPE NCC Articles of Association were amended, and approved, to allow for electronic participation and electronic voting for the RIPE NCC Executive Board elections.

For the upcoming GM in May 2010, members will be able to follow the GM via webcast and will be able to vote electronically. Those members attending the GM onsite will be able to vote by paper ballot.

The RIPE NCC has engaged BigPulse, a third-party company that specialises in web-based voting solutions, to conduct the electronic voting poll. Using a third party ensures a fair and impartial election.

For more information see the RIPE NCC Voting Procedure.

If the information you need is not contained in these FAQs, please send an email to agm _at_ ripe _dot_ net.

General

What has changed in the GM voting process?

Why has the voting process changed?

How can I cast my vote electronically?

Can I vote electronically on resolutions to be passed during the GM?

Can I still vote in the Executive Board elections if I do not register by 21 April?

I cannot attend the GM but I would like to vote in the Executive Board elections. Can I do this?

What equipment do I need to vote electronically?

Who should I contact if I have any questions concerning the elections?

Registration

How can I register for electronic voting?

I am the contact person for more than one LIR. Do I only register once or do I need to register for all the LIRs I represent?

Can I register for electronic voting if I am not a registered contact person for an LIR?

How do I know if I am a registered contact person?

What happens if my LIR has more than one contact person?

Why can I not select my registry in the application?

Why do I get an error when I try to register for electronic voting?

How do I know how many registries I represent?

How do I know that I have been registered correctly?

Why do I need to submit proof of identity?

I have registered for electronic voting but another contact person for my LIR will attend the GM. Can I still vote electronically for the Executive Board elections?

Is my registration anonymous?

Voting

I plan to attend the GM. What voting options do I have?

How do I vote electronically?

When can I vote?

How many votes do I have?

I am a contact person for more than one LIR. How many times can I vote?

How does the BigPulse system know how many LIRs I represent?

Can I vote electronically if I am not a registered contact person for an LIR?

If I vote electronically, how do I select my candidate of choice for the RIPE NCC Executive Board?

Why do I need to select the candidates in order of preference?

Can I vote for only one candidate or do I need to vote for all candidates?

Can I change my vote after I have voted electronically?

What should I do if I want to abstain when voting electronically?

How do I know that my electronic vote has been correctly cast?

Is the process of counting the votes performed by the RIPE NCC?

How can I verify that my electronic vote has been received by the system?

Why have I received two different invitations to vote electronically?

How are the results calculated?

Is my vote anonymous if I vote electronically?


General

What has changed in the GM voting process?

RIPE NCC members are able to vote for the RIPE NCC Executive Board elections by means of electronic voting. You do not need to physically attend to the GM in order to vote. At the GM in Lisbon (October 2009), the new RIPE NCC Articles of Association, which now include provisions to allow electronic voting, were approved.

Why has the voting process changed?

 

The voting process was changed to increase the involvement of RIPE NCC members in the RIPE NCC Executive Board elections (less than 5% of the RIPE NCC membership participated in the elections of 2009).

 

How can I cast my vote electronically?

The first step is to register the administrative contact person of your LIR for electronic voting (see Registration section below). The second step is to send the proof of identity to the RIPE NCC. You can do so by sending it by email to agm _at_ ripe _dot_ net or by fax to +31205354445. Note that you must perform both steps by 21 April 2010. If you have not registered before this date, you will not be able to vote electronically in the Executive Board elections on 5 May 2010.

Can I vote electronically on resolutions to be passed during the GM?

No. The electronic voting facility is only available for the Executive Board elections. Voting on resolutions will be carried out using the traditional paper ballot system used at previous GMs.

Can I still vote in the Executive Board elections if I do not register by 21 April?

If you have not registered for electronic voting by 21 April 2010, you cannot cast your vote electronically. However, you can vote by paper ballot if you attend the GM. In order to attend the GM, you must register to attend. To register to attend the GM, go to the Registration link on the GM pages.

I cannot attend the GM but I would like to vote in the Executive Board elections. Can I do this?

Yes. You can do this either by registering for electronic voting (see Registration section below) or you can give another person the right to represent you with a proxy vote. Information is available on how to nominate a proxy voter.

What equipment do I need to vote electronically?

You will need a computer and Internet connectivity that allows you to access your email account and the BigPulse application.

Who should I contact if I have any questions concerning the elections?

Please contact the RIPE NCC at agm _at_ ripe _dot_ net.

 


Registration

 

How can I register for electronic voting?

You must register via the BigPulse voting application and you must submit proof of identity by 21 April 2010. An invitation for registration will be sent by the BigPulse voting application to the email address of all registered contacts of RIPE NCC members with full member status. By following the instructions of the invitation, you can register via BigPulse. Once registered, you must submit proof of identity by sending either a copy of your passport or ID card by fax to +31205354445 or by email to agm _at_ ripe _dot_ net. Note that without submitting proof of identity the registration process will not be completed and you will not be able to vote electronically.

I am the contact person for more than one LIR. Do I only register once or do I need to register for all the LIRs I represent?

If you represent more than one LIR (i.e. you are a contact person for more than one LIR) you need to register for all those registries. You can do this in one step, as the BigPulse application will show you all the registries you can register to represent. Once registered (including submission of proof of identity), you can vote electronically on the day of the GM.

Can I register for electronic voting if I am not a registered contact person for an LIR?

No. If you are not an LIR contact person, you cannot vote electronically in representation of your LIR. Only registered contacts of LIRs will receive an invitation to register for electronic voting.

How do I know if I am a registered contact person?

You can see if you are a registered contact via your LIR Portal account.

What happens if my LIR has more than one contact person?

All contact persons for each LIR will receive an email with the request to register for electronic voting. The contact person who registers first will be the only one who is able to vote. Other contact persons that try to register will get an error in the BigPulse application (see next question).

Why can I not select my registry in the application?

If the checkbox for an organisation is not selectable, then another contact person has already registered to represent that registry.

Why do I get an error when I try to register for electronic voting?

The system will give you an error when you try to register for an LIR after another contact person for your registry has already done so. The error will be as follow: “You cannot register for "reg.id" because this organisation has received the maximum allowed number of registrations”. In this case, you cannot register any longer to vote electronically.

How do I know how many registries I represent?

In the registration process, you will see a list of organisations you are entitled to represent. This list is based on the registry files in which you appear as a registered contact person.

How do I know that I have been registered correctly?

Once you are registered, BigPulse will provide you with a registration voting receipt. This receipt is automatically sent to you by email as well. Note that your registration is only completed when you have submitted proof of identity to the RIPE NCC. You can submit proof of identity by sending either a copy of your passport or ID card by fax to +31205354445 or by email to agm _at_ ripe _dot_ net.

Why do I need to submit proof of identity?

You need to submit proof of identity to authenticate the identity of each voter. The RIPE NCC Articles of Association require members who wish to vote electronically to submit proof of identity two weeks before the Executive Board elections. The proof of identity will be processed only for the purpose of the RIPE NCC Voting Procedure. Your personal information will be safely stored and will be destroyed after the GM. The RIPE NCC respects the privacy of your personal information and is committed to protecting the personal information that you provide.

I have registered for electronic voting but another contact person for my LIR will attend the GM. Can I still vote electronically for the Executive Board elections?

No. If a member physically attends the GM, the right to vote for that member will be with the person that physically attends the GM, whether or not someone has previously registered for electronic voting. In this case, the voting rights automatically fall to the person that physically attends the GM. The RIPE NCC will inform you that your electronic voting account has been disabled for this reason.

Is my registration anonymous?

No. The GM administrator is able to see which registries have registered for voting in the Executive Board elections.


Voting

I plan to attend the GM. What voting options do I have?

If you plan to attend the GM, you will vote by paper ballot. Note that if you plan to attend the GM, you must register to attend the GM.

How do I vote electronically?

If you have completed the registration process in full, then before the election you will receive an email with instructions on how to vote and how to access the BigPulse voting application.

When can I vote?

You can only vote during the GM on 5 May 2010. Details on times are available in the Draft Agenda.

How many votes do I have?

Each member with full membership status has one vote to cast.

I am a contact person for more than one LIR. How many times can I vote?

If you represent more than one LIR, you can vote as many times as the number of LIRs you represent. If your voting choice is different depending on the LIR you are voting for, before selecting the candidate, you should select the number of votes you would like to use each time you cast a vote. If, on the other hand, you would like to select the same candidate preference for all the LIRs you represent, you only need to submit your votes once if you are using all your votes.

How does the BigPulse voting system know how many LIRs I represent?

The number of votes you have is based on the number of registries you registered for in the registration process. If you are the registered contact for five LIRs but you only registered for four LIRs in the registration process, then you will have four votes.

Can I vote electronically if I am not a registered contact person for an LIR?

No. If you are not an LIR contact person you cannot vote in representation of your LIR.

If I vote electronically, how do I select my candidate of choice for the RIPE NCC Executive Board?

The candidates are presented on the voting page in alphabetical order. You rank your candidates for the Executive Board in order of preference. The first candidate selected will be your first preference, the second candidate selected will be your second choice, and so on.

Why do I need to select the candidates in order of preference?

The RIPE NCC uses the instant run-off voting method to calculate the results. Voters rank candidates in order of preference (first, second, third, etc.). If no absolute majority is achieved (majority from remote and onsite voters), the candidate with least number of votes is dropped and the next preferences of all ballots assigned to that candidate are added to the other candidates’ totals. This process is repeated until a candidate achieves an absolute majority (more than 50% of the total votes cast).

Can I vote for only one candidate or do I need to vote for all candidates?

You can select all candidates in order of preference, select one candidate or select some but not all candidates. Whichever option you choose, your first selected candidate will be your first candidate of choice.

Can I change my vote after I have voted electronically?

No. Once you have voted you cannot change your vote.

What should I do if I want to abstain when voting electronically?

If you wish to abstain, you can select the option “Abstain” in the BigPulse voting application. If you choose this option, follow the voting instructions to finalise the voting process.

How do I know that my electronic vote has been correctly cast?

The voting process consists of three steps: voting, confirmation and “thank you” screen. On the last screen, you have the option to view the voting receipt. This voting receipt is automatically sent by email to the voter. The confirmation receipt demonstrates that your vote has been cast correctly.

Is the process of counting the votes performed by the RIPE NCC?

No. Counting the votes is done automatically by BigPulse. In this way, the RIPE NCC can assure integrity of the results.

How can I verify that my electronic vote has been received by the system?

BigPulse provides an audit report that is displayed on a webpage, which can be used to let people verify that their vote is properly recorded. The BigPulse URL shows that the data is coming directly from the BigPulse server.

Why have I received two different invitations to vote electronically?

There are two vacant seats on the Executive Board to be filled and so two voting rounds will be held. Both voting rounds will take place during the GM. Both voting rounds will be held in the same way. Once the first voting round is complete and the results are announced, the winner of the first seat is removed from the list of candidates for the second voting round.

How are the results calculated?

Once the voting period is closed, paper ballots received during the GM will be entered in the BigPulse system as well. The BigPulse application will then calculate the results according to the instant run-off voting method and the RIPE NCC Articles of Association. The Chair of the GM will then announce the results of the voting round.

Is my vote anonymous if I vote electronically?

Yes. By using BigPulse, the RIPE NCC can ensure that all voting data is anonymous because votes cast cannot be associated with the voter's identity.