Board update

Voting begins in Board elections

Voting in the Board of Trustees elections started this week. The voting, which will run until September 21, began on Friday and uses approval voting, where each voter can vote for an unlimited number of candidates.

There were also a number of changes in the field of candidates late last week, which were only added to the Signpost's coverage after press time. Two candidates, Cerejota and NicholasTurnbull, were disqualified from the race prior to the start of voting by general counsel and interim executive director Brad Patrick because they had not confirmed themselves by providing required paperwork and identification to the Wikimedia Foundation office. In addition, there were also several candidate entries in the hours before the deadline, and one candidate, Hadraj, also withdrew from the race, bringing the final number of candidates in the elections to 17. All but one of the candidates had also responded to the "interview" questions the Signpost asked, and their replies were subsequently added to last week's article. The only candidate not to reply yet was Linuxbeak, who cited that "several severe situations" had come up, preventing him from finishing his replies. The Signpost will update the candidates' responses when his reply is received.

Two new election officials were also appointed this week. A resolution by the current Board, passed with supporting votes from Michael Davis, Angela Beesley, and Florence Nibart-Devouard, confirmed that James Forrester and Jon Harald Søby were to become assistant election officials immediately, joining Aphaia, Datrio, and Essjay as election officials. Aphaia is also an assistant election official, while Datrio and Essjay are officially inspectors of the election. According to the resolution, the appointments were aimed to reduce the current workload of the officials, at least one of whom has become inactive publicly over the past few weeks.

An announcement by the election officials also clarified several issues relating to suffrage before the voting started. The notice amended the suffrage requirements, which state that a user must have at least 400 edits on one Wikimedia project prior to 1 August, 2006 and have started contributing 90 days prior to that date, by defining whether or not blocked users may vote. Users banned or blocked indefinitely from any Wikimedia project may not vote, but those blocked on a certain project may vote on another project where they are eligible or vote after their block expires or is removed, if voting is still ongoing. This clarification, according to the officials, does not change any of the previous requirements but instead puts in writing the "oral tradition" that has been used for several elections.

Voting for the most part ran smoothly, even though there was initially some confusion from a limited number of users about where to vote, stemming from the fact that all the election pages are located in Meta. As of September 2, according to statistics compiled by ArnoLagrange from the public list of voters, there were nearly 700 votes already, with approximately a third of those votes coming from the English Wikipedia. More recent statistics compiled by Digitalme on September 6 show 1347 votes, with around 43% coming from the English Wikipedia.

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