Board elections: Voting information, new candidates
This week, the Signpost covers the election process for the 2008 Board elections.
Candidate entries for the Wikimedia Board of Trustees election closed on Thursday. Fifteen users will be vying for one (1) one-year seat, to be filled in the election.
Voting will run for three weeks, from 1 June through 21 June. While the rules of the election are largely completed, some minor changes may still be introduced. The voting method will be the Schulze method, a form of preferential voting. The voting software will allow multiple candidates to be ranked the same (if the voter has no preference for either), and allows voters to leave candidates "unranked" (in which case, any ranked candidate is preferred over an unranked one).
Under discussion currently is a proposal to send an official e-mail to all eligible voters regarding the election; this proposal is contingent upon its technical feasibility. According to election committee member Jesse Plamondon-Willard, discussions with Wikimedia system administrators "seem promising".
As in previous years, election officials will monitor votes for voting irregularities, and discount votes as necessary, if it is deemed that some votes are those of sockpuppets. To discourage sockpuppeting, all voters must have made at least 600 edits before March 1, 2008 on any one wiki, and have made at least 50 edits between January 1 and May 29, 2008 on that particular wiki. The wiki for these requirements must be the same one for both, and edits cannot be combined across multiple wikis to gain suffrage. Exceptions to these edit requirements are given to Wikimedia server administrators with shell access, paid staff of the Wikimedia Foundation who began working at the office before March 1, and current and former members of the Board of Trustees.
Other election news
Incumbent board member and current Board Chairperson Florence Devouard announced this week that she would not stand for election, likely meaning that her board membership will end next month. Devouard has been a member of the Board since the first elections in 2004, was re-elected for a two-year term in 2005, and had her term extended until 2008 due to a prior board restructuring. Her decision means that the one position up for election is a non-incumbent position.
This week, twelve users entered the race. The fifteen users who will be running for the seat are, as follows:
All fifteen candidates have had their identity confirmed by the Foundation.
The candidates currently hail from eight different nations, across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Six of the candidates hail from the United States, with two each from the United Kingdom and Canada, and one each from the Netherlands, Australia, Israel, Finland, and Germany. Notably, only four of the top ten Wikipedia projects are represented in the candidate slate (English, German, Dutch and Russian). Ten of the fifteen users listed at least one non-Wikipedia project as one of their "active wikis".
Multilingual editors are encouraged to consider translating various election notices, candidate presentations, and other pages into as many languages as possible. Primary languages in need of some or all translation include Arabic, Basque, Croatian, Esperanto, Hebrew, Hungarian, Malayalam, and Ukranian, although some language updates may be needed at a later date, so linguists in other languages are encouraged to check the page occasionally.
Next week: The Signpost will interview the candidates.