Chat Transcript – July 30, 2017


Hi everyone, and welcome to our Third Candidate Chat of 2017!

In today’s Chat you’ll have the opportunity to speak with these three Candidates: Jessie Camboulives, Milena Popova, and Erica Dulin.

My name is briar_pipe, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be Carli for most of the chat, with Stephanie standing by to step in if she’s needed. All three of us are members of the Elections Committee.


Chat Transcript – July 29, 2017


Hi everyone, and welcome to our Second Candidate Chat of 2017!

In today’s Chat you’ll have the opportunity to speak with these 3 lovely candidates: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, and Gimena Calixto.

My name is briar_pipe, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be Stephanie. We’re both members of the Elections Committee.


Chat Transcript – July 26, 2017


Hi everyone, and welcome to our First Candidate Chat of 2017!

In today’s Chat you’ll have the opportunity to speak with these 6 Candidates: Claire P. Baker, Danielle Strong, Erica Dulin, Gimena Calixto, Jessie Camboulives and Milena Popova.

My name is Araise, and I’ll be hosting the candidate side today. On the audience/open_chat side, your host will be briar_pipe. We’re both members of the Elections Committee.


Candidate Chats and Q&A Roundup

The Elections season is still in full swing! This post has links to the candidates’ answers to your questions.


There will be three public chats, all of which will last 90 minutes. Two of them will have three candidates in attendance, and the first chat will have all six–so each candidate will attend two chats total. Chats will take place in our public chatroom.

They are scheduled for:

During these chats, OTW members and volunteers will have the opportunity to ask the candidates questions not already covered in their platforms, bios, and Q&A, as well as to ask individual questions of specific candidates. If anyone isn’t able to ask all their questions by the end of a given chat, they’ll have an hour to submit their questions via the Elections form; Elections staffers will submit the questions to candidates either at future chats or separately to be added to the chat transcript.

We hope that you can join us for one or all of these chats!


When we posted the Board candidates’ bios and platforms, we asked the public to submit additional questions for them. Once again, our sincere thanks to everyone who did so! We have been posting groups of questions as the candidates finished them, and the process is nearly complete. For the categories that have not yet been posted, the dates they will be posted are listed in parentheses.

The following is a list of the topics covered by the questions. Clicking on a topic will take you to the tag containing all the candidates’ answers on that topic.

To navigate answers by individual candidate, please use the links below:

To read all the posts regarding Q&A, simply select the 2017 Q&A tag.

Read on to learn more about using Discord.

Election Statistics for 2016

Now that the 2016 Election is over and the results are final, we’re happy to share with you our voter turnout statistics!

For the 2016 Election, we had 6,302 total eligible voters. Of those, 951 voters cast a ballot, which represents 15.1% of the potential voters. We’re proud to say that our voter turnout is nearly double that of last year, which had a turnout of 7.8%! We also saw an rise in the number of ballots cast, from 621 to 951, which represents a more than 50% increase.

Due to a typo in the ballot email, we opened the election for an additional four days to those who emailed us requesting a ballot. We had nine members submit their ballots during that time. They are counted in the 951 voters listed above.

Comparatively, the highest turnout rate was in 2011, when about 25% of approximately 4,000 eligible members voted; this sharp rise was mostly due to widespread recognition of one of the candidates. We don’t have voter turnout information for 2010, only anecdotal statements that it was significantly lower than that.

Elections is committed to continuing to reach out to our eligible members to encourage them to vote in elections. Whoever is elected to the Board of Directors can have an important influence on the long-term health of the OTW’s projects, and we want our members to have a say in that.

For those who might be interested in the number of votes each candidate received, please note that our election process is designed to elect an equal cohort of Board members in order to allow them to work well together, so we do not release that information. As a general rule, we also won’t disclose which of our unsuccessful candidates received the fewest votes, since we don’t want to discourage them from running again in the future when circumstances and member interest might be different; however, as there were only three candidates this year, revealing that information is unavoidable.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated at every stage of the election! We hope to see you at the virtual polls next year.

Important Message from Elections Committee (Updated)

To all OTW members, the Elections Committee would like to extend our sincerest apologies.

After the close of the election, it was pointed out to us that we had an incorrect closing date in the ballot email sent out to voters. The dates in the voting instructions email and post – as well as in each tweet, tumblr post, website post, and graphic – were all correct. In the process of reformatting our ballot email to address questions submitted by members and to make it shorter and easier to read, the error was introduced and not caught during the review process. We’re very sorry for this oversight.

This year’s election was somewhat unique in that, from the very beginning of the candidacy period, the 3rd place candidate repeatedly stated his desire not to be elected. Voters strongly respected that request. It’s unclear to what extent any voter confusion may have affected the final tally, but given that voting slowed to a trickle after Saturday morning UTC, it’s highly unlikely that additional votes would have altered the final outcome. However, we as a committee feel strongly that any eligible member who wants to vote should get to do so, and we are deeply saddened that even a few members were unable to do so in time due to our mistake.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to reopen the election itself, because the third-party voting software does not have an option for reopening an election once it’s stopped. We can’t accept additional ballots via other methods, because ballots must be fully anonymized for the privacy of members. For these reasons, we have no workable mechanism for accepting further ballots in this election.

Again, we apologize to anyone who did not get a chance to vote. We will take great pains to ensure this never happens again.

Update: We have found a technical solution, but it must be limited to people who actively attempt to vote. If you were affected by the typo and unable to vote in time, please email the Elections Committee address listed in your ballot email by 11:59pm UTC on September 29 to receive a new ballot and instructions.