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.

2016 Election Results

The Elections Committee would like to thank all of our candidates for their hard work in this year’s election. With that, we are pleased to present the results of the 2016 Election.

Kristina Busse and Priscilla Del Cima (in alphabetical order) have been officially elected to the Board of Directors. The new members of the Board will formally begin their term overlap on November 1. We wish them well with their terms.

With that, the election season comes to a close. Thank you to everyone who got involved by spreading the word, asking the candidates questions, and, of course, voting! We look forward to seeing all of you again next year.

2016 OTW Board Voting Now Open!

Simple Announce 2

The election has opened!

Every member who joined between August 24, 2015, and August 23, 2016, should have a ballot by now. If you didn’t get one, please check your spam folder first, then contact us via our contact form.

The election will run through 11:59 p.m UTC, Monday, Sept. 26; check this time zone converter to find out what time that will be for you.

Once you’ve voted, you can head over to Twitter and use the hashtag #otw2016 to let us know!

Members – Check Your Email for Voting Instructions

At this time, all eligible OTW members should have received an email linking to the voting instructions for 2016. The subject line was “Voting Instructions for Organization for Transformative Works (OTW) Board Election”. Please note that anyone who didn’t receive this email is not on the voter rolls this year and will not receive a ballot.

If you are a member and didn’t receive this email, please do the following:

  1. Check your spam folder.
    • If you use gmail, check your Social tab.
    • If the email is marked as spam, unmark it. Otherwise, you will not receive your ballot, as it will end up in spam as well.
  2. If no email is present, open your donation receipt and check the date.
    • To vote in this election, your receipt must be dated between August 24, 2015, and August 23, 2016, inclusive of both dates.
    • If you paid by check, your membership is measured by the arrival date of the check.
  3. If your donation was made during the eligible time period, make sure you checked the box to become a member. Membership is voluntary for those who donate at least $10; only members can vote.
  4. If you did become a member, make sure you neither marked any email from the OTW as spam nor opted out of OTW emails or last year’s ballot. If you did so and would like to vote this year, you’ll need to follow step 5 below.
  5. If you donated at least $10 during the eligible period and you checked the box to become a member, please fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic “Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?” Make sure to include the email you used when donating.
    • Membership has no connection to being a user of AO3 or Fanlore. Please don’t give us your AO3 or Fanlore username – we have no way of knowing who that name belongs to, and we don’t want to know.

Most importantly, if the voting instructions email bounces, gets marked as spam, or you opt out, you will not receive a ballot for this year’s election, and you may not receive a ballot next year. Similarly, if any of those things happened to last year’s election emails, you will not receive a ballot this year. Therefore, if you previously opted out of OTW emails or marked them as spam and would like to vote, fill out the Elections Contact Form and select the topic “Is my membership current/Am I eligible to vote?”

Candidate Chat How-To

This year, we’re switching chat platforms from Campfire to Discord.

There are several reasons for this change, including larger server capacity, ability for participants to see when others are typing and view the chat history from before they entered the room, a more user-friendly interface that includes direct messaging, and a more reliable mobile experience.

Chats will be held in the Elections Discord server from 13:00-14:30, Thursday, Sept. 1, and 22:00-23:30, Saturday, Sept. 10. To find out what times those will be in your location, click the dates to be taken to a time-zone converter. Please note that though the link to the chat server is already active, chatting capabilities will not be enabled until approximately one hour before the chats begin.

Topics for the first chat will be as follows; topics for the second chat have not yet been chosen.

  • expanding members’ awareness about and engagement in OTW
  • what staff/volunteers need from board
  • maintaining volunteer engagement
  • accountability and checks/balances
  • board meeting format/communication
  • role of OTW in fandom and outside world
  • fostering work culture in communities (if time allows)
  • role of volunteers in future decision-making of the org (if time allows)

Read on to learn more about using Discord.

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