Apache Member's Meetings and Voting
This page describes how voting is typically done for candidates nominated for membership (at Annual or Special member's meetings); separately you can read about the BoardVoting process (at Annual Meetings, typically in the summer).
The next Annual Member's Meeting and board elections are being held right now, 22-24 March 2016. Members should see the README.TXT file in /repos/private/foundation/Meetings/20160322/README.txt for all the details for the current meeting.
IMPORTANT: All nominations for new members or directors must be checked into SVN 10 days before the meeting starts - i.e. by May 11th. If it's not checked in, it doesn't count. Seconds are not required, although they are always helpful to help let other members know your support for a nominee.
Members, Please See The README.txt
The below information is a slightly outdated but generally still correct description. Specific details of the current process are in the README.txt file noted above. In particular, the *last* email you got recently from firstname.lastname@example.org titled "Election open for votes:..." is the one you want for your private link to the Apache STeVe voter tool.
How Meetings Are Held
To best suit having online meetings, member meetings are held over IRC during a period of three days. This allows the bulk of the agenda and any basic resolutions to be voted on interactively, on the first half of the meeting on IRC the first day; this typically takes about an hour. The chair then announces the candidates for membership, and board nominees as appropriate.
The interactive meeting on IRC is then recessed for 48 hours, and the actual vote emails are sent out. Votes must be cast during the next approximately 40 hours, so that vote counters have a chance to tally votes before the meeting is re-convened. On the third day, the meeting returns from recess and joins the interactive IRC session again, and the results of member candidate and board elections are announced in the meeting. The second half of the meeting is typically much shorter, and members need not attend the second half if they have already attended the first half.
Reminder: do not publicize the names of newly elected (or not elected) members after the meeting! We need to wait until elected nominees formally accept membership before announcing any names.
How To Decide to Vote
That's really up to you. But the first thing to do is review the /foundation/Meetings/20160322/agenda.txt file to see what will be discussed, and then read through the nominated-members.txt file. You probably also want to review if you personally know any of the member nominees, and may find using the MARC mail archives of various public Apache lists useful to review past mails from the nominee.
Many members have commented that they look for both a strong nomination statement from an existing member, describing why the nominee would make a good candidate. Having a number of seconds in the nomination file of other members is also often valuable.
If you cannot attend a meeting interactively, you should assign a proxy. Your proxy can mark you as present during the first interactive portion of the IRC meeting for official records. You may also assign your proxy to cast votes for you as well, if you will be unable to check your email for your voter keys during the meeting. If you assign a proxy, be sure they have a signed proxy form and that you or they update the proxies file in the appropriate Meetings directory.
Alternately, the Whimsy proxy tool (requires ASF Member login only) is now working to do it automatically.
Counting and Tallying
For a new member to be elected, he/she must receive more Yes votes than No votes. To help in the counting for the results, there is a simple script under voter/monitoring called yna-summary.pl which will take in the Final Tally emails, as sent by the voter tool, and determine the YES/NO result for each issue. The script is setup so you can concat all the YNA Final Tally emails into 1 large file and have the script slurp that it, and it will generate the results for all elections/issues.
Note that the anonymous BoardVoting votes are published privately within the foundation directory, so that any member may validate the results. New member votes (total Yes/No votes) are not published. Multiple volunteer vote counters selected from the membership before the meeting each validate and cross-check all results.
How To Vote
Once the initial half of the member meeting is over, the Chairman and vote monitors will set up the voter tool to mail out ballots. The ballots contain a description of the issue being voted on, together with the specific issue ID, plus your own unique hash key. You will use the issue ID and the hash key to cast your vote.
New! Web Interface for Casting Votes
You now cast your vote via a web interface instead of using a command line (as we did in the past.
Simply click on the link to https://vote.apache.org/... that's included in your vote email. You will need to login in your browser using your LDAP username and password - typically the same username/password you use for Subversion. Then you will be presented with a simple web form where you can enter your vote(s) on all matters coming up in the meeting.
NOTE: Triple-check your vote - when voting for board candidates using the STV method, the order of votes is important. Enter your vote in the edit box provided, and then press Submit. Your vote is cast! Be sure to check your email: every time your voting hash key is used (either in the web interface or the command line), you will get an email back noting that your key was used.
If you make a mistake when voting, just correct the vote and re-submit. Only the last vote counts (so long as it is received before the vote ends). Note that there is a Command Line Interface for Casting Votes, at the bottom of this page.
Command Line Interface for Casting Votes
Deprecated; all voting in 2016 will be thru the web ui at vote.apache.org
Vote early and often! Only the last time an individual voter key is used counts; so if you change your mind (or realize that you made a mistake) you can always re-cast your vote.
Also see BoardVoting for important details about how to cast your STV - Single Transferable Vote - for board candidates.