Re: GNOME Board of Directors Foundation Elections Spring 2009 - Preliminary results

Hi Tobias,

Tobias Mueller wrote:
These results can be challenged by sending an e-mail to
elections gnome org  The challenges have to be sent before Tuesday,
June 30, 2009, 23:59 UTC. Please note that these results should not
be considered final until any such challenges have been resolved.


You just announced the results based on first-past-the-post, when the elections were to be run using preferential voting, with single transferable vote and fractional surplus transfer.

Srinivasa and Diego get elected in that system instead of Jorge.

Candidates in order of votes received, with affiliations:

      Vincent Untz           (60 votes) - Novell, Inc.
      Behdad Esfahbod        (56 votes) - Red Hat
      Germán Póo-Caamaño     (20 votes) - None
      Brian Cameron          (19 votes) - Sun Microsystems, Inc.
      Jorge Castro           (14 votes) - Canonical Ltd.
      Lucas Rocha            (13 votes) - litl
      Srinivasa Ragavan      (10 votes) - Novell, Inc.
      Diego Escalante Urrelo ( 8 votes) - None
      Hubert Figuiere        ( 7 votes) - None
      Og Maciel              ( 4 votes) - rPath Inc

If the results are not challenged, then the elected directors will be:

      Behdad Esfahbod
      Brian Cameron
      Diego Escalante Urrelo
      Germán Póo-Caamaño
      Jorge Castro
      Lucas Rocha
      Vincent Untz

Some figures about the votes: there were 382 registered voters. 213
voters sent valid ballots. Two votes were not valid or empty.

The results can be found at

A list of all votes can be found at

The table on this results page shows the results with random transfer STV. When this was discussed over at Maemo, it was proposed & agreed that we should use the more accurate fractional transfer STV, since running random transfer STV several times can give different results.

If we use the mathematically more correct fractional transfer, the results will stay the same no matter how many times you count.

The first method treats votes as pieces of paper, and in the cases where candidates have a big surplus, this can make a difference.

We can tell from the count that of the 60 people who voted for Vincent in the first count, the number 2 preferences (or number 3, if Behdad was number 2) looked like this:

Brian: 13
Diego: 3
German: 7
Hubert: 2
Jorge: 0
Lucas: 26
Og: 3
Srinivasa: 6

33 of the 60 votes get transferred.

In fractional surplus distribution, each candidate gets N*33/60 transfers - if we ever have to distribute a surplus later, these votes are weighted to be worth roughly half a vote.

In random surplus distribution, we canculate how many votes each person gets transferred, rounded:

Brian: 7
Diego: 1
German: 4
Hubert: 1
Jorge: 0
Lucas: 16
Og: 2
Srinivasa: 2 (and seems like a bug, since Srinivasa should have gotten 3 or 4)

The sum total is the same - we transfer 33 pieces of paper. But each of these have the weighht of a full vote, and the actual votes we transfer are randomly chosen among all the votes that had 1. Vincent, 2. Lucas (for example). And since they're chosen randomly, it's possible that the #3 or #4 preferences on the transferred ballots aren't representative of the population.

In any case, I'd like to have fractional transfer STV used to count, rather than random transfer.

Dave Neary
GNOME Foundation member
dneary gnome org

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