(Retracted proposal: record votes using either the forum or using Helios)

This proposal received enough forceful feedback that I’ll retract it. Thanks to all who gave their measured feedback.

I propose that in future we vote using a poll on the forums rather than using Helios. It will be fairer, more open, and significantly less work for the overtaxed core volunteers. From experience, Helios significantly depresses turnout even among the fraction of members who have acquired B-Shares.

We could, if there’s demand, allow people who would rather vote using the old platform instead of the open vote to do so. An open vote feels healthier for community, but since the people who want to vote with Helios already know how to use it the support burden on the core volunteers is at least reduced.

Since we know the email tied to each account here, and the identities of the voters on Helios, we have confidence that each vote comes from a known member, and that members cannot vote twice. Each member is able to validate that their vote was recorded faithfully by logging in.

Question 1: Should we conduct votes using the discourse forum, instead of Helios?
Question 2: Should we conduct votes using either the discourse forum or Helios, at each voters’ discretion?

(edited to split into two proposals)


I am in the camp that the $100 deposit is silly. And it should be a simple opt-in option.
-(with a 3 month good standing requirement before joining)
-(and a 3 missed votes removal clause)
–(there is no penalty, they can just request to be added back next time if they decide they want to)

But I do believe voting should be limited to those who have indicated that they want to particiapte and are active in the operations of the space.

If you open a generic opinion poll on this forum you’ll capture the people who use the forum but that doesn’t mean it represents the space. You could have the majority of responders be people who never physically come into the space or even bothered to read the matter but voted anyways.

I think helios is the better method to stick to for voting. Being managed by a third party, it means we can trust the results havent been altered.

As far as trying to track down people who havent voted to obtain a quorum it’s more practical to add a inactivity clause to remove people who dont participate from the list thus reducing the quorum requirement.
-(yes doing so means that it would be several months before the list is truly reduced down to those that are actually active)
-(but once it is in place it should be easy enough to maintain. Where after each vote is completed, you review who didn’t vote. And see who hasn’t voted in the last 3 calls to vote)

Discussion should be free for anybody who is a part of the community. But polling is a touchy matter to ensure that the poll actually represents the community, and not just representing those that responded. I.E. if a small group of people are passionate about a matter. They may become the majority of those who responded in favor of a matter, because they were motivated to respond. when in reality they were the minority and the majority just didn’t feel motivated to respond to the poll.

I.e. If 15 people respond to a poll asking what color the sky is, and 10 of them say its poka-dots, it shouldn’t be used to say 2/3 of our 250 members think the sky is poka-dots.

I.e. if you put a poll on a blog about the twilight book series, asking if you liked the twilight book series. The poll may not represent what the actual percentage of people who liked the book series was.

You could spend an entire college class on how polls can be biased based on how the question is phrased. How those who respond in “voluntary polls” can influence the representation, and how to balance demographic based responses to the actual population.

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I don’t have worries about the poll here being tampered, if there was a chance of controversy members could look at how they voted. I know from direct experience that Helios significantly depresses voter turnout in a way that would add major bias. .

Right now we have members of all tenures in the “hax0r” group, and would make the polls only open to people in that group. My instinct is that anyone who has stayed a member while we’ve been closed shows commitment enough that they be able to vote with everyone else, but that in later times a 3-month tenure and volunteer effort threshold would make the most sense.

I hear you on the polka dot sky, but we are already planning to ask a set of questions — the issues are “who are you asking” and “how”. I intend to make it easier for all members of the community to indicate their opinion, so that we have full transparency.

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I’m going to split this into two proposals: one that the B-shares approve the community consensus, the other that we take B-share votes by poll rather than Helios. I’m leaving this one as the how-to question since that’s what we mostly discussed

I am fundamentally opposed to moving away from helios.

The possibility of abuse or coercion is to great. “We’ll make the poll anaonymous” is great but admins have ways to see it even if it was set to anonymous. And if we have concerns of a rogue admin people may not be comfortable casting their ballots.

More to the point I will flat out refuse to cast any ballot over a forum poll, or participate in a vote where it is even an option.

I don’t often chime in, but this is something I feel VERY strongly about.

In a community, especially a fractious and strongly-opinionated one like ours, anonymous voting is the only way to go. We didn’t pick Helios because it was convenient, or easy to use… we picked it because it’s capable of being ABSOLUTELY audited, anonymous, and fair. Every line of code is reviewed on it and when used properly it guarantees a proper, orderly, and fair vote.

Secret ballots are important because they:

  • Prevent social pressure and ostracism
  • Are more likely to result in a show of how people actually feel ( vs how they say they do )
  • Prevent retaliation for taking a particular stance


The $100 is in there for a few reasons:

  • It originally served the purpose of letting members who were interested in how the space is run to have a voice and to have responsibility in the space. It meant that people voting would have a very personal, and very real legally binding set of consequences for their choices and actions. This is back when $100 was worth more to the operation of the space. It was never meant to remain that low.

  • It’s a barrier to entry making you require to think before signing up for the responsibility to vote … intended to prevent “vote-jacking”

  • To become member with a B Member Interest, you are “joindered” to the company and sign an agreement to take on certain responsibilities. When it is returned to you at your request ( or when you are no longer a member ) then you are no longer joined to the company.

From westlaw.com:

A joinder agreement is the document under which a membership-interest transferee is admitted as a member and becomes party to, and bound by, the terms of the LLC agreement. It is an exhibit to many LLC agreements. This Standard Document has integrated notes with important explanations and drafting tips.

I’ve been quite pleased with the functionality and security of Helios, it’s not the simplest way to vote, but it is one of the best electronic systems for security and integrity avaialble.

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True it’s not the easiest in the world, but not that difficult either.

Read an email>click a link>copy password from email> Vote>confirm

I dont see how this would be a barrier from somebody voting. Voting online even has steps

Login to yo > navigate to proposals section of forum> open the ? (Individual Thread for each proposal that your wanting to vote on / thread that contain a individual poll for each thing being voted on) > select option for each poll.

Both assume you have internet access.

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B-share member here, I’d like to stick with Helios

Boom! Asked and answered. Retracting the proposal.

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Do you know why? If it is lack of experience with the system, maybe you could schedules a couple practice votes first, like this week. If it is just lack of willingness to go to the trouble of voting, I’m less sympathetic. I, like so many others, believe that the Helios anonymity is important to the vote quality.