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Re: Secret ballot and RMS Resolution

On Thu, Apr 01, 2021 at 09:47:51AM -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> writes:
> > This is probably something that should be fixed in the Constitution, by
> > mandating secret voting for elections whereas living to the judgment of
> > the secretary whether other GR votes should be secret or not.
> I didn't quite parse that, so I'm not sure if this is what you were
> already proposing, but I wonder if we should just have secret ballots for
> all votes.  That avoids the argument over whether a given vote should be a
> secret ballot.  I admit to being endlessly curious about the opinions of
> my fellow contributors, but that's just me being nosy and I don't have any
> real reason to need to know.  Secret ballots seem like they would be
> reassuring for the people who are the least willing to be vocal on mailing
> lists.
> In the current on-line landscape, I think it's also incumbent on any
> organization to look for ways in which their procedures or tools could be
> used for harassment and to try to make them safer, and secret ballots seem
> like an obvious thing for us to do here.
> The obvious difficulty with secret ballots is that it requires a lot of
> trust in the votetaker.  We have a verification process for people to
> check whether their vote was recorded correctly, but I don't think there's
> any good way with our style of secret ballot to verify that the votetaker
> didn't add new votes that no one actually sent.  But (a) personally I am
> not worried about the Project Secretary manipulating the vote, and (b) I
> can think of a few ways to deal with that should that ever be enough of a
> concern, such as having a small number of people trusted with confidential
> information jointly double-check the tally.
> This obviously would have an impact on the Project Secretary, so I'd love
> to hear Kurt and Neil's opinion about the possible merits of going to
> secret ballots for all votes.

I could move to voting software like Belenios that only supports
secret votes and has a way that doesn't require trust in (just)
the Secretary.


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