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Second Round: Informal Discussion of Proposal to Hide Identities of Developers Casting a Particular Vote

Here's an updated proposal  based on discussion so far.
The changes were the ones I said I'd make Thursday:

1) include secretary decisions in the list of decisions that can be put
on hold.

2) Attempt to address Don's concerns regarding independent verification
of the tally and verification by individual developers that their votes
are counted.

The language around allowing individual developers to verify their votes
is a bit awkward.
Today as I understand it, you don't receive a vote hash if your GPG key
doesn't support encryption.
I didn't want to encode this in the constitution one way or another, so
I phrased things the way I did.

I'll send a diff of changes in the next message.


During the vote for GR_2021_002o, several developers said they were
uncomfortable voting because under the process at that time, their name
and ballot ranking would be public.
A number of participants in the discussion believe that we would get
election results that more accurately reflect the will of the developers
if we do not make the name associated with a particular vote on the
tally sheet public.
Several people believed that the ranked votes without names attached
would still be valuable public information.

This proposal would treat all elections like DPL elections.
At the same time it relaxes the requirement that the secretary must
conduct a vote via email.  There are no current plans to move away from
email, although some members of the project want to explore
alternatives.  If this proposal passes, adopting such an alternative
would require sufficient support in the project but would not require
another constitutional amendment.

This proposal relies on the secretary's existing power to decide how
votes are conducted. During discussion we realized that there is no
mechanism to override a specific decision of the secretary, and the
language allowing the project to replace the secretary is ambiguous.

Summary of Changes

    1) Do not make the identity of a voter casting a particular vote

    2) Do not require that votes be conducted by email.

    3) Clarify that the developers can replace the secretary at any time.

    4) Provide a procedure for overriding the decision of the project
    secretary or their delegate.  Overriding the decision of what super
    majority is required or overriding the determination of election
    outcome requires a 3:1 majority.  The chair of the technical committee
    decides who conducts such votes.

5) Clarify that decisions of the secretary or their delegates can be put
on hold.

6) Codify that our election system must permit independent verification
of the outcome given the votes cast and must permit developers to
confirm their vote is included in the votes cast.

General Resolution==================

The developers resolve to make the changes to the Debian Constitution
embodied in git commit dfc2e6b1cd4ac13c3ee11e1f7f3ff3a1450af52d.
As of February 13, 2022, this commit can be found at

For convenience a word-diff of the changes is included below.  In case
the diff differs from the commit, the commit governs.
@@ -179,9 +179,27 @@ earlier can overrule everyone listed later.</cite></p>

    [-<p>In case of-]{+<p>Appoint+} a [-disagreement between-]{+new secretary. In the normal case ( &sect;7.2) where+} the project
    leader and {+secretary agree on+} the [-incumbent-]{+next+} secretary, [-appoint a new secretary.</p>-]{+this power of+}
{+    the developers is not used.</p>+}
{+    <p>Override a decision of the project secretary or their+}
{+    delegate.</p>+}

{+    <p>Overriding the determination of what super majority is required+}
{+    for a particular ballot option or overriding the determination of+}
{+    the outcome of an election requires the developers to agree by a+}
{+    3:1 majority.  The determination of the majority required to+}
{+    override a decision of the secretary is not subject to+}
{+    override.</p>+}

{+    <p>The chair of the technical committee decides who acts as+}
{+    secretary for a general resolution to override a decision of the+}
{+    project secretary or their delegate. If the decision was not made+}
{+    by the chair of the technical committee, the committee chair may+}
{+    themselves act as secretary. The decision of who acts as secretary+}
{+    for such a general resolution is not subject to override.</p>+}

<h3>4.2. Procedure</h3>
@@ -198,9 +216,9 @@ earlier can overrule everyone listed later.</cite></p>
    <p>Delaying a decision by the Project Leader or their Delegate:</p>

      <li>If the Project Leader or their Delegate, {+the project secretary or their delegate,+} or the Technical
      Committee, has made a decision, then Developers can override them
      by passing a resolution to do so; see [-&sect;4.1(3).</li>-]{+&sect;4.1(3), &sect;4.1(4), and &sect;4.1(8).</li>+}

      <li>If such a resolution is sponsored by at least 2K Developers,
      or if it is proposed by the Technical Committee, the resolution
@@ -228,9 +246,10 @@ earlier can overrule everyone listed later.</cite></p>
       Votes are taken by the Project Secretary. Votes, tallies, and
       results are not revealed during the voting period; after the
       vote the Project Secretary lists all the votes {+cast in sufficient detail that anyone may verify the outcome of the election from the votes cast. The+}
{+       identity of a developer casting a particular vote is not made+}
{+       public, but developers will be given an option to confirm their vote is included in the votes+} cast. The voting period is 2 weeks, but may be varied by up
       to 1 week by the Project Leader. 

@@ -247,7 +266,7 @@ earlier can overrule everyone listed later.</cite></p>

    <p>Votes are cast[-by email-] in a manner suitable to the Secretary.
    The Secretary determines for each poll whether voters can change
    their votes.</p>
@@ -371,8 +390,7 @@ earlier can overrule everyone listed later.</cite></p>

  <li>The next two weeks are the polling period during which
  Developers may cast their votes. [-Votes in leadership elections are-]
[-  kept secret, even after the election is finished.</li>-]{+</li>+}

  <li>The options on the ballot will be those candidates who have
  nominated themselves and have not yet withdrawn, plus None Of The

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