Board Member Elections

Version 20.1 by Patrick Masson on 2020/02/04 21:58

Please note: This page is for discussions related to OSI Board Elections. To view current OSI Election policy and process, see the OSI Election web page

OSI Board seats are filled through elections among the Individual Members and the Affiliates (some seats are designated as member-elected, others are affiliate-elected). In addition, one seat is designated for the General Manager. Importantly, per the OSI By-laws these elections are advisory, and the OSI Board must vote to adopt the results formally.

Current Elections

  • 2020 Individual and Affiliate Elections (March 2020)

Past Elections

Election Process

In the Spring of 2014, the OSI tried to use an "Approval Voting" method, or the Ranked Choice voting method (also known as “Instant Runoff”, “Transferable Vote”, “Preferential Vote”, or “Alternative Vote”). However, these approaches were not used due to the state of the software and UI support. As a result the vote was undertaken via email response with members simply sending their three votes (for the three IM seats) or vote (for the one AM seat) to the Secretary for tallying.

Currently the OSI is using Helios Voting to manage and administer our elections.

  • Each eligible voter (Individual Member or Affiliate Member Representative) is  pulled from CiviCRM and batch uploaded in to Helios.
  • A voter alias is generated for each voter where identities are replaced with aliases, e.g. "V12", in the ballot tracking center.
  • The ballots are generated with the candidates names randomized on each ballot for each voter.
  • Voters will be able to vote for as many candidates as seats open representing their constituency.
    • For example, if there are two Individual Member seats open, Individual Members may vote for two candidates on their ballots; if there are three Affiliate Member seats open, Affiliate Representatives may vote for three candidates on their ballot. (Individual Members may only vote for candidates running for Individual Member Seats, and Affiliate Representatives may only vote for candidates running for Affiliate Member Board seats).
  • Those candidates who receive the greatest number of votes (i.e. Member vs. Affiliate) will be submitted to the Board for appointment.
    • If there are two Individual Member seats open, the two candidates with the most votes will be declared the winners. For example, if Candidate A receives 100 votes, Candidate B receives 500 votes, Candidate C receives 50 votes, and Candidate D receives 1000 votes, then Candidates B & D would be declared the winners.
  • Importantly, per the OSI By-laws these elections are advisory, and the OSI Board must vote to adopt the results formally.

Election Communications

The candidate slate is posted here on the OSI wiki (see below) and included in the email to voters. Each resource includes links to further information about the candidates. It is possible the voting and ballot information email might be caught in spam folders and the OSI should remind members to search for the sender “Helios Voting Administrator” or “[email protected]” which is the default sender of the election software.

The OSI should take care to include a descriptive subject line in all communications, including the text "OSI Board Elections [DATE]".

All voting is done on the Helios Servers. Ideally, OSI members receive an email with instructions on how to vote; the instructions will include a URL with a unique token where voters can cast their vote(s) at However, as mentioned above, in the past (2014) due to process issues, votes were simply emailed in.

Helios Voting System

See for technical details about our voting system.

Election Technology Support

The OSI has used an online voting system for elections. However, while the system has proved adequate for our needs and reliable, it is important to note the administration of the system requires direct support from OSI staff around:

  • System set-up and configuration (Helios)
  • Integration with CiviCRM to access member contact information (emails)

Submit feedback regarding this wiki to [email protected]

This wiki is licensed under a Creative Commons 2.0 license
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