Election and decision making processes#

New Contributor Nominations and Confirmation Process#

Current Contributors can nominate candidates to become Contributors by requesting so in a GitHub issue, constraints on eligibility are detailed in the role descriptions. If nominated candidates accept their nomination (explicit comment approving nomination on the issue or “thumbs-up” emoji on the same issue), then they can be considered by the Council: on the first of the month following a nomination, the Council will vote on each nominee using this process.

Voting will be private with results published on the issue ticket. In the case of a rejection, results must include the reasons behind the decision (e.g. the time since starting to contribute is deemed too short for now). The candidate would then have to wait 3 months to be considered again.

Council Decision Making Process#

By and large we expect the decisions in ArviZ to be made ad hoc and require little formal coordination and with the community at large. However, for controversial proposals and new Core Contributors the council may need to intervene to make the final decision in a group vote.

Call for a vote#

Core Contributors can call for a vote to resolve a target issue they feel has been stale for too long and for which informal consensus appears unlikely. For a vote to be called, the target issue must be at least 2 months old.

To do so, they have to open a proposal issue ticket labeled “Council Vote”. The proposal issue should contain a link to the target issue and a proposal on how to resolve it. Proposals should include a statement making clear what it means to “agree” or to “disagree”.

Before voting starts, at least 3 days will be left for Core Contributors to raise doubts about the proposal’s phrasing, no extra discussion will take place in the proposal issue. Proposal issues should be locked from creation to prevent attracting discussion from people not familiar with the decision process.

Voting process#

  • Each Council Member will vote either “Yes”, “No”, or “Neutral”.

  • It is recommended that all Council Members expose their reasons when voting. “No” votes, however, must list the reasons for disagreement. Any “No” vote with no reason listed will be considered a “Neutral” vote.

  • An absence of vote is considered as “Neutral”.

  • Voting will remain open for at least 3 days.

  • For the proposal to pass, at least 60% of the council must vote “Yes”, and no more than 20% can vote “No”.

For decisions about the project the Council will perform it directly on the proposal issue. For decisions about people, such as electing or ejecting Core Contributors, the Council will vote privately. However the decision will be posted publicly in an issue ticket.

Private communications of the Council#

Unless specifically required, all Council discussions and activities will be between public (GitHub, Gitter), and partially public channels (Slack) and done in collaboration and discussion with the Core Contributors and the Community. The Council will have a private channel that will be used sparingly and only when a specific matter requires privacy. When private communications and decisions are needed, the Council will do its best to summarize those to the Community after eliding personal/private/sensitive information that should not be posted to the public internet.

Conflict of interest#

It is expected that Council Members will be employed at a wide range of companies, universities and non-profit organizations. Because of this, it is possible that Members will have conflict of interests. Such conflict of interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial interests, such as investments, employment or contracting work, outside of The Project that may influence their work on The Project.

  • Access to proprietary information of their employer that could potentially leak into their work with the Project.

All members of the Council shall disclose to the rest of the Council any conflict of interest they may have. Members with a conflict of interest in a particular issue may participate in Council discussions on that issue, but must recuse themselves from voting on the issue.

Council Selection Process#

Eligibility#

  • Must be core contributor for at least one year

Nominations#

  • Nominations are taken over a public GitHub issue ticket over the course of 2 weeks.

  • Only Core Contributors may nominate folks

  • Self Nominations are allowed

  • At the conclusion of the 2 weeks, the list of nominations is posted on the ticket and this ticket is closed.

Election Process#

  • Voting occurs over a period of at least 1 week, at the conclusion of the nominations. Voting is blind and mediated by either an application or a third party like NumFOCUS. Each voter can vote zero or more times, once per each candidate. As this is not about ranking but about capabilities, voters vote on a yes/neutral/no basis per candidate – “would I trust this person to lead ArviZ?”.

  • Candidates are evaluated independently, each candidate having 60% or more of yes votes and less or equal than 20% of no votes is chosen. If the number of chosen candidates is >=4 and <=10 all candidates are confirmed and the election process stops here.

  • In the event that either not enough or too many candidates were confirmed, candidates are ranked by interpreting yes=+1, neutral=0 and no=-1. If too many candidates were confirmed, the 10 candidates with higher rank are elected. If not enough candidates were chosen, the 4 candidates with higher rank are elected.

  • In the event of a tie there will be a runoff election for the tied candidates. To avoid further ties and discriminate more among the tied candidates, this vote will be held by Majority Judgment (MJ): for each candidate, voters judge their suitability for office as either “Excellent”, “Very Good”, “Good”, “Acceptable”, “Poor”, or “Reject”. Multiple candidates may be given the same grade by a voter. The candidate with the highest median grade is the winner.

  • If more than one candidate has the same highest median-grade, the MJ winner is discovered by removing (one-by-one) any grades equal in value to the shared median grade from each tied candidate’s total. This is repeated until only one of the previously tied candidates is currently found to have the highest median-grade.

  • If ties are still present after this second round, the winner will be chosen at random. Each person tied will pick an integer number in the [1, 100] interval and send it privately to the third party mediating the election. After receiving all the numbers, said third party will draw a random integer from random.org. The person with the closest circular distance, defined as min(|a-b|, 100-|a-b|), will be selected. This process will be repeated as many times as necessary as there may be ties resulting from candidates choosing the same number.

  • At the conclusion of voting, all the results will be posted. And at least 24 hours will be left to challenge the election result in case there were suspicions of irregularities or the process had not been correctly carried out.

Vote of No Confidence#

  • In exceptional circumstances, council members as well as core contributors may remove a sitting council member via a vote of no confidence. Core contributors can also call for a vote to remove the entire council – in which case, Council Members do not vote.

  • A no-confidence vote is triggered when a core team member (i.e Council member or Core contributor) calls for one publicly on an appropriate project communication channel, and two other core team members second the proposal. The initial call for a no-confidence vote must specify which type is intended – whether it is targeting a single member or the council as a whole.

  • The vote lasts for two weeks, and the people taking part in it vary:

    • If this is a single-member vote called by Core contributors, both Council members and Core contributors vote, and the vote is deemed successful if at least two thirds of voters express a lack of confidence.

    • If this is a whole-council vote, then it was necessarily called by Core contributors (since Council members can’t remove the whole Council) and only Core contributors vote. The vote is deemed successful if at least two thirds of voters express a lack of confidence.

    • If this is a single-member vote called by Council Members, only Council Members vote, and the vote is deemed successful if at least half the voters express a lack of confidence. Council Members also have the possibility to call for the whole core team to vote (i.e Council members and Core contributors), although this is not the default option. The threshold for successful vote is also at 50% of voters for this option.

  • If a single-member vote succeeds, then that member is removed from the council and the resulting vacancy can be handled in the usual way.

  • If a whole-council vote succeeds, the council is dissolved and a new council election is triggered immediately.

Ejecting Core Contributors#

  • Core contributors can be ejected through a simple majority vote by the council. Council members vote “Yes” or “No”.

  • Upon ejecting a core contributor the council must publish an issue ticket, or public document detailing the

    • Violations

    • Evidence if available

    • Remediation plan (if necessary)

    • Signatures majority of council members to validate correctness and accuracy

Leaving the project#

Core contributors can also voluntarily leave the project by notifying the community through a public means or by notifying the entire council.

Unless they request otherwise, they will be listed on Emeritus team members page.

Voting Criteria For Future Elections#

Voting for first election is restricted to establish stable governance, and to defer major decision to elected leaders

  • For the first election only the people registered following the guidelines in elections/ArviZ_2020.md can vote

  • In the first year, the council must determine voting eligibility for future elections between two criteria:

    • Core contributors

    • The contributing community at large