Wikimedia Foundation elections/2021/FAQ

The election ended 31 August 2021. No more votes will be accepted.
The results were announced on 7 September 2021. Please consider submitting any feedback regarding the 2021 election on the elections' post analysis page.

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2021 Board Elections
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Frequently asked questions on board elections 2021Edit

Many questions are coming up about Board elections. This page intends to provide some answers. Any other questions? Please add your question on the talk page. Facilitators will check this page frequently. You may also get in touch with the facilitation team.

TimelineEdit

General questions about the BoardEdit

Q: What is the Board?

A: The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees oversees the Wikimedia Foundation's operations. The Board of Trustees is made up of community-and-affiliate trustees and appointed trustees. Each trustee serves a three year term. The Wikimedia contributors and affiliates can take part in selecting community trustees.


Q: Who are the Board trustees?

A: Since 2008 the Board had up to ten Trustees. This number recently increased to 16. Eight seats are selected through community and affiliates processes, one is Jimmy Wales’ founder seat, and up to seven seats are appointed by the Board.


Q: How many Trustees will be appointed in this election?

A: Four trustees will be selected in this election and four more will be selected in 2022. This year three seats will be renewed (the ones currently occupied by Dariusz Jemielniak, James Heilman, and María Sefidari) and one seat is new as a result of the recent Bylaws changes.

ElectionsEdit

Q: Are there requirements to be eligible to vote?

A: Yes there are. The Elections Committee decides the criteria. The criteria is listed on the Voting information page.


Q: How will the edits be counted for volunteers that contribute to various projects?

A: The rule is: one user, one vote. Your contributions will be counted across all wikis, if it’s your home-wiki or any other.


Q: When will the selected trustees be appointed?

A: The final appointment is expected to happen in September.


Q: What is the Elections Committee and why do they decide on the voting method?

A: The Elections Committee oversees community elections to the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees or Funds Dissemination Committee (FDC).The Elections Committee and its predecessors have been around since 2004. The Elections Committee consists of volunteers from the community.

New in 2021Edit

Q: Why has the voting system been changed?

A: A proportional voting system has been discussed for better representation of voters. That’s why it was a topic in the Call for Feedback: Community Board seats. There the best voting method (Condorcet, Schulze, STV) was discussed but no decision was made. The Board passed on the task of determining this method to the Elections Committee.


Q: What voting system did the Election Committee decide on?

A: The Elections Committee chose the Single Transferable Vote method. This voting system allows voters to rank candidates instead of just voting for one candidate. Try this delicious example with desserts. How would you rank your favorite desserts? Maybe like this:

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Cake

While you prefer chocolate, cake is still delicious. Instead of voting for only chocolate, you have the opportunity to get another dessert in your top 3 if more people voted for cookies or cake than chocolate.


Q: There is a massive outreach campaign this time that has never happened before. Why are you reaching out to community members to vote this time?

A: The Call for Feedback: Community Board seats showed how few people knew about the Board of Trustees. Globally the participation numbers are low - about 9% of eligible voters voted in 2017. Even less in some big communities. It is important to increase participation and representation by sharing the information.


Q: On what base are the 2017 election 10% turnout and the targeted 20% turnout of this year's election calculated?

A: Former Board elections did not have dedicated outreach. Some communities did volunteer outreach and doubled the turnout. Examples are the Ukrainian and Vietnamese Wikipedias. Increasing the global percentage to 20% seems like a good goal.


Q: Why are you directing election efforts only to 550 projects? There are more - about 800!

A: These are all projects estimated to have eligible voters. According to our data, the other projects do not have any eligible voters, as edits are sparse there or they are very young.

Election volunteersEdit

Q: What are Election Volunteers?

A: Election Volunteers are community volunteers supporting the Board elections. They keep their communities informed about things concerning the upcoming Board elections.


Q: Why are Election Volunteers needed?

A: We need more voices from the local communities to participate in elections.


Q: How many hours do Election Volunteers have to dedicate?

A: It is not anticipated to take too much time, we expect about an hour per week, maybe some more during the election itself. Keep in mind though: the Election Volunteer role is similar to other volunteer roles in the Wiki movement. No one determines the number of hours we dedicate to volunteering in the Wiki movement and the Election Volunteer role is like that. It depends on each individual.


Q: How many volunteers are needed for a community or project?

A: More volunteers make lighter work. This is something new so we are hoping for at least one volunteer per community.


Q: What is the duration of this role?

A: This role is active through the selection process until September, when the new trustees are appointed.


Q: Will there be any training for Election Volunteers?

A: We do not think training is needed because Election Volunteers know their communities best, but we are open to consider every request by Election Volunteers. If anything is necessary, ask us.  


Q: Will there be a guideline to assist Election Volunteers in their work?

A: The facilitation team will provide best practice suggestions, usage tips for certain types of communication, and <message templates>. If there is anything you think would be helpful, please let us know.


Q: Does it matter that I am able to volunteer more on weekends and not weekdays?

A: Everyone can work within the time that works best for them.


Q: Can I get involved as an Election Volunteer in other projects than I signed up for in the first place?

A: Sure you can! Just register on the table. Please ensure that you have sufficient time and community connection for the projects you choose.


Q: Can I collaborate with other volunteers even if they are not Election Volunteers?

A: Absolutely! Please coordinate with them so you know what is covered.