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From "Dennis E. Hamilton" <>
Subject RE: Can the one proposing a vote cast his vote?
Date Mon, 04 Jun 2012 03:49:43 GMT

In general, anyone should recuse themselves from voting or simply not vote if there is concern
for (perception of) conflict of interest of any sort.

There is no reason for someone calling a vote not to vote.  It happens in governments and
it happens in standard structures for operating committees of various kinds.  Calling the
vote is not casting a vote in those contexts either.  Calling for a vote (or initiating a
[VOTE] thread) is for making progress to a definite outcome and is technically not the same
as voting on the motion.

The only odd case about votes is typically when someone is sitting as a chairperson. In general,
chairpersons (having not recused themselves) MAY vote when the vote cast makes a difference
in the outcome, but SHALL NOT vote at any other time.  The chairperson is expected to remain
neutral and only in the particular close case the chairperson may (but need not) cast a decisive
vote.  I believe that is the rule that governs the conduct of the Vice President of the United
States when sitting as the chairperson of the US Senate.

Of course, the procedures and bylaws of a specific organization will determine how the specific
combinations of cases are handled.

 - Dennis

-----Original Message-----
From: Herbert Duerr [] 
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2012 04:50
Cc: Ross Gardler
Subject: Re: Can the one proposing a vote cast his vote?


I was wondering how other projects under the ASF umbrella handle the 
question, whether the one calling a vote should always stay neutral or 
whether he should be allowed to cast his vote.

Or is it assumed that the one proposing a vote automatically approves 
his proposal with a +1?

I had found from the Avalon project that 
summarizes the voting process very well. My particular question wasn't 
answered in it though, so I discussed that topic with Ross Gardler, 
where he gave some good advise and allowed me to share it:
> You should vote. Unless you formally record your vote it will not be
> counted.
> In some cases other factors might make your impartiality questionable,
> e.g. you may be nominating a new committee who is a work colleague. In
> such circumstances you may choose to declare your relationship when you
> make the nomination or when you vote. However, since everyone is an
> individual in the ASF this is not required.
> If there is a genuine conflict of interest you need to recuse yourself
> from the vote. This might happen in circumstances such as requesting PMC
> approval of the projects trademarks for an event sponsored by your employer.

Are there additional criteria one should consider or are there any other 
opinions on this topic?


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