[At-Large] FW: My Issues with the At-Large Election Process

Heidi Ullrich Heidi.Ullrich at icann.org
Tue Nov 2 21:23:30 UTC 2010

Dear All, 

Please see below a message sent by Danny Younger on the subject of the At-Large Board Director selection process. 

Kind regards,

Heidi Ullrich
Director for At-Large
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
Telephone: + 1 (310) 578 - 8647
Fax: +1 (310) 823 - 8649
Cell/Mobile: +1 (310) 437 - 3956

-----Original Message-----
From: Danny Younger [mailto:dannyyounger at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 6:11 AM
To: ICANN At-Large Staff
Subject: My Issues with the At-Large Election Process

[Please forward to all the appropriate at-large and RALO lists]

Dear members of the At-Large community,

By now you are aware that in the At-Large Board Director selection process 43 Statements of Interest (SOIs) were received by the Board Candidate Evaluation Committee (BCEC).  Three of those SOIs were from current and sitting members of the ALAC; forty were not.  By an amazing coincidence only current and former ALAC members were selected for the candidate slate.  On this basis alone, there are some that might wonder whether the at-large director selection process has, in fact, been captured.

Others will look at the fact that the BCEC was entitled to select as many as 7 candidates (which would have allowed for more than one gender to be considered, or would have allowed for some "non-insiders" to be considered), and yet the BCEC for some unfathomable reason decided to narrow the field of otherwise qualified candidates down to only the three that were sitting or prior ALAC members... still another reason to suspect capture.

We know that the ICANN Board Governance Committee had concerns about capture; their meeting minutes state:  "Reviewed the proposed At-Large Board member selection process and potential risks of capture identified within the process." While their assessment was that the risk of capture was low, the preliminary election results tendered can readily lead one to a different conclusion.

One also has to look at the fact that 49% of all SOIs were rejected before the process even began (ostensibly because they were deemed to be too incomplete to proceed further).  In what other election process are that many candidates rejected out of hand before the election even begins?  Clearly there is something seriously wrong with this picture.  If the Statement of Interest application form was so poorly written that almost half of all applications were improperly completed, then it is an inescapable conclusion that the process itself was seriously flawed.  

We know as well that ICANN Staff has provided a certain degree of support to some of the 22 candidates that hadn't fully completed their SOIs.  At issue is why Staff didn't offer comparable support to the other 21 applicants who were initially rejected.

Additionally, we are confronted with the fact that the at-large director selection process was announced on the internal ALAC-related lists on 21 July, but press releases in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Portugese (Brazilian), Russian and Spanish weren't issued until 26 August -- you will note that the deadline for applications was only 11 days thereafter (on 6 September).  One has to wonder how many SOIs weren't received owing simply to the the short time span between the international press release date and the final application deadline.  

One also has to wonder about how much of an advantage was thereby given to "insiders" that were aware of the process for a full month longer than applicants who first heard about the election when the Press releases were issued in languages other than English.

Recently, the ABSdt announced a revised timeline that requires the RALO petition process to be completed on or before 7 November, yet no e-mail notices have gone out to any of the candidates to advise them of the timeline changes.  Is this fair to the bulk of the candidates that may not even know of the existence of the ABSdt mailing list?

All of us intuitively understand that a flawed process can certainly yield a flawed outcome.  

So what do we do at this point?

While I understand the rush to have an at-large director seated (just as I understand the rush to have new gTLDs launched), I also understand that as a community we are better served by "doing it right" than by adhering to the results of what may be perceived as a tainted or seriously flawed election process.

Yes, I recognize that it is always exceedingly difficult to stop a moving train, but I remain of the view that this election process has already been damaged to the degree that it should be stopped dead in its tracks for the good of the at-large community.

I understand that these views may not be popular with some, but this election process, in my opinion, has proven to be not as fair and properly orchestrated as it could have been.

best regards,
Danny Younger


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