EGO Election Results

Posted July 26, 2019, 12:12 a.m. by Admiral Joe P (Librarian / TECH Chairman) (Joe P)

Voting in the EGO election has closed. The result of the election is that Katherine Dedul will replace Steve Johnson, effective immediately and until Steve Johnson’s term was to end.

There were eight rounds of voting, summarized below:

Candidate Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Round 6 Round 7 Round 8
Ray Branch 1 1
Jerome Davis 2 2 2 2 2
Katherine Dedul 7 7 8 8 8 8 8 11
Tony Findora 2 2 2 2
Brandon Irvine 1
Geoff Joosten 1 2 2 2 3 5 7 10
Sidney Parker 2 2 2 2 3 3
Steven Sigle 1 1 1
Adam W 4 4 4 5 5 5 6

This is the EGO election with the most candidates I have ever seen, and may be the most complicated one in history. Given that, and that I received a few procedural questions during the process, I want to explain a few things that I imagine will be confusing.

The EGO Election uses Instant Runoff Voting, in which the candidate with the least votes is eliminated in each round and the votes cast for that individual are redistributed according to voter’s stated preferences, until one candidate is the majority winner. One possibility in a complex IRV election is that there will be multiple early-round ties, which I don’t believe we’ve seen in an EGO election here before. The election rules as stated in EEEGO specify that the Election Coordinator may only vote to break a tie, and they also state that the Election Coordinator may have “a vote” for this purpose. However, a single vote is insufficient to break a 4 way first round tie, and the act of voting to break those ties would create additional ties that would create further ties to break, which would eventually require me to cast an absurd number of votes.

In order to determine how to proceed, I retrieved the source code of the old Instant Runoff Voting polling system that we used under WeBBSpace to determine how the old software handled this situation, figuring that this would be the most proper way to ensure that I acted in accordance with the previously established electoral process. My review of that source code determined that the software handled early-round ties by selecting a tied candidate at random to eliminate. Therefore, I decided to replicate this behaviour for this election. This random elimination process affected rounds 1, 2 and 4. The point is, although these ties were broken, a vote was not actually cast by me to break them.

Also, it is worth noting that the Election Coordinator is not generally permitted to reveal whether or not a tie breaking vote was cast (which I’m pretty sure is a written rule but I can’t actually seem to find it at the moment). So I will not tell you if I ever actually did cast a tie breaking vote. However, if it were necessary to cast a tie breaking vote to determine which candidate won the majority of votes after the final elimination round, I will say that I would cast only a single vote to break that tie.

Finally, I want to note that I was privately asked a question about whether or not Katherine Dedul was to eligible to stand for election. This is because EEEGO contains the following text:

EGO is comprised of three members (Egotists) holding at least the rank of Fleet Captain. These members shall serve a term of two years (24 months). These two year terms >shall be staggered so that one new member is elected every eight months, rotating through each of the three Egotists as their two year term expires. The Chief Egotist, >who is responsible for issuing all public EGO statements, shall be the Egotist with the shortest remaining time in office. Once the Chief Egotist has rotated out, the next >shortest term Egotist assumes the title.

Term Limits

Egotists may not stand for incumbent reelection. In this manner, at least eight months must pass between an Egotist leaving office and standing for election again.

Kat is not an incumbent, but eight months have not passed between when she left office and when she was standing for election again, so it is unclear at first glance whether or not term limits apply to Kat.

My reading of the words “in this manner” is that they refer to the previous paragraph describing how EGO terms work, thus, I believe sentence can be understood to mean “In the manner wherein there are three 2 year terms, staggered by 8 months,” e.g. it is merely an example meant to illustrate the required condition of non-incumbency, and not an additional eligibility requirement in itself. There is also no mention of non-incumbent-but-term-limited individuals in the eligibility section that appears later. Thus, I believe that it is not actually a condition that a candidate must wait 8 months to be on EGO; they must merely be not an incumbent.

Regardless of whether my reading is actually correct or not (I think it is), the second sentence of the Term Limits paragraph is phrased in a needlessly confusing way and I propose that legislation be written to clarify this confusion, so that nobody has to do these grammatical gymnastics ever again.

That was really long and confusing, to the point where even I find it tedious to read… so… if there are questions about any of that, I am happy to take them, privately or publicly.

– Joe


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