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61570Re: theos-talk TS Election - Transparency and controls in balloting process

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  • jeffndc
    Mar 4, 2014
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      I haven't received anything from the TSA yet.  I had another cynical thought--based on the secrecy of this election "process" and the lack of a third party such as an accounting firm to verify the balloting and count the votes, how do we know that the votes will be tallied properly or fairly?


      From: Marie Johnson <MarieMAJ41@...>
      To: "theos-talk@yahoogroups.com" <theos-talk@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Tuesday, March 4, 2014 7:50 AM
      Subject: Re: theos-talk TS Election - Transparency and controls in balloting process

      I received ballot yesterday. Carefully read instructions so that your vote will not be disqualified.

      Put your name, address, etc. into large envelope. Put your vote into the small envelope and seal it. Place small envelope into large envelope, seal and stamp. Put return address on outside of sealed envelope and Mail. 

      Voila, you have voted .

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Mar 3, 2014, at 10:36 PM, ".:.MKR777" <mkr777@...> wrote:

      Some Sections have sent ballot papers to their members. American Section members are yet to receive them, nor have they been told about the schedule.

      Many members feel the current election is going to be a very close one due to the fact that both candidates are virtually unknown to most members. It may be recalled that there were allegations of possible problems with the 2008 election in some of the sections. In a very close election, errors can tilt the final outcome.

      TS was setup as a democratic body. In all democratic elections, there is full transparency and tight controls from the voter lists to tallying of the results. This is essential to maintain the integrity of the process so that voters will have trust in the results.

      The rules of TS do not say anything about transparency of the process. Since there is no explicit requirement of transparency, no Section has taken any steps towards transparency.

      To start with, the voter list is one of the most secret documents of TS. Sections also do not detail the process and the timeline and the controls in the balloting process. The rules do not explicitly require them to be made available to the voters. The date and time of tallying is kept very secret, as also the individuals who will do the tallying. No member or representative of the candidate is allowed to be present during counting of votes. The results of the balloting is also kept secret. This has been going on for decades because no one has questioned the process.

      There is already talk in the grapevine that some sections are printing excessive number of ballots. We do not know  the motives behind it. In a close election, a couple of zealots in large sections can mess up the votes and thus the outcome and in a non transparent process, we will never know even if such a thing happened.

      In the past decades, no one questioned the integrity of the process. But, after witnessing the ultra secret failed attempt to disenfranchise all members in the President Election, many members now have very low level of trust in their leaders. It all the more so that transparency is urgently needed. Transparency surely will not be welcomed by current elected leaders, but without resorting to a transparent process, none of the leaders will be able to command the level of trust that is essential for a leader.

      Let us see if the General Secretaries see the urgency of the situation and act quickly. Keeping status qua, is not going to get us anywhere.


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