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Proposal Details

Proposal ID222
ProposalResolution to Amend the Rules and Procedures on Steering Committee Elections Policy
PresenterGPUS SC
Floor ManagerSteve Kramer
Discussion06/10/2006 - 06/11/2006
Voting06/12/2006 - 06/18/2006
Presens Quorum32 0.6666
Consens Quorum56 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes


This proposal is derived from Proposal 220 on Internal Elections that failed to pass. It is concerned with the Steering Committee elections only, with the intention to provide a clear procedure to be used for the Steering Committee elections in Tucson in July 2006 and beyond.
This resolution amends the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United States to adopt a new Policy on SC Elections to provide rules for the tabulation of such elections, to define certain terms, including "winning threshold", to provide methods for resolving ties, and to provide for the filling of vacancies. It also amends the Bylaws to clarify the method of election.


Resolved, that Section B, Vacancies, of GPUS Bylaws Article VI. be stricken, and the remaining sections be designated to reflect this removal,

And Resolved, that Section B (was Section C), Method of Election, of GPUS Bylaws Article VI. Selection, Election, and Removal of Officers be rewritten to read as follows:

C. Method of Election

1. SC co-chairs shall be elected using Single Transferable Voting (STV, also known as choice voting and preference voting), with a fractional Droop threshold (the number of votes divided by the sum of the number of seats to be filled and one [votes/(seats+1)]) and fractional transfers. A candidate must pass the Droop threshold in order to be elected.

2. The Secretary and Treasurer shall be elected separately using Instant Runoff Voting (IRV, also known as single-seat STV or single-seat choice voting). A candidate must pass a majority threshold of all ballots to be elected.

And Resolved, that the Rules and Procedures of the Green Party of the United States are here amended by adding a new Article 7., to read as follows:

7. Preference Voting Rules for Steering Committee Elections


"Preference Voting" shall mean a voting system which achieves representation in deliberative bodies proportional to the support such representation enjoys among the voters by allowing voters to rank candidates for the internal Party offices in the order of their choice, according to the method described and by tabulating votes pursuant to the rules provided in this Article.

Preference Voting tabulates votes based on the principle that any vote cast which would not otherwise help elect a voter's most preferred candidate(s), shall be used to help elect that voter's next most preferred candidate(s). Thus, if a voter's first choice among the candidates receives more than enough votes to win, the surplus proportion of that vote will be transferred to that voter's second or succeeding (next-highest ranking) choice. Alternatively, if a voter's first choice candidate is eliminated, that vote instead will be cast for the voter's second or succeeding (next highest ranking) choice.


Two months before each Annual National Meeting (reduced to one month for 2006), the Secretary of GPUS shall post to the GNC a request for nominations for an Election Tabulation Committee. The Election Tabulation Committee will consist of five members of the GNC and will be elected by the NC using the current system of Single Transferable Voting employed by the Green Party website: Multi-Seat Ranked-Choice Voting

Ballots shall be counted by the Election Tabulation Committee according to the following rules:

1. Determination of Victory Threshold

(a) In order for a candidate to be elected, the number of votes for that candidate to be an elected shall surpass the "threshold" or "winning threshold".

(b) The threshold determines transferable surpluses as defined below. The threshold is determined by dividing (the number of valid votes cast) by (the number of seats + 1). In an election to name a single individual to fill an office, the winning threshold shall be a simple majority of the ballots cast and these rules may be referred to as instant run-off voting.

2. Rules regarding the transfer of votes at all stages of tabulation:

(a) Votes acquired by a candidate in excess of the threshold for that election shall be termed their "surplus". A candidate's surplus votes shall be transferred according to the following rule: transfer a portion of each vote determined by dividing the surplus of the candidate by the total number of votes for that candidate, rounded to the third decimal place, to each voter's next choice. Votes cast for candidates who are eliminated (as described below) shall be transferred at their full current value to those voter's next choice(s).

(b) Votes may not be transferred to candidates who have already surpassed the threshold, nor may votes be transferred to candidates who have been eliminated. When a voter's next
choice is not eligible for receipt of transferred votes, that vote (or portion of a vote) shall be transferred to the voter's next indicated choice until all choices on that ballot have been exhausted.

(c) If a voter fails to designate a candidate to a ranking, the vote shall be transferred to that voter's next clearly indicated choice.

(d) Any ranked votes cast for eligible write-in candidates shall be tabulated in the same manner as those for candidates whose names are printed on the ballots.

(e) If a ballot has no more available choices ranked on it, that ballot shall be declared "exhausted." Ballots ranking two or more candidates as the voter's first ranked choice shall be declared "exhausted". Ballots with two candidates sharing the same rank shall be declared exhausted when a transfer of a surplus would put in doubt which candidate would next be eligible for the transfer, unless all but one of the candidates with the shared ranking have already been defeated or elected making them ineligible to receive a transfer.

3. Stages in the Tabulation for multi-seat positions:

(a) Any candidate whose total votes at any stage of the tabulation exceeds the winning threshold shall be declared to have won a seat.

(b) Vote counting shall start with a tabulation of first choice votes and with the transfer of a proportion of any existing surplus votes according to the rules specified above. Transfer of surpluses shall commence with the candidate having the largest surplus and proceed successively to the candidates with the next largest surplus.

(c) If the transfer of surplus votes to voters' next choice candidates creates a new surplus, then a proportion of these votes shall be transferred to those voter's succeeding choices, until all surpluses have been transferred or all declared choices on a ballot have been exhausted.

(d) When all surplus votes have been distributed in this manner, a tally shall be taken. Any remaining surpluses created by any transfer shall once again be transferred, and a new tally taken, until all surpluses have been transferred. Then the remaining candidate with the least number of votes shall be eliminated.

(e) This process of transferring surpluses followed by eliminating candidates with the least number of votes shall continue until every available seat has been filled by a candidate whose support has surpassed the winning threshold, or until no candidate remains to be eliminated. Any seat not filled by a candidate surpassing the winning threshold shall be declared vacant and a new election shall be called to fill such vacancies.

4. Tabulation for single seat positions

If a candidate receives a majority of the first-choice votes, then that candidate shall be declared elected. If no candidate receives such a majority, then the candidate with the fewest first choices shall be declared defeated. Ballots cast for this defeated candidate shall be transferred at full value to the next choice candidate marked on each ballot. Last-place candidates are eliminated and their supporters' ballots transferred to next-choice candidates who are still in the race in a similar manner until a candidate receives a number of votes surpassing the winning threshold. Should no candidate enjoy sufficient support to surpass the winning threshold, a vacancy is declared and a new election shall be held to fill the vacant seat.

5. Determinations in the case of a Tie:

For ties between candidates occurring at any stage in the tabulation, determinations shall be made based on whomever was credited with the most votes at the previous successive stages of tabulation. Specifically, if in any round of tabulation, two or more candidates have an equal number of votes, the candidate with the most first choices shall prevail. If two or more candidates have an equal number of first choices, than the candidate with a greater number of second choices shall prevail, and so on. If this information fails to resolve the tie, the Election Tabulation Committee shall consider the approval expressed by the ballots determined by the ranks assigned by all the ballots which ranked each tied candidate in question and whether any ballots cast ranked no-other-candidate at a higher preference than a candidate in question.


1. Tabulation & Report

Immediately upon the close of the polls the Election Tabulation Committee shall tabulate the ballots pursuant to these rules. Immediately following the tabulation of such ballots, the Election Tabulation Committee shall file its written report on the election with the National Committee. The report shall declare which candidates were elected to which seats and for what terms for each election they are charged with tabulating, and a narrative description of the tabulation detailing how surpluses were redistributed, how candidates were identified for elimination at the end of each round, how ties were resolved and other factors that weighed in the final determination of the winning candidates. The Election Tabulation Committee shall publish as an appendix to their Report the details of each ballot received sufficient to permit an independent tabulation. The report shall further evaluate the extent to which these rules anticipated the demands of the election and gave adequate guidance to the Election Tabulation Committee on the conduct of its responsibilities.

2. Receipt & Right to Challenge Election Results

When the GNC receives a report from the Election Tabulation Committee or a properly filed Challenge as described in paragraph 3., below, the question shall be put to the GNC, on the fourteenth day following the transmittal of the report, on certifying the results as so reported, and as a distinct question, on sustaining each Challenge as may have been timely filed. In presenting a question on sustaining a Challenge, it shall be made clear that to sustain the Challenge is to act to adopt such amendments to the certification as may be proposed by the sustained Challenge. Such questions shall be resolved by a simple majority vote of the GNC.

3. The Resolution to a Challenge to Election Results, Proposed for certification

(a) Any contest to the results proposed by the Election Tabulation Committee for certification by the body conducting the election shall be filed within seven days of the transmittal of the report to be challenged. It shall take the form of a Challenge to the Election Results, as Reported by the Election Tabulation Committee on (a date). It shall set out the facts supporting its contention that the election proposed to be certified was not conducted in accordance with the rules governing such elections, and that a proper application of the rules would have yielded a different result. Such Challenge shall also propose amendments to the certification report to permit the GNC to certify those portions of the report, supportable by the evidence, and proposing a course of action for the resolution of the remaining contested seats.

(b) Such a Challenge may be filed by (i) any candidate who appeared on the ballot by virtue of having been nominated for consideration in such election, or (ii) any write-in candidate
for whom the Election Tabulation Committee reports that they have received a number of votes within five percent of the winning threshold necessary to win a seat in the election or
(iii) by any voter who presents evidence that their ballot was not appropriately recorded in the tabulation of the election.

(c) If there is objection to the certification, the question of sustaining the challenge shall be put to the GNC, followed by the question of Certifying the Report, as amended by any sustained challenge. A majority vote of the GNC shall be binding on each question.


(a) All original election materials, including ballots and tally sheets, with an original signed copy of the report of the Election Tabulation Committee shall be sealed under the signatures of each committee member. An additional signed copy of the report and copies of all other election materials shall be preserved for review. The sealed original record may not be unsealed except by resolution of the GNC or by Order of a Court of competent jurisdiction.

(b) An original signed report of the Elections Tabulation Committee, including the details of each ballot received sufficient to permit an independent tabulation, shall be preserved, published and made available at the principle office of the Party for inspection by any member of the Party. An electronic form of the report shall be published, web-accessible, in the archives of the Party.


Any vacancy that occurs within one month of an election shall be filled by interim appointment by recounting the ballots from the election which elected that member, by an Election Tabulation Committee designated by the GNC experiencing the vacancy, in the manner specified herein, except that the vacating member's name shall be deleted from all ballots. Any candidate accruing sufficient votes to surpass the winning threshold in the recount that was not elected to office in the original count shall fill the vacancy. If such a recount fails to resolve a vacancy or if the vacancy occurs more than one month after the election, the Steering Committee may provide for a special election under these rules to fill the seat until the next regularly scheduled election for that position.


An implicit 'no other candidate' shall remain an option of each voter who chooses not to rank possible candidates on their ballot.




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The Green Party of the United States voting system is free software, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
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To independently verify a ranked choice vote, or for information about how that works, go to Jonathan Lundell's Voting Page and upload the ballot file from the ranked choice vote result page. JL's ranked choice module is licensed under an alternate free software license.
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