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Topic Title: Elections 2012
Topic Summary: Vote by internet - clarification needed in Ballot paper heading
Created On: 15 February 2012 09:56 PM
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 15 February 2012 09:56 PM
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PCannons

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

Hello Friends,

On line voting is highly commendable but making it a little easier would surely win greater take up. I would think a large proportion of users would attempt to access the site via a search engine such as Google only to find like me that it won't work. This of course triggers a bit of investigation for the engineering mind. A trawl through the IET site yields the answer kindly supplied in 2011, where the same frustration must have been apparent. The security treatment of the URL, which many will recognise, means you have to enter the address properly in the top Address Bar. Again very commendable, but a trap for the uwary retiree and a potential waste of energy on a grand scale. Can we have a little more than 'Go to:' next time please?

Edited: 15 February 2012 at 10:21 PM by PCannons
 15 February 2012 11:56 PM
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rossall

Posts: 1048
Joined: 06 August 2001

I am not sure whether I am understanding your suggestion correctly.

There is a difficulty in that the voting information contains codes unique to you (otherwise the same person could vote many times; indeed, non-members could also vote). Therefore, a published link would not be enough information. Since the email that you received is needed anyway, the link is there also.

As you will know, the ballot is conducted independently on behalf of the IET by ERS.

Regards

-------------------------
David Rossall
The Institution of Engineering and Technology

Edited: 16 February 2012 at 12:04 AM by rossall
 16 February 2012 06:17 AM
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CliveM

Posts: 228
Joined: 09 October 2002

It would appear from the email I received, which incidently fell foul of my ISP spam filter (BT Internet), that only online voting is possible.

There are a number of questions to be raised.

1. How many of our members have email and opted to receive email notifications from the IET?

2. How many of our members who have email and opted to receive email from the IET regularly check their ISP spam filters?

3. Will this method lead to a lower proportion of the membership voting?

4. Where is the information regarding the candidates, do you have to log on to the voting site for this information?

Just a few thoughts that entered my head. I hope they have been addressed by the IET.

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Clive Maude
 16 February 2012 11:20 AM
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PCannons

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

Thank you for your reponse David. My point was that I was caught by the fact that, no doubt like many others I had fallen into the lazy habit of accessing websites through my Google search engine. I think it was Andrew Wilson who pointed out to a frustrated voter in 2011 that this is not allowed for the IET election site and that access has to be via the Address Bar.

All i'm saying is that others who fall into the same trap may be disuaded from on-line voting and perhaps simply by stating 'must be accessed via the Address Bar and not via a search engine' a larger take up might be achieved. Or put a miniature screenshot on the ballot paper to illustrate the point.
 16 February 2012 12:27 PM
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roddalitz

Posts: 125
Joined: 19 April 2002

For goodness sake, the email contains a link which you simply click on! How much easier can you get?

Why should anyone waste time typing the URL into a window? with the possibility of typos?

-------------------------
regards, Rod Dalitz (CEng MIEE FInstP)
rod.dalitz@blueyonder.co.uk
 16 February 2012 01:26 PM
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ectophile

Posts: 545
Joined: 17 September 2001

Originally posted by: CliveM

4. Where is the information regarding the candidates, do you have to log on to the voting site for this information?


It isn't obvious from the email, but if you log on and select one of the elections to vote on, then there's a link to the candidates' biographies on that page.

-------------------------
S P Barker BSc PhD MIET
 16 February 2012 01:37 PM
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afwilson

Posts: 793
Joined: 28 January 2002

The number of members voting each year varies very little. There is not evidence of any adverse affect arising from the introduction of voting via the internet some years ago, or the email notifications of the ballots sent to some members from last year. Very few members report problems using the voting via the internet and all have been resolved satisfactorily. Any members experiencing difficulties should contact the IET at governance@theiet.org

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Andrew F Wilson
IET Governance & Legal Affairs
 21 February 2012 07:37 AM
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CliveM

Posts: 228
Joined: 09 October 2002

Andrew,

You haven't answered what proportion of our members are sent the email and what proportion actually receive the email and whether there is an alternative method for those who don't receive emails.

My recollection is that there is a small proportion of the eligable members vote so perhaps you could inform us what the proportion actually is. I also find the attitude that it doesn't vary much from year to year somewhat complacent. Shouldn't the Institution be encouraging people to vote?

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Clive Maude
 21 February 2012 12:12 PM
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afwilson

Posts: 793
Joined: 28 January 2002

My apologies for the delay in replying to the question about the distribution of ballot papers. This year 82% of members have been sent email notifications of the ballot and 18% have been sent printed papers by post. In cases where the email has bounced, printed papers are sent instead. I do not have access to the numbers affected in this way. The 18% are those members who have either not notified the IET of an email address, or have opted by preference to receive printed papers. Over recent years the proportion of members voting has been about 10% of those eligible.

I did not mean to imply that the IET viewed complacently the fact that the number of members voting each year has varied very little. The IET would like to increase both the number and percentage of members voting, and the voting mechanisms are designed with this in mind. Although numbers have not increased recently it is possible that they would instead have fallen, had the IET not put in place the options for electronic notification of ballots and voting via the internet.

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Andrew F Wilson
IET Governance & Legal Affairs
 21 February 2012 05:03 PM
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MikeWrigley

Posts: 100
Joined: 16 April 2002

When I got to the election for Council, this carried a qualifier (Technical & Professional Networks) . Not at all sure what this might mean. However, I then found that there isn't a single candidate from Europe including the UK and, that, I cannot explain at all. Until I understand what is going on my vote will be blank.

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Mike Wrigley
Past Chairman, French Network
 21 February 2012 05:41 PM
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afwilson

Posts: 793
Joined: 28 January 2002

There are nine sub-categories of Ordinary Member of Council. This year only one of those sub-categories had more candidates than vacancies, thus requiring a ballot, which is the 'Technical and Professional Networks' sub-category. There are no geographical limitations on this sub-category and it appears to be coincidental that all the candidates are from the Americas Region and the Asia-Pacific Region. Members from other Regions have stood for election in this sub-category in previous years.

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Andrew F Wilson
IET Governance & Legal Affairs
 21 February 2012 08:31 PM
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Jim Harden

Posts: 69
Joined: 25 July 2008

If the IET has a membership of more than 150K and only 15K bother to vote in the elections that is extremely worrying. How can the various Boards claim to represent the members when an overwhelming majority of members did not vote.

If 90% of the membership are either boycotting or just not voting there is something very seriously wrong. What is being done to address this.
 21 February 2012 10:29 PM
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roddalitz

Posts: 125
Joined: 19 April 2002

I could be surprised it is as many as 10%. As for me, I doubt I have ever seen a candidate I knew or related to. Why should anyone vote when, as it says above, most places are unopposed?

I generally DO vote, but according to simple rules. I always support women, North in preference to the South, industry in preference to academia or government. The statements are not always revealing and often do not give much of a clue about the person. So I can see why many members would simply not bother.

After the candidates are elected, there is really no feedback about what they have achieved, and there is always a suspicion that the establishment has swallowed them up without trace.

So how would you propose to change that?

-------------------------
regards, Rod Dalitz (CEng MIEE FInstP)
rod.dalitz@blueyonder.co.uk
 08 March 2012 04:12 PM
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MikeWrigley

Posts: 100
Joined: 16 April 2002

Andrew, thank you for the explanation for the 100% foreign candidates. This leads me to two conclusions.
1- that members in the UK have other priorities than the IET. The IET is not attractive enough to make a call on their time. If I were at the top of the pyramid this would worry me.
2- the electronic voting system does not allow me to record a blank vote. I honestly cannot choose which candidate represents my values and wish to vote blank but this is not possible. So maybe I remain in the 90% non-voters which is not really the case.

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Mike Wrigley
Past Chairman, French Network
 09 March 2012 11:59 AM
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afwilson

Posts: 793
Joined: 28 January 2002

Blank votes are counted, but this effectively counts together both the abstentions (deliberately blank) and the 'spoiled' votes (accidently blank). We will consider how to separate these in future years. The online voting system only records blank votes for members who have voted for at least one election and members cannot at present record a blank vote for all elections. Members who have opted to receive voting materials on paper are still able to submit blank or spoiled papers as in previous years.

Originally posted by: MikeWrigley

2- the electronic voting system does not allow me to record a blank vote. I honestly cannot choose which candidate represents my values and wish to vote blank but this is not possible. So maybe I remain in the 90% non-voters which is not really the case.


-------------------------
Andrew F Wilson
IET Governance & Legal Affairs
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