The ESCo follows the general decision making process that all bodies in the Foundation are required to use i.e. voting, with some exceptions detailed here. You should familiarize yourself with those mechanisms before continuing.
There are, however, some unique aspects of ESCo voting mandated by the bylaws that overrule this general mechanism; this page describes what those exceptions are.
The ESCo is a "fixed body", with pre-defined classes of participant, and maximum numbers in each class. Specifically, there may be up to 13 ESCo members, comprised of:
- ESCo Project Leads, of which there may be up to 5
- ESCo Advisors, of which there may be up to 7
- ESCo Secretary, of which there may be 0 or 1
Unlike other Foundation bodies, the ESCo has a quorum, defined as ⅔ of the occupied ESCo Project Lead seats, rounded up. So when all 5 of the ESCo Project Lead seats are occupied (the typical case), quorum is 4.
Email votes are considered to have "failed" (i.e. to have failed to reach a decision, either way) if the number of valid responses from ESCo Project Leads does not meet quorum. In-person votes cannot have this outcome since they cannot be initiated unless a quorum is present (see below).
Only ESCo members can initiate a vote; votes that are requested by other bodies (e.g. an incubating working group that is requesting ratification) are initiated by an ESCo member (typically the ESCo Secretary) on behalf of that body.
Any ESCo member may respond to a vote, however only responses from the ESCo Project Leads initially count, unless there is a tied vote (as per bylaws §6.2c). In the event of a tie, and assuming there are at least 10 seated ESCo leads and advisors (as per bylaws §6.2c), a re-vote occurs where ESCo Advisor votes are also counted. Re-votes always take place via email.
The names of ESCo Project Leads who fail to respond to an email vote are recorded in the vote result.
Provided quorum is satisfied and the ESCo Secretary is present, the ESCo may choose to vote in-person, in which case the following rules apply:
- All present ESCo Project Leads must agree to conduct an in-person vote (i.e. any ESCo Project Lead may veto).
- The ESCo Secretary calls upon each present ESCo Project Lead individually to provide a verbal reply of “aye”, “nay” or “abstain”.
- “Nay” and “abstain” votes must be accompanied with a justification.
- The ESCo Secretary asks whether any ESCo Advisors wish to submit an advisory vote. If so, the same response format is expected for each advisory vote.
- The ESCo Secretary records the individual results of the vote, including justifications, in the minutes of the meeting where the vote took place.
- In the event of a tie, the re-vote mechanism described above is used.
This voting process was instituted by resolution during the 2016-01-29 ESCo Meeting.
It was subsequently refined, based on the ESCo's ratification of a package of governance refinements, on 2016-12-01.
The decision to record the names of ESCo Project Leads who fail to respond to email votes was made in the 2017-02-28 ESCo meeting.