Community Election Results. Announced and ratified! But now what?

kattekrab's picture

I just hit save on a blogpost on ado to officially announce the result of the recently concluded community election.

Congratulations to @mortendk and @pcambra - I'm very much looking forward to working with you both over the coming months.

The announcement post:

But I'd also like to open a new discussion with the community, and recruit some volunteers to sit on the election committee.

We should review our electoral process and our tools.

Legitimate complaints were made about the user experience in the Decisions tool. We need to evaluate a different module.

Complaints were made about current board members endorsing some candidates. We have no policy on this.

We have very low voter turnout. Less than 1% of eligible voters had a say. Is this apathy? Have we not communicated a compelling reason to engage in the election process? Are we just not reaching most of our eligible to let them know this is happening? Or is it a combination of these things?

What can we do better to engage the community?

What can we do better?

At the conclusion of the last election I posted this retrospective:

What's the best way to proceed now?


We need to evaluate a

greggles's picture

We need to evaluate a different module.

Or improve the existing one.

Also, a huge thanks to Donna for your work in the past year and especially as part of this electin process!

Thanks @greggles :) Decisions

kattekrab's picture

Thanks @greggles :)

Decisions would also need to be ported to D7 - and currently looks a little unloved and unmaintained. "Someone" would need to adopt it I think. :/

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association

Improving the voting UI - Reply to Sun on ADO post...

kattekrab's picture

in reply to

Thanks Sun.

Yes, the ranking UI in Decisions module sux. No question.

There is no D7 version for Decisions, and we are likely to be running D7 be the time the next election rolls around. So I would like some help on the election committee of evaluating alternative modules to run the election.

Obvious contenders are these.

However @jenlampton suggested on twitter that perhaps webform could do it, and @attiks proposed

but I'm not sure whether or not that also gives us the voting logic we need? Election, advpoll and decisions modules all implement various voting algortithms.

Last election it was suggested we should adopt the Single Transferrable Vote algorithm, and election module claims to support that. So I'd be keen to explore that direction further.

Edit: Some History
Evaluation of why we used decisions over advpoll is here
Our criteria was it support IRV, anonymous voting and an electoral list.

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association

Drag & drop

tsvenson's picture

Legitimate complaints were made about the user experience in the Decisions tool. We need to evaluate a different module.

I think a simple divided drag & drop solution would drastically improve the UX here.

|                                      |
|    Drag candidates to here in the    |
|         order you want them          |
|                                      |
| [Cand. 1] [Cand. 2] ...              |

The voters then simply drag the candidates they want to the top area and drop them in the order they want them. They will then be able to rearrange the order like is done in for example with the fields in the Field UI. Only candidates dragged to the top area will get counted, just as if I would have only numbered the first 5 of the 17th in this election.

Can of course be made looking more beautiful than the Field UI with some theming too :)

T: @tsvenson | S:

Drag & Drop: Needs your review

ezra-g's picture

Folks interested in seeing a drag & drop in the Decisions module can help by reviewing sun's patch at Thanks, sun!

and a D7 port

kattekrab's picture

it would also need to be ported to D7.

Donna Benjamin
Board Member Drupal Association

I expect this still offers a

slef's picture

I expect this still offers a non-DnD interface if javascript is off, like most draggable tables in drupal, so people with poor motor control can still vote without it becoming an ordeal.

it would also need to be

ezra-g's picture

it would also need to be ported to D7.

Correct. Open Source software moves forward when someone with a need does work to address that need in a way that benefits the broader user base of the software.

While there are certainly situations where it makes sense to abandon a project, a general practice of abandoning modules just because they haven't been updated to the latest supported version of Drupal core is likely to result in fragmentation of the efforts around those projects.

The functionality in Decisions module happens to be a case where there's been a great deal of resource fragmentation historically (eg AdvPoll) relative to the relatively narrow use case and complexity of the functionality it offers (runoff voting).

some thoughts about the 99.45% ...

silverwing's picture

(This comment isn't about the technical details, but on the 0.55%. Donna wrote above "Have we not communicated a compelling reason to engage in the election process? Are we just not reaching most of our eligible to let them know this is happening? " and that's what I believe the problem is.)

I believe we need a dedicated subsite for these elections. As it stands, I'm not sure where the information actually is - and going between Groups and Association gets confusing. (The actual voting should stay on association.d.o.)

Having an atlarge.d.o (or vote.d.o or whatever) would be a one-stop place for the other 99.45% to learn about the candidates, find transcripts, and learn why the at-large elections are important to Drupal users, and what these people do. Plus we can have one news feed for the Planet.

We could also do more with the "Front Page" news of d.o - but I'm not sure how many users actually read the /news.

Then we have the sidebar blocks. The biggest fail of our Bluecheese theme is there's no real global area for messages. But we can use the "Right column" for locally-hosted "ads" leading up the voting. (We could probably do it on Groups and maybe Localize.) And maybe add a "Vote" to the top primary navigation during the election.

We also have the user profile - mention the elections under the Association blurb.


First of Donna did a huge and

tvn's picture

First of Donna did a huge and great job running this elections! Thank you!

Now some thoughts on the process. I agree that UX of the voting itself could be improved, but don't think that was the biggest problem. Before voting you needed to make a decision who to vote for and that on its own could be quite hard. There was too many information to go through and that information was not easy to find.

General/Past information

I do not think we need separate subsite for this, but a central place on a.d.o - definitely.

It can be a.d.o/vote - landing page, with info what the vote is all about, when was last one and results, when will be the next one.
Nomination and other pages for past votes gathered into book outline under that page:

Nomination pages

Nomination page could be improved. We might need more clear guidelines on what to write in each field and also restrictions on the size of the text.

These pages should be single place where you can find information about the candidate, so that people won't need to go look around on g.d.o etc.

This time some of the nominees did a great job of gathering all their answers and statements on their nomination pages, others didn't. While digging through various g.d.o posts and logs of IRC sessions, you could easily forget whom you read about already or mix who of the (17!) people said what on specific subject.
Which brings us to the next point:

Call/IRC sessions

Do they really help? How many people followed them live? I think most of the people just read questions/answers afterwards, as they were posted by nominees in comments somewhere.
Were the questions really informative/important and helped voters make a decision? I am not sure all of them were.

What if we do it differently:
1. Prior to nominations/voting process run a survey to collect questions to nominees from the community. What is important for the community right now? What questions would they ask?

  1. Select X most repeatable topics/questions. And make every nominee answer them on their nomination page.

This might:
- let us get more questions from more people, who won't necessarily attend "Meet candidates" sessions
- create additional buzz prior to elections, potentially let more people know something will be going on soon
- have all nominees answer same questions and right on their pages, so you won't need to go look around for logs.


There is now no notification system on a.d.o to send e-mails when new comment is posted on the node or blog post.
Some of the nominees never answered single comment left on their nomination node, chances are they just had no idea those comments existed. Having a way to "subscribe/follow" could make discussions on a.d.o much easier.

DA Elections blog

As silverwing pointed out, it is confusing that some info/discussions are on a.d.o and some on g.d.o.
It might be good idea to:
- move everything to a.d.o.,
- agree on a tag for elections posts,
- call the feed of this posts "DA Elections blog" or w/e
- create url alias a.d.o/vote/blog
- add it as a feed on Planet.

On g.d.o and d.o we could still post announcements pointing back to a.d.o.

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