Confirmation of Fregerson as Election Commissioner

Oracle

The Goddess of Death
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@Fregerson, can you elaborate on why you should be confirmed by the Regional Assembly?
What are some areas in TNP election law and procedure that you feel can be improved upon?
Do you foresee yourself running in an election in the next two cycles (March Judicial or May General)?
 

Darcania

kul Seredrau
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Do we need another election commissioner?
Yes. Six (the amount we currently have) is above the legal minimum of five, to be sure, but it's safer to have at least seven so that the Chief EC doesn't so frequently have to appoint temporary replacements in the case of absences, or in the case of EC terms expiring before the RA can confirm more nominees.
 
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Gorundu

When in doubt, blame Bob
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As the head of the ministry that Fregerson has worked as Deputy Minister, I can attest they are diligent, helpful, and a trustworthy individual overall. I fully support this nomination to the Election Commission.
 

Fregerson

Secretly here
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First of all, I would like to apologise if I reply the queries late. This is because I am currently out of town and have no computer access for the next 2 weeks or so, so there may be delays in replies to any queries.
So to give a brief idea about myself. I am currently the Deputy Minister of World Assembly at the moment, and also a staffer of the Foreign Affairs ministry with 3 appointments at the moment. I have also recently joined the Ministry of Culture, and will be looking to play a bigger role for future events.
When McM asked for volunteers to join the EC after the January Election, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to do something different, and experience a different aspect of TNP. Being part of the EC would allow me to understand the proceedings behind an election, and I feel really honoured if I am given the opportunity to run elections in NationStates' biggest democracy.
Activity is something I would guarantee if I take up a position. This was the reason why I refused to join every ministry as a staffer from the start - I started with WA Affairs, then FA and now Culture. When I realise I cannot keep up with the activity, I promptly withdrew, as it was what I did when I applied to HA and later left within 2 weeks. I promise to keep up some basic level of activity, and will promptly announce if I am unable to be there, but I think I should be able to be there for every election based on my current RL commitments.
For any problems with the current election law, I don't really have much problems with it at the moment. Only possible change I was thinking of would be to state clearly in the law the exact day where voting opens or when nominations open, but that might be overdoing things at the moment.
Whenever I am the supervisor of an election, I would take it to myself to inform the general population about the impending election and call on people to apply for citizenship. I think the telegram from the January Election was well done and I would like to keep it up to ensure that more people are informed about the election on our forums.
Will I run in another election? At this point, I doubt I would do so because I would much rather focus on more involvement in the ministries. If anything, I don't think I would be running in the March Election for sure.
 
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Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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In relation to the quasi-judicial function in reviewing the decisions of supervisors of elections, what qualities (and, if considered relevant, experiences) do you have that would assist in carrying out that function?

Suppose a ballot for a general election (in which there are no more than two candidates for each race) looks like this:
Delegate:
1. Bobberino

Would you like to reopen nominations? < Yes | No >

Vice Delegate: McMasterdonia

Would you like to reopen nominations? No

Attorney General:
1. Abstain
2. Lady Raven Wing
3. Lord Lore

Would you like to reopen nominations? No

Speaker: abc | Abstain

Would you like to reopen nominations? Yes
How would you count it?
 

Wonderess

"I will be true to you whatever comes."
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I think the EC is a great way to dive into regional service. TNP is about giving chances to allow citizens to serve the region and continue her success. I have no reason to oppose you so I support your nomination. Good luck to you!
 

Fregerson

Secretly here
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In relation to the quasi-judicial function in reviewing the decisions of supervisors of elections, what qualities (and, if considered relevant, experiences) do you have that would assist in carrying out that function?
I have been the chief overseer for student council elections IRL, and have been quite familiar with voting methods and counting. This is to the extent that I have previously created a spreadsheet just to do IRV voting system, allowing for up to 5 candidates. I do plan to expand it about 8 candidates and edit to fit the qualification laws under TNP laws and even contribute it so that future ECs don't have to manually do instant runoffs if necessary.
A quality that I think would help me in doing duties is my care to details. A huge emphasis on details is important especially when working with vote counting, as you have to decide the validity of a vote under present laws. With a strong attention to detail, it would help in the application of laws to review the decisions or even make those decisions with regards to vote.

As for the sample voting slip:
Delegate:
1. Bobberino

Would you like to reopen nominations? < Yes | No >
To quote section 5 clause 1 of the Rules of the EC:
1. If a voter does not vote Yes or No to a question to re-open nominations for a given office, their vote for that office will not be counted.
Therefore, this would be not a valid vote for the purpose of counting for Delegate.
However, clause 2 of the same section also states that:
2. In all other cases, any portion of a ballot that is properly completed will be counted, even if other portions of the ballot are not.
Therefore, the rest of the vote will be examined separately.

Vice Delegate: McMasterdonia

Would you like to reopen nominations? No
Now this is obviously, a vote for McMasterdonia for VD, and no to reopening nominations.

Attorney General:
1. Abstain
2. Lady Raven Wing
3. Lord Lore

Would you like to reopen nominations? No

Speaker: abc | Abstain

Would you like to reopen nominations? Yes
We refer to the Legal Code, Section 5, clause 31:
31. All first preference votes shall be counted first. If no candidate achieves a majority, the candidate with the least votes shall be eliminated, and the next preference of all voters who had voted for the eliminated candidate as first preference shall be counted, with the process repeated until a candidate achieves a majority.
For the Speaker vote, since abc is the only candidate listed, it could be assumed as being their first preference.
As for the Attorney General vote, this is a legal grey area. Although the law legally only allows for votes with more than 2 candidate to have ranked choice, we noted that in the September 2019 election, a vote for Speaker which listed the 2 candidates in a ranked format was allowed to be counted even when there was only 2 speaker candidates then, between Gorundu and Dreadton. Furthermore, with the Clause 30 of Section 5 of the Legal Code, it can be assumed that the choice "Lady Raven Wing" is first preference, and therefore counted as a vote for Lady Raven Wing.
Therefore, in my opinion, the speaker vote would be for abc with Yes for reopening nomination, and for the AG, if would be a vote for Lady Raven Wing with no for reopening nomination.
 

Robespierre

The MacMilitant
Deputy Speaker
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For the record, I support this nomination.

Fregerson is an Individual who has worked hard in the Executive Staff, specifically in the Ministry of World Assembly Affairs, and has done well in their capacity as a Deputy Minister. Although it’s true that Deputy Minister work isn’t all that glamorous, it’s important that we don’t allow the contributions of others to slip under the radar. The Election Commission is a great place to show service and give to the region. We’re all about opportunities and giving people chances to step up, so this seems like a good time to support the nomination.
 

Praetor

Hoppin' Around
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Fregerson does good work. I support this. Although their name is really quite difficult to remember how to type...
 

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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I am grateful for the answer. I would have some brief follow-ups
We refer to the Legal Code, Section 5, clause 31:

For the Speaker vote, since abc is the only candidate listed, it could be assumed as being their first preference.
As for the Attorney General vote, this is a legal grey area. Although the law legally only allows for votes with more than 2 candidate to have ranked choice, we noted that in the September 2019 election, a vote for Speaker which listed the 2 candidates in a ranked format was allowed to be counted even when there was only 2 speaker candidates then, between Gorundu and Dreadton. Furthermore, with the Clause 30 of Section 5 of the Legal Code, it can be assumed that the choice "Lady Raven Wing" is first preference, and therefore counted as a vote for Lady Raven Wing.
Therefore, in my opinion, the speaker vote would be for abc with Yes for reopening nomination, and for the AG, if would be a vote for Lady Raven Wing with no for reopening nomination.
Would it make any difference, in relation to the vote you would count for abc, if they were the only candidate and the default ballot was, in essence, arranged as shown?

In relation to the vote for Attorney General, why do you consider clauses 30 and 31 apply to this vote?
 

Syrixia

The one, the true, the great.
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First of all, I would like to apologise if I reply the queries late. This is because I am currently out of town and have no computer access for the next 2 weeks or so, so there may be delays in replies to any queries. So to give a brief idea about myself. I am currently the Deputy Minister of World Assembly at the moment, and also a staffer of the Foreign Affairs ministry with 3 appointments at the moment. I have also recently joined the Ministry of Culture, and will be looking to play a bigger role for future events. When McM asked for volunteers to join the EC after the January Election, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to do something different, and experience a different aspect of TNP. Being part of the EC would allow me to understand the proceedings behind an election, and I feel really honoured if I am given the opportunity to run elections in NationStates' biggest democracy. Activity is something I would guarantee if I take up a position. This was the reason why I refused to join every ministry as a staffer from the start - I started with WA Affairs, then FA and now Culture. When I realise I cannot keep up with the activity, I promptly withdrew, as it was what I did when I applied to HA and later left within 2 weeks. I promise to keep up some basic level of activity, and will promptly announce if I am unable to be there, but I think I should be able to be there for every election based on my current RL commitments. For any problems with the current election law, I don't really have much problems with it at the moment. Only possible change I was thinking of would be to state clearly in the law the exact day where voting opens or when nominations open, but that might be overdoing things at the moment. Whenever I am the supervisor of an election, I would take it to myself to inform the general population about the impending election and call on people to apply for citizenship. I think the telegram from the January Election was well done and I would like to keep it up to ensure that more people are informed about the election on our forums. Will I run in another election? At this point, I doubt I would do so because I would much rather focus on more involvement in the ministries. If anything, I don't think I would be running in the March Election for sure.
Seems legit. Support; no objections here.
 

Darcania

kul Seredrau
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I would like to note two things to the motioners.
1) Fregerson has yet to answer Zyvet's questions, likely due to limited internet time; and
2) By the time the vote would finish, Fregerson would be absent from their office due to what will be the ongoing Judicial election, and thus there is no rush to confirming them.
 

Gorundu

When in doubt, blame Bob
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I would like to note two things to the motioners.
1) Fregerson has yet to answer Zyvet's questions, likely due to limited internet time; and
2) By the time the vote would finish, Fregerson would be absent from their office due to what will be the ongoing Judicial election, and thus there is no rush to confirming them.
There's 9 days until March 1, when the Judicial Elections start, and since EC appointments don't require formal debate time, there is enough time for the appointment to be confirmed.
 

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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As is noted above, there remain questions to which I would like to see answered before a vote and, to that end, I would indicate my intention to object to any vote that may be scheduled and would ask the Speaker, should a vote be scheduled, to schedule any vote in such a way as to permit time for objection.
 

Darcania

kul Seredrau
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There's 9 days until March 1, when the Judicial Elections start, and since EC appointments don't require formal debate time, there is enough time for the appointment to be confirmed.
It's too late still for Fregerson to be appointed as a supervisor and to learn the ropes of supervising elections.
 

Wonderess

"I will be true to you whatever comes."
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It's too late still for Fregerson to be appointed as a supervisor and to learn the ropes of supervising elections.
So what you are saying is that there is no rush since Fregerson wouldnt be working on the Judicial election anyhow?
 

Darcania

kul Seredrau
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So what you are saying is that there is no rush since Fregerson wouldnt be working on the Judicial election anyhow?
The commission as a whole is involved in the election process. The supervisors are the ones actively handling the election. I believe that the best way to learn is to jump in as a supervisor to start out with, so you have at least some experience to draw from in case the commission as a whole gets more involved in handling elections, e.g. for citizen petitions.
 

Fregerson

Secretly here
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I am grateful for the answer. I would have some brief follow-ups
Would it make any difference, in relation to the vote you would count for abc, if they were the only candidate and the default ballot was, in essence, arranged as shown?

In relation to the vote for Attorney General, why do you consider clauses 30 and 31 apply to this vote?
1. Technically there would not be a difference. Although it would be best if such votes don't occur, unfortunately because technically the option of abc was not removed, we have to consider that abc was this voter's pick.
2. There was a first preference vote for one of the candidates, despite the option of abstain. The voter did provide a ranking of candidates, despite choosing to abstain before ranking the candidates. Since the first ranked candidate is considered to be the first preference under clause 30, by clause 31, we then have to count the vote for LRW first. Just for note, a similar situation cropped up in the January Election and the election commissioners agreed to count it that way.

As for the people who are rushing to confirm my nomination, I do understand how some might want to push the vote so as to get me into the EC before the March election. I am very willing to wait, and ensure that all the concerns are met before my confirmation goes to a vote.
 

Zyvetskistaahn

TNPer
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I am grateful for the answers given and would not propose to delay things further (notwithstanding that I do intend to continue asking some questions).

I do take some issue with the answers given in relation to the mock ballot: it seems to me that the Speaker vote is unarguably ambiguous and I would think, though perhaps extant Commissioners would correct me, that it would not be counted; the question of the Attorney General vote is substantially trickier and I think that there is room to argue, but I would like to have seen some engagement with the fact that clause 30 begins "If there are more than two candidates for an election, voters may rank the candidates" which would raise questions as to the applicability of that clause and clause 31 (which, of course, depends upon there being ranking).

Does the proposed Commissioner take any view on when it may be appropriate to exercise this power:
19. If the full Election Commission determines that the actions under review are not in compliance with the law or their adopted rules, they will have the power, by majority vote, to overrule them. If deemed necessary, they will also have the power, by majority vote, to restart the election, or designate different commissioners to supervise the election.
 

Deropia

Registered
Apologies for the delay on this, the motion to vote is recognised. A vote is scheduled to begin in 3 days. The vote will begin (time=1582905600) (your forum time. If you are in an area affected by daylight savings, you may have to check or uncheck a box in your profile settings to display the correct time)
 
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Fregerson

Secretly here
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I am grateful for the answers given and would not propose to delay things further (notwithstanding that I do intend to continue asking some questions).

I do take some issue with the answers given in relation to the mock ballot: it seems to me that the Speaker vote is unarguably ambiguous and I would think, though perhaps extant Commissioners would correct me, that it would not be counted; the question of the Attorney General vote is substantially trickier and I think that there is room to argue, but I would like to have seen some engagement with the fact that clause 30 begins "If there are more than two candidates for an election, voters may rank the candidates" which would raise questions as to the applicability of that clause and clause 31 (which, of course, depends upon there being ranking).
Sorry for not answering to you and the RA earlier due to RL issues that cropped up very urgently.

First let's talk about the AG vote. Yes, the clause did state "if there are more than two candidates for an election", but with reference to the September 2019 election, which was the first time the Ranked Choice Voting was used, this vote was counted to be a vote for Gorundu before Dreadton based on the official counting spreadsheet. To standardise how such votes would have worked, maybe we could have a standardisation discussion to discuss if the bolded portion could be removed. In my opinion, ranking the candidates in a 2-candidate vote should not invalidate the vote since the candidate did indicate a preference, and that a ranked-choice system would not need the nth choice for a election with n+1 candidates. However, I would understand if my fellow commissioners choose to go against, since the law does state such a pre-requisite for ranked choice votes to be counted.
As for the Speaker Vote, I was really thinking if the vote should be nullified. You are probably right, in that it would be much better if we choose to ignore this section of the vote for clarity's sake. When I chose to count it, I thought that it would probably be unlikely for the voter to have skipped making a choice whether to abstain or vote for the only candidate and yet made a choice about whether to RON. However, after thinking it through again, maybe it would be much better to ignore that vote.

Does the proposed Commissioner take any view on when it may be appropriate to exercise this power:
19. If the full Election Commission determines that the actions under review are not in compliance with the law or their adopted rules, they will have the power, by majority vote, to overrule them. If deemed necessary, they will also have the power, by majority vote, to restart the election, or designate different commissioners to supervise the election.
Designating different commissioners should not be something that is used easily. In fact, the Commission should really avoid exercising this power. One of those times which I feel that it is appropriate would be when original commissioners have made serious breaches of the law and did not follow the rules that greatly affect the validity of the election and/or its results.
 
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