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Voting in the 2009 JCP Executive Committee Election Ends Soon

Posted by editor on October 29, 2009 at 5:59 AM PDT

The current JCP Executive Committee Election ends at midnight Pacific Standard Time (PST, GMT-8) on Monday, November 2. JCP members can vote by visiting the eballot site. The current election includes the Standard/Enterprise (SE/EE) Executive Committee and the Micro Edition (ME) Executive Committee. In each case, both ratified and elected seats are on the ballot.

I myself am not among the almost 1000 members of the JCP, so I decided to do some investigation into how JCP elections work. For example, what's the meaning of a "ratified" seat versus an "elected" seat? The JCP Executive Committee Elections page provides some good background on all of this. The election to "ratified" seats are controlled by the Program Management Office (PMO):

The PMO nominates Members to fill the vacant Ratified Seats with due regard for balanced community and regional representation.

Meanwhile, any JCP member can run for election for one of the "elected" seats.

In the current election, Doug Lea, Fujitsu, HP, IBM, and Oracle are up for ratification for the SE/EE Executive Comittee; and AT&T, Siemens, SK Telecom, T-Mobile, and Vodafone are up for ratification for the ME Executive Committee. To be ratified, a candidate must receive a majority of the vote. Historically, the ratification seat elections are not close. For example, in last year's election, the lowest approval percent for a ratification seat was 77.2% (for SAP).

For elected seats, a JCP member has to be nominated (you're allowed to nominate yourself). Any member who accepts the nomination must file a qualification statement (up to 200 words), a position paper, a bio of the primary contact, and a photo of the primary contact.

The Qualification Statement is a brief (200 words) description of your qualifications for an EC seat. It is a Qualification Statement for the Corporation you represent (or for the individual if it is an Individual Member). It should include the value and perspective you would bring to the EC, your interests in the JCP program, as well as a summary of your current participation in the JCP program (overall)--JSRs led, participation on Expert Groups, meetings/events attended, etc. This information will appear on the ballot and will convince community members whether they should vote for you, so please include relevant information about your experience within the JCP program and your investments in Java technology.

For the elected seats, JCP members cast as many votes as the number of open seats. The candidates who receive the most votes win the seats.

Hence, for elected seats, a candidate can receive less than 50% of the vote and still be elected. For example, last year there were four candidates for one open SE/EE Executive Committee seat, and Intel Corp. won the seat with 46.4% of the vote. For the ME Executive Committee, there were three candidates last year running for two open seats. I'm not sure how the JCP computes its vote percentages in this case (I would have thought the total would add up to 200% since the voters were said to have cast two votes) -- anyway, the posted results for last year show the winning candidates having received less than 50% of the vote. It looks like they divide the total number of votes each candidate receives by the number of open seats, so their total adds up to 100%. If that's the case case, then in last year's election, 90.2% of voters selected Sony Ericcson as one of their two choices for an elected seat.

I did expect the procedures for election to the JCP Election Committee to be a bit arcane -- that's almost required to ensure the stability, balance, continuity, and fairness of process that must be implicit for a standards organization.

One thing I think I can predict about this year's election: Jacob Feldman will be elected to the Micro Edition Executive Committee (he appears to be the only candidate)!

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