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KPFA LAB election guidelines
KPFA LAB election FAQs

from: http://www.cfdp.org/

Voter Instructions and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please address comments and suggestions to kpfalabelections@hotmail.com

This page tells you:

How to fill out your ballot

Filling out your ballot is EASY. All you have to do is decide who your favorite candidate is and then write the number '1' on the ballot next to the candidate's name. Then decide who your second favorite candidate is and write the number '2' next to her name. Continue ranking as many or as few candidates as you like. You can rank all 19 if you want, or only 1, or any number in between. The choice is yours. As long as you put the number '1' next to one candidate, your vote will count. If you truly cannot decide between two candidates, you can them the same rank - but understand that your vote will then be split, and each person receiving the same rank will share only a fraction of your vote.

Casting your vote by mail

To vote by mail, fill out the ballot you received in the mail, put it in the return envelope provided, put a 34-cent stamp on it, and drop it in the mail. The mailing address is:

KPFA Election Committee
PO Box 13349
Berkeley CA 94712-4349

Casting your vote by Internet

You may cast your vote via Internet voting between November 13 and December 13.

You will need the PIN printed on the ballot mailed to you. This number is printed on the side of the ballot containing the list of candidate names. Then you will log onto the secure website from a link at www.kpfalab.org.

Once you log onto the website, type in your PIN exactly as shown on the ballot when requested. This will take you to a page of instructions, which are just like the instructions on the paper ballot, and then to the ballot itself, which also appears just like the paper ballot.

The ballot works just like the paper ballot: you type in the number '1' next to your favorite candidate, the number '2' next to your next favorite and so on, for as many or as few candidates as you like. If you type in any character other than numerals, your ballot will not be accepted. You will have to correct any errors before casting the ballot. After you complete the ballot, click on the button to submit your ballot. Your vote will then be cast, and you'll be redirected back to the kpfalab.org homepage.

If you vote by Internet and by mail, we will only count the Internet ballot.

How will the ballots be counted?

"How will the ballots be counted? First, consider why we're electing a Local Advisory Board, and not just a Local Advisor. We're electing a Board because we want the Board to reflect the diversity of the KPFA's local listeners. We'd like each listener to be able to look at the Board and point to the person whom they consider to be their representative. So when you're filling out your ballot, you are voting for your most-preferred candidate to be your representative on the LAB. This is different from - and we think more appropriate than - other board elections where you may be accustomed to electing a slate of candidates, in which case people had many votes - one vote for each available seat. This means that the majority has the potential to elect every single member of the board, which leaves minority viewpoints unrepresented.

We're using proportional representation to ensure that all viewpoints are represented. The proportionality of our system for this election works because we're giving each person one vote, but we're electing 7 seats because it takes many seats to reflect the diversity of the KPFA listenership. Instead of one bloc (more than 50%) of voters choosing all 7 members, and a smaller losing bloc have no representation, with PR we can have 7 blocs of voters (>12.5% of the electorate) each select their favored representative, and a much smaller bloc of 'losing' voters (<12.5%). By voting for your favorite candidate (as well as 2nd, 3rd and higher choice, if you want), you determine which bloc you are in and which candidate will represent you.

According to the bylaws adopted by the LAB (http://www.cfdp.org/Democratization/labprop3.htm), this election will use the choice voting/single transferable ballot form of proportional representation with additional guarantees of gender and racial/ethnic diversity. The LAB consists of 14 listener-members as well as 8 staff representatives. This election will choose 7 new two-year representatives to the LAB, to replace last year's 4 one-year reps, along with the 3 grandfathered LAB members.

Proportional representation refers to voting systems in which groups of voters win representation in proportion to their size. For example, 10% of the voters win 1 out of 10 seats, 20% win 2 out of 10 seats, and so forth. The majority wins a majority, but not all of the seats, while minority viewpoints also win their fair share of the seats.

The choice voting/single transferable ballot form of proportional representation is the system in which voters rank candidates in order of choice.

The threshold for election this year is 12.5%, so any group of voters representing 12.5% of the voters will be able to elect their candidate of choice. Any group representing 25% will be able to elect two candidates of choice, and so on. Click here for a description of how choice voting works or click here for a simple, conceptual explanation of how choice voting works. The sources of these two descriptions are the International Institute for the Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) and Californians for Proportional Representation (CPR)

The LAB also adopted means to ensure diversity of gender and race/ethnicity on the board. The elected board will be balanced between men and women and between members of racial and ethnic minorities and non-minorities." Click here for details about achieving the gender and race/ethnicity goals.

Technical details

For those who like the technical details of the voting system, here they are:

Voting system: Choice voting/single transferable vote (STV)

Number of seats: 7

Number of candidates: 19

Threshold (formula): 1/(seats +1) +1 vote, which is known as the Droop threshold.

Threshold (percentage): 1/(7+1) + 1 vote = 12.5% + 1 vote

Transfers: Fractional (as opposed to whole transfers)

Diversity Algorithm

The bylaw states that the election will use the choice voting form of proportional representation as well as gender and racial/ethnic quotas to ensure even representation of men and women and racial and ethnic minorities and non-majorities. This will ensure that all target groups (males, females, minorities, non-minorities) will not have fewer than 6 LAB representatives or more than 8.

To implement this algorithm, we will compute the winners of the choice voting election without quotas and see if the 7 winners satisfy the diversity requirements. If so, these 7 winners are elected to the LAB. If not, we determine the candidates whose eliminations led to the violation of a diversity requirement and declare them "undefeatable." (For example, if only 2 men were elected among the 7 winners, but 3 men were required by the diversity requirement, then we would declare the top 3 men to be undefeatable.) We then run the choice voting election again, making sure that we do not eliminate any "undefeatable" candidates. If the new set of 7 winners satisfies the requirements, the election is completed. Otherwise, we declare additional candidates undefeatable and rerun this election. We repeat this process until we achieve the diversity requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What if I lost my ballot?

Unfortunately, we cannot replace lost ballots.

What if never receive a ballot?

Make sure that you were a qualified voter (contributed $25 or more to KPFA between Sept. 21, 1999 and Sept. 21, 2001; or volunteered at least 3 hours to support KPFA between Sept. 21, 2000 and Sept. 21, 2001.) If you think you should have received a ballot but have not by November 27, contact us by email or phone.

What if I can't log on to the website?

It's probably because it's before Nov 13, when the Internet voting begins. It ends on December 13, 8pm. If it's after November 13, you may be typing your PIN incorrectly. Your web browser also needs to accept cookies and support Java - you might try voting from another computer if you have access to another. If it's none of these problems, contact the Election committee at kpfalabelections@hotmail.com or simply mail in your paper ballot.

Can I give the same rank to more than one candidate?

We discourage you from giving the same number to more than one candidate. We encourage you to give a separate rank to each candidate, but if you do give the same rank to two candidates, we will treat those rankings as if you gave half your vote to one of the candidates and half of your vote to the other.

What happens if I vote twice?

We will only count your vote once. You can only cast one vote by the Internet, and if we've already received an Internet vote from you, we won't count a paper ballot from you. By checking PINs, we will avoid counting more than one vote from the same person.

How can I get information about the candidates?

Read the candidate statements, listen to the on-air forums and recorded messages, and log on to www.kpfalab.org and follows the links to the KPFA LAB election page, which contains links to all of the candidate statements as well as additional information about the candidates.

Election and counting ballots

How does proportional representation work?

Click here.

How will the gender and diversity goals be met?

Click here.

Who will count the ballots?

The LAB Elections Committee.

When will the ballots be counted?

We are scheduled to end voting on December 13. We will begin opening and counting paper ballots after the Internet voting window is closed and the Internet voting company transmits to us the results of the Internet voting along with the list of all VRNs that have been voted and the VRNs that have not been voted. We have reserved the option of extending the voting windows for paper and internet votes if we need additional time to achieve the desired 10% response rate.

How will the ballots be counted?

The system will use proportional representation and gender and ethnic/racial diversity requirements. The physical process will be to open paper ballots, check to see if they've already been voted, and then keypunch each voter's ballot into vote counting software. Once we've keypunched and checked all the paper ballots, we will merge that information with the Internet votes to create a complete list of votes. We will then determine our winners using computer software certified for use in public elections and currently used for city council and school board elections in Cambridge MA.

How are you guaranteeing anonymity and ballot security?

The anonymity of the ballot results from separating the vote from the VRN and PIN. Once we do that, we will have no way of knowing which vote went with which VRN, and hence which person. Security results from sending one PIN/VRN combination to each voter and ensuring that each VRN can only be voted once.

What threshold for election are we using?

We are using the Droop threshold (1/(seats+1) + 1 vote). Click here for these sorts of technical details.

Composition of the elected Local Advisory Board

How many seats are we electing?

7 seats for a two-year term.

How big is the LAB?

22 members: 14 listener-representatives and 8 staff-representatives.

How many staff seats will there be?

I just answered that question. There will be 8 staff seats.

When will thestaff seats be elected?

They're in that process now

What if I still need more information?

Call 510-848-6767 x 626, clearly state your name and phone number, tell us when we can reach you, and concisely state your problem or question, and we'll try to get back to you. You can also send email to kpfalabelections@hotmail.com.

KPFA LAB election guidelines
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