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Request for Votes for a .nz 2LD application 23/02/01

Request for Votes for a .nz 2LD application
[Accepted with amendments - see Minutes of February 23 2001 Council Meeting]

Policy Details

The policy for creating a 2LD calls for a

Policy Details
The policy for creating a 2LD calls for a Request for Votes (RFV) after the Request for Discussion period.

The RFV related parts of the policy is as follows:

Not less than 60 nor more than 90 days after the RFD, ISOCNZ will issue a REQUEST FOR VOTES on the proposal. This straw poll is intended to measure support for the proposal. The outcome will be non-binding.

  • The poll will take place by electronic mail with all voters submitting a standard ballot which will be distributed on relevant mailing lists and discussion groups. Votes will be accepted for the following 14 days.
  • Votes will be counted by ISOCNZ or an agent appointed by ISOCNZ. Ballots will be declared invalid if
    • they do not conform to the standard, or
    • more than one ballot is received from the same person (email address).

If in the straw poll, the proposal receives support from less than 70% of the votes cast, or receives less than 200 votes in total it will be rejected and no further consideration will be given. ISOCNZ will not entertain a similar proposal for twelve months. If the poll succeeds, the applicant will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee to advance the proposal.

Proposed Approach

Using the policy as a framework I propose that ISOCNZ offer both email and Web based voting. While this will result in some differences between the process in the policy and the recommenocess in the policy and the recommended approach I believe that the differences are for the better and for a more robust and flexible process. I believe that the proposed approach will facilitate and support more wide spread voting on this application throughout the Internet users and business communities.

Voting Period

Once the RFV has been announced the vote will be open for 14 days. It will close the midnight following the 14th full day of voting. Votes received after this time will be deemed invalid.


Each ballot shall require the following information to be deemed valid; if any part of the required information is missing or unreadable then the ballot shall be deemed invalid.

Full name (first and last) Country of residence Email address Address
Statement either for or against the application

All ballots will also have to be sent to the official address used for receiving votes. Votes sent to an individual(s) or ISOCNZ office, etc., will be deemed invalid.

Voting Electorate

It is recommended that the electorate for voting be people with an email address in the .nz name space. Each person would be only allowed to vote once regardless of how many email addressed they might have. This requirement allows for ease of identification and affinity with the .nz name space as well as provides reduces thethe .nz name space as well as provides reduces the likelihood of fraud or abuse. The reason for using .nz is that we are the custodians of the .nz name space therefore it is felt that those who choose to use the name space are logical stakeholders in changes to the name space.

Voting Process

I propose that the people can vote by using either one of either two types of ballots.

  • Email
  • Web

Each ballot would require to adhere to the ballot requirements. Each differs only in the manner the vote is submitted to ISOCNZ. The manner of the ballot cast is ignored for determining if the ballot is valid or not. As long as the ballot contains the required information and that it is received to an official address and only one ballot (regardless of the type used) is received then the ballot is valid.

Voting notification will be propagated by related email lists, the 2LD website and other ISOCNZ websites, 'word of mouth', Usenet groups, press releases and hopefully media attention. Instructions for voting via the email ballot or the website will be provided as well as providing a sample email ballot.

For email voting a dedicated email address will need to be used ( for instances). Any email vote that was not received directly by that email address would be deemed invalid. A person could use the sample ballot completed with their details or just include the required informati just include the required information as they see fit. Votes received to this address will be redirect to the Voting Officer as well as the appointed scrutineers.

It is proposed that a website be created to allow people to vote by using a web based form. It is my belief that this will be used and understood by less Internet savvy people as a web based vote has a more tangible approach and less prone to errors or invalid ballots than email based ballots. My recommendation is to use Please refer to the attached proposal from them. Using is a good test of using an independent party of online voting. Afterwards comparison between the two voting types could be compared to see which is more popular as well as act as a learning process for future voting process for the society. The address for this vote would look similar to The web page would have all the details of the vote and would link to the 2LD website and other relevant pages for background information.

Vote Counting

A Voting Officer will need to be appointed for this vote. The Voting Officer will not vote in the RFV and will act as an impartial person for this process. I propose that once voting closes that each ballot be inspected to ensure that it conforms to the ballot requirements. Also, I propose that two scrutineers be appointed to assist the Voting Officer, one would be appointed by the applicant (NZBA) and one bt (NZBA) and one by council (someone separate from the process and that of the applicant). Should any doubt or abuse be reported or detected the two scrutineers convened by the Voting Officer could review the details. They could then review the incident and issue a ruling if all 3 people agree, or a recommendation to council on the incident if the ruling is split. One of the reasons for collecting the address of voters is to reduce the impact of people using fake email accounts to stack voting, by having to provide an address it should cut down on fake votes as well as provide the scrutineers with the ability to try and prove if these people exist or not, i.e., electoral roll, phone book etc. (I doubt it will come to this but we are creating a precedent here). Once any outstanding issues with the vote have been decided on the Voting Officer, co-signed by the two scrutineers, would release the voting result.

Reporting Results

Once the Voting Officer and the two scrutineers have agreed on the vote results they will be released to the public. It is proposed the following information be released in the vote results:

  • Total votes cast
  • Total valid votes
  • Total invalid votes
  • Total and percentage of valid votes in favour of the application
  • Total and percentage of valid votes against the application
  • Statement if this passes the threshold required on either total votes or number r total votes or number in favour
  • List of voters by name and if they voted in favour or against (I am open to leaving which way they voted off the results). I think having the name is good so people can check to see if the voted was record i.e. 'Hey, my name is on here I did not vote!' Or vice versa
  • Instructions if they believe the vote should be contested with a time limit of 7 days being provide to content the vote.

If anyone contents the result they should contact the Voting Officer that will then raise the matter to the scrutineers if the Voting Officer feels it is warranted. After the 7 days or after all contested queries have been resolved (whichever is later) a final vote announcement will be made. Once final vote has been made all votes cast, valid and invalid would be destroyed.

Variance with Policy

The policy does not mention any detail on non-email voting (i.e. web) and also no process of reviewing the votes and what exactly is required other than an email address. I believe I have kept to the sprint of the policy while adding robust process to it for the future voting process.

Steven Heath
23rd February 2001
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