Incorrect Ballot Papers

A place to discuss the issues relating to the proposed change in the national CTC’s structure.
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meic
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby meic » 5 Dec 2010, 10:29am

It appears that if you ask people "was your ballot paper correct" you get a 1,000 times greater fraction of mistakes than if you expect people to actively hunt out a method to report and then make the effort to do so.

As somebody said previously the number of reported mistakes as a fraction of the total membership is not that informative. We have already seen that 96% of the membership did not even bother to tick a box and put the sheet in a provided envelope and send it.
Which is a lot less effort than trying to chase up your incorrect vote.

I have no problem with people leaving the decision to those who care more, I do that myself in other organisations where I cant be bothered to look at the issues.
Yma o Hyd

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Kevin Mayne » 5 Dec 2010, 3:48pm

Thanks Swansonj for your comments.

I apologise if the response seemed impersonal. When I post in this forum I hope you will accept that I am going to express myself somewhat formally, given the emotion attached to this issue I am going to be sticking to the procedural stuff. There is lots we can and will do to assess this situation but it must be evidence based.

I just do not have the mandate to make on line judgements about the issues you raise here regardless of any personal thoughts I have. We will operate the procedure that the board approved, we will report, we will offer our judgements on the issues to the board, we will if needed get legal advice and we can let you all know as clearly as possible what we are doing.

But believe me we care, you don't work for CTC without an undelying commitment to what we do.

Sorry I can't say more

Kevin

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Si
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Si » 6 Dec 2010, 11:31am

Kevin, I understand the issues that might deter you from entering into discussion on an internet forum, and why your comments might seem inpersonal.

Yet, Clarion does have a very good point.

I believe that if errors on the voting papers are reported then N.O. will do everything that it can to rectify. But the problem, to repeat what Clarion has said, is with the unreported ones. If they are not reported then we cannot know that they were used fairly, unless, during the counting process, the number of votes on every form is checked against the members allocated to it.

If this is to be done then a statement saying so might clear up a lot of the worries.

If this is not to be done then I would have thought that you could at least issue a clear and concise statement saying that the problem is recognised and will be looked into at the earliest chance, even if you, understandably, can't make a snap decision about a solution?

Clarion
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Clarion » 6 Dec 2010, 4:08pm

I have received an email from Peter Jackson, which answers some of my concerns. Peter recognises that there is an issue, and believes (as I do) that it is mostly related to families of three or four members getting extra votes allocated.

He cannot comment fully on a solution, as he quite rightly says it needs to be discussed at the top level, but he does say that ballot papers will now be individually checked & verified to ensure no extra votes have been made, either deliberately or inadvertently.

I welcome this recognition of the problem, and regret that so much extra work will have to be put in.

However, he does not go so far as to discuss a protocol for dealing with ballot papers which do not pass the verification, as I asked originally. I expect that Kevin will want to make this protocol transparent as soon as it is agreed. Until these conditions are satisfied, it is hard to have any confidence in the vote.
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Graham
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Graham » 6 Dec 2010, 8:57pm

Si wrote: . . .. But the problem, to repeat what Clarion has said, is with the unreported ones. If they are not reported then we cannot know that they were used fairly, unless, during the counting process, the number of votes on every form is checked against the members allocated to it.

I assume that the voting forms have been derived from data in the membership system.
If that has produced incorrect forms then there is only one way to verify that the content of ALL the forms correspond with the real world ! . . . . . .Contact one person at each address and check. Repeat for all occurrences of the error-prone membership type(s) Not a trivial task . . . a huge one!

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Kevin Mayne » 8 Dec 2010, 5:41pm

Update

We have issued the following statement for Cycle Clips tomorrow

"All members should by now have received a voting paper for the Poll of the Whole Club, either in the latest edition of Cycle or by post. Any member who has not received a voting paper should contact the Returning Officer at National Office as below.

It has come to our attention that there is a specific error which affects some Family members and shows a duplicate name and possibly a missed name. After a review we are pleased to report that there is no problem with your membership records or the data used for the poll but we are disappointed to find that there is a fault in a number of forms which was caused by the printer who has apologised and agreed to pay the cost of replacing the forms affected at their cost.
All affected voting papers have been identified, and the printer has agreed to issue replacement voting papers in a way that means that they can easily be identified so that votes are not duplicated. Any member affected by this error should receive a new voting paper shortly. If you have already voted by deleting a duplicate name, your vote will be accepted as valid and counted. Alternatively, please vote using the replacement form.

The vote closes on 14 January and all returned papers will be verified and counted at National Office on Monday, 17 January. Until then, all the voting papers are being held securely and will not be opened until the day of the vote. Jeff Tollerman who requested the re-run of the vote has been invited to attend the counting to verify the result, and any other member who would like to attend will be welcome, subject to numbers and agreement to data protection rules concerning the privacy of individual ballot papers. If you would like to attend, please let Returning Officer, Peter Jackson (peter.jackson@ctc.org.uk) know."

I'll reserve commentary about how we feel about the printer...........

Kevin

JohnW
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby JohnW » 8 Dec 2010, 11:55pm

Well, ok Kevin, that may very well solve it logistically, but the 'printer' can only use information given to him. Are you saying that the problem is entirely external to the club? In which case, where did the 'printer' get his information?

I will await my, hopefully correct, ballot paper before commenting further.

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Kevin Mayne » 9 Dec 2010, 8:58am

In respect of this problem the printer recieved a correct mail merge document and data from CTC.

When transcribing the mail merge to their printing software the printer repeated one column on the voting section of the form.

Hence this only applies to families above a certain size where a name is repeated which enables us to identify precisely who is affected.

There are also inevitably a small number of other errors in our data as there are every day as we turnover renewals, applications and mailings for over 70,000 people, those are being dealt with within CTC as they are identified.

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robgul
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby robgul » 9 Dec 2010, 9:24am

IF the reason for the errors is as described, and taking into account the many other flaws that have been reported in an apparently simple process, then it would appear that the possibility of an inaccurate/incorrect conclusion is very high.

In the interests of democracy and integrity it would seem to be prudent to abandon the current vote and start again with the next issue of the magazine (and a different colour voting sheet!) - and perhaps send someone from CTC to the printer/mailing house to check the address sheet format before despatch. Any cost, which presumably would be borne by the printer, would be marginal - the address sheet needs to be printed anyway.

Rob

JohnW
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby JohnW » 9 Dec 2010, 12:21pm

robgul wrote:IF the reason for the errors is as described, and taking into account the many other flaws that have been reported in an apparently simple process, then it would appear that the possibility of an inaccurate/incorrect conclusion is very high.

In the interests of democracy and integrity it would seem to be prudent to abandon the current vote and start again with the next issue of the magazine (and a different colour voting sheet!) - and perhaps send someone from CTC to the printer/mailing house to check the address sheet format before despatch. Any cost, which presumably would be borne by the printer, would be marginal - the address sheet needs to be printed anyway.

Rob


Absolutely Rob - my sentiments entirely - a good post. Any comments from on high?

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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Clarion » 9 Dec 2010, 6:28pm

I feel I must agree that the possbilities for error are too large now, and the vote should be abandoned and re-held.
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby JohnW » 10 Dec 2010, 12:11am

Clarion wrote:I feel I must agree that the possbilities for error are too large now, and the vote should be abandoned and re-held.


I fully agree with Clarion on this.

I've given this info before, but my ballot paper had five names on it - myself, and, as family members, my wife, my two daughters and my eldest daughter a second time.

Both my daughters are now too old to qualify as 'Family Members' if living at other addresses and indeed the club wrote to me some time ago - about three and a half years ago - to tell me that my eldest daughter was no longer a family member due to age and not living at my (home) address.

Now, this wrong info was given to the 'printer' - the 'printer' may have messed up, but where did he get the info from?

It may be, of course, that the first named member of a family membership hasn't brought the club up to date when one of the junior family members either reach the age ar leave home (or both), but surely that should have been checked. In fact, I would suggest that, to go further with Clarion's point, members should be contacted (by way of a pro-forma with "Cycle") and asked to submit correct, up to date details. It seems to me quite likely that the club's data-base is not up to date.

And then, another ballot paper subsequently issued, which we could all have confidence in being right.

This may take some time, but with an issue as contentious as this, isn't it better to get it right?

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Kevin Mayne » 13 Dec 2010, 10:38am

As promised I said I would report on the progress with any ballot errors.

Other than the printer error with family members described above the total number of other errors notified to us to date is 15.

All have received replacement forms.

Kevin Mayne

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meic
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby meic » 13 Dec 2010, 2:33pm

So the offer to report is clearly not being taken up by people not getting their voting slips.
Yma o Hyd

Kevin Mayne
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Re: Incorrect Ballot Papers

Postby Kevin Mayne » 13 Dec 2010, 2:51pm

Yes the number includes people saying "not had ballot paper" or "not had magazine"

Kevin