What Changes Are Coming to ARIN Elections in 2022?
Every year the ARIN community engages in a process of selecting nominees and electing candidates to the ARIN Board of Trustees (Board) and Advisory Council (AC). While the ARIN election process has gradually evolved throughout the years, the Board dedicated focused effort to the review and improvement of ARIN governance in 2021. Those efforts resulted in multiple recommendations regarding ARIN’s election processes.
Starting in late 2021 and continuing through the first quarter of 2022, we conducted a series of community consultations on the Board’s governance review recommendation. The feedback we received helped shape the final form of the changes adopted by the Board at its meeting on 16 May 2022. With the recent publication of the revised Bylaws and other documents — and in anticipation of the Call for Nominations going out 24 June 2022 — we wanted to provide you with a rundown of everything new or different for this year’s ARIN Election cycle.
Who can make nominations, and what should a nominee expect throughout the process? What qualifications are the Nomination Committee looking for? How are those qualifications used to decide the slate of candidates? Who can vote? We’ve got you covered with answers to these questions and more.
How many seats are up for election?
As part of the recent Bylaws revision allowing for expansion of the Board from six to nine elected Trustees, there is one new seat up for election this year. The remaining seats will be open, one in each of the next two years. Two existing seats have terms ending this year, which means for this election cycle there are a total of three open seats on the Board, each serving a three-year term that will begin 1 January 2023. As a result, we now need a minimum of four candidates on the slate.
As there are no changes to the size of the AC, five open seats with three-year terms will be up for election, requiring a minimum of six candidates on the slate.
Who is on this year’s Nomination Committee?
Each year, the Nomination Committee (NomCom) chartered by the ARIN Board of Trustees includes two appointed Board members — one as Chair and the other as Vice Chair. For 2022, the Chair is Trustee Peter Harrison, and the Vice Chair is Trustee Bram Abramson.
The rest of the NomCom will comprise representatives from ARIN General Members, no more than two of which may currently be serving on the AC. The call for volunteers to fill these roles went out 7 June 2022 and remains open through 17 June 2022.
The Bylaws update includes a few important changes to the NomCom. First, it is now a standing committee, and individuals serving on the NomCom may serve one- or two-year terms. Previously the NomCom commitment was one year only, but the Board has extended the option of a second year to provide more continuity of knowledge for this standing committee. The focus of the NomCom has also changed, as it is now charged with recruiting nominees, assessing the qualifications of nominees, and classifying nominees according to those qualifications.
In previous years, the NomCom, following guidance from the Board, selected candidates within the minimum and maximum number of candidates allowed. In 2022, there is no maximum number of candidates, and all qualified Board and AC nominees will be advanced to the ballot. However, the minimum of having one more candidate than the number of open seats for the Board and AC still applies.
Who can submit nominations in 2022?
In previous years, individuals associated with ARIN General Members in Good Standing could submit nominations of other individuals or self-nominate for the Board and AC. In 2022, any individual may submit a self-nomination for the Board or AC, whether they are associated with a General Member organization or not.
All nominees are still required to complete the nominee questionnaire within the published nomination period as well as Board nominees needing to allow an independent third party to conduct a background check. Nominees who do not complete these required steps will not be eligible for NomCom consideration.
Contact information and the details of the background check are all kept strictly confidential.
How does the Election slate development process differ this year?
For 2022, the process for developing the slate of candidates is significantly different. The NomCom is charged with evaluating the qualifications of nominees, and all qualified nominees will appear on the ballot. The evaluation of qualifications will be based on the nominee questionnaire responses, the third-party background checks (Board only) and interviews, and the guidance received from the Board and AC.
The Board and AC will provide that direction through “Guidance Letters” to the NomCom outlining Highly Recommended, Recommended, and Mandatory attributes.
With the completion of its qualification classification process, the NomCom will provide an Initial Slate of Candidates for the Board and AC. The only nominees not included on this initial slate will be individuals classified as “Unable to Qualify” based on the evaluation criteria.
How will the classification of nominees work?
Before detailing further changes to the election process, it’s important to look at the qualification classifications. These are detailed in the NomCom Charter, specifically 3.1.c.:
The NomCom shall classify each eligible nominee as “Well Qualified,” “Qualified,” “Qualifications not Demonstrated,” or “Unable to Qualify,” as follows. The rating of “Well Qualified” is reserved for those whose qualifications merit NomCom’s strongest affirmative endorsement.
The rubric for each classification listed can be found in the NomCom Charter as well as the respective guidance letters.
What’s different about Nomination Petitions?
When the Initial Slate of Candidates is published Tuesday, 6 September 2022, the Call for Petitions will open. In the past, this petition process has been open to anyone. Now that any individual can submit a self-nomination, regardless of membership status, the Petition Process will be reserved for nominees the NomCom has classified as “Unable to Qualify.”
The Call for Petitions will remain open for seven days. If an intent to petition is received, a summary of the NomCom’s assessment of the nominee’s qualifications and the factors included in the assessment will be created in consultation with the ARIN General Counsel and shared as part of the notice of the petition to the ARIN Membership.
Once the Call for Petition period ends, if any petitions are received, a Petition Signature Collection period of 14 days will follow. During this time, voting contacts for eligible General Members may cast support for the petition. To succeed, a petition must have the support of at least 2% of General Members in Good Standing. The count of members in good standing will be taken as of Friday, 24 June 2022, at the opening of the nomination period. Any successful petitioners will be added to the Final Slate of Candidates, which will be published Wednesday, 5 October 2022.
Are there any changes to voting procedures?
Two changes indirectly impact voting in the 2022 ARIN Elections. The first relates to the membership structure changes announced at the end of 2021. Voting is still restricted to the Voting Contacts of General Members in Good Standing in place 45 days before the election (Monday, 5 September 2022). However, any Service Member organization can request General Member status and establish a Voting Contact before that date to be eligible to vote — provided they have no overdue invoices. This opens the opportunity to participate in elections to more ARIN customer organizations than ever before.
The second change hopefully will be mostly unnoticed by voters, as ARIN is working with a new election system vendor this year. Other than cosmetic differences in the interface, voting will largely work the same as it has in years past: access through ARIN Online to a secure form where Voting Contacts can cast their organization’s ballot. Prior to the opening of the voting period, the Election System Instructions page will provide walkthroughs with screenshots to help you navigate the new system.
Voting in the 2022 ARIN Elections will open Thursday, 20 October 2022, and remain open through Friday, 28 October 2022. Results will be announced no later than Friday, 4 November 2022.
Want to take an even closer look?
The information we’ve provided here focuses primarily on the changes enacted this year and is only an overview of a complex series of procedures and processes described in detail in the following source documents which define the process:
- Bylaws Article VIII: Elections and Appointments
- Charter for the 2022 Nomination Committee (NomCom)
- ARIN Election Processes
- 2022 Complete Election Process Calendar
With this look at the changes to the ARIN Elections process, we hope you feel motivated and prepared to participate in the coming election cycle. Mark your calendars now! The Call for Nominations opens on Friday, 24 June 2022, and we look forward to fielding an excellent slate of candidates this year. If you want to vote this fall, please be sure to update your Voting Contact information by Monday, 5 September 2022. And don’t forget: those interested in volunteering for the NomCom have until 17 June 2022 to apply!
If you have any questions, please feel to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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