Elections Committee Statement on Harassment

The Elections Committee would like to condemn in the strongest terms the recent harassment campaign aimed at one of our candidates.

While all OTW Board election candidates are prepared to run, and if elected or appointed, serve under their legal name, the intense harassment of Audrey goes well beyond what is appropriate during the candidacy period. We do not condone the harassment of the candidate or their employer.

For the second year in a row, an OTW Board election candidate has been subject to a campaign of harassment and misinformation. We regret that we failed to step in last year when another candidate was harassed, and it is on us that both candidates were exposed to such harassment without an official response. Historically, we’ve tried to make minimal public statements to ensure that the committee as a whole stays neutral and impartial in public discussions about a candidate’s suitability for the OTW Board of Directors.

The OTW is committed to holding elections that are fair and contested. This is necessary for empowering OTW members to vote for Board Directors that best represent their interests and help manage the OTW as a whole. As part of maintaining a fair and contested election process, the Elections Committee will support all eligible candidates who declare candidacy. Our candidate eligibility requirements are publicly available on our website, and we welcome candidates who hold varying perspectives and aims for the OTW’s future.

If an OTW member has concerns about a candidate, then they can choose to not rank that candidate on their ballot. The Elections Committee employs an adapted IRV voting system in our elections, which allows members to rank candidates and requires elected candidates to have majority support from our membership to be elected. It is the Election Committee’s position that only OTW members should determine who serves their interests on the Board of Directors.

If you are not an OTW member, you can still ask the candidates questions or campaign for/against a particular candidate or candidates on social media. We do not seek to discourage civil and appropriate discussions about our candidates’ opinions. Instead we ask members of the public to be considerate of all candidates and to carefully consider the information being promoted on social media. We encourage members of the public to read candidate election materials, submit questions to candidates and be an active participant in the election process.

Per a recent announcement, the Elections Committee will be hosting chats with our candidates next weekend. Please consider attending if you are interested. This year’s election will be held August 11-14. It will open at 12:01am UTC on August 11 and close at 11:59pm UTC on August 14 (What time is that for me?).

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