OTW Election Statistics for 2023

Now that the 2023 election is over, we’re happy to share with you our voter turnout statistics!

For the 2023 Election, we had 15274 total eligible voters. Of those, 4247 voters cast a ballot, which represents 27.80% of the potential voters.

Our voter turnout is lower than that of last year, which had a turnout of 39.3%.

We also saw a decrease in the number of ballots cast, from 4574 to 4247, which represents a 7.1% decrease.

Elections is committed to continuing to reach out to our eligible members to encourage them to vote in elections. Whoever is elected to the Board of Directors can have an important influence on the long-term health of the OTW’s projects, and we want our members to have a say in that.

For those who might be interested in the number of votes each candidate received, please note that our election process is designed to elect an equal cohort of Board members in order to allow them to work well together, so we do not release that information. As a general rule, we also won’t disclose the candidate rankings.

Once again, a big thank you to everyone who participated at every stage of the election! We hope to see you at the virtual polls again next year.

  1. Grumpy commented:

    Perhaps the low voter turnout is due to the fact that the OTW has been less than adequate of addressing all the recent issues of attempted abuse from parties who are interested in promoting discrimination and censorship? And the failure to do anything about the rampant racism and transphobia and attempts at turning AO3 into an unsafe space for its users?

    If you want people to turn out and vote, you need to make it so that people can trust in not just the candidates, but the entire group as a whole. Get rid of the bad faith actors who are committing acts that go against the OTW’s mission and promote those who will do what is best for the site and its users.

    • RED RED commented:

      This is a reach and a projection that doesn’t take into account the simple reasons as vacation time or continued disasters that befell half the world at that time.

    • SO commented:

      All the reasons you’ve listed in your comment are very good reasons to actually vote, which says to me that a lot of the people talking about those topics have been doing so at a performative level at best. If people wanted to see real change then they would be using their vote. Voting is the only way we can have change.

    • Tulip commented:

      The low voter turnout is almost certainly because the number of candidates this year was equal to the number of board-slots. Voting this time around was a purely-symbolic act of “convey ranking-information to the Powers That Be”, rather than an act with the potential to change who ended up in power, and accordingly there was less reason than usual to do it.

      • Muccamukk commented:

        I think that’s part of it. The last five candidates were all fine. I had preferences for who would get the longer term, so I did vote, but any result was more or less okay with me. That said, I do think that a lot of people were very discouraged to learn about the racism, mistreatment of volunteers, and general organisational inertia, and may not have voted/wanted to give OTW money for those reasons. Other boards have tried to enact change, but here we all are.

        • "Other Boards" commented:

          If you don’t mind me asking, which Board exactly? The 2014 Board? The Board that spent donor’s money on trips across the world to hold secret meetings they would never report back on? The one that created just as much of a horrible working environment for volunteers as they have today, worse even? The one that fired the sole black woman board-candidate for the most bullshit reasons just to prevent her from running against them? “That one” ex Board member really rewriting history on DW and y’all eating it good, no questions asked. Don’t make me laugh.

          • Muccamukk commented:

            Yes, the 2015 board is the only time anyone has ever tried to change anything in the OTW, which is why I specifically mentioned 2015. Obviously.

            To reply with less sarcasm, you can like what happened in 2015 or not (I don’t know enough to speak to it), but that’s certainly not the only time people have talked about organisational inertia, the difficulty in enacting changed, moribund communication structures, and general dysfunction. That has been a consistent theme across all discussions of this topic on every platform.

            I genuinely with this new board well, and hope that they have enough support from within the org to enact change. It seems like all this might have the power to shake something loose. I will equally not be surprised if nothing especially changes.

            My original point is that I think a lot of people saw what was happening, saw the history of failure inside the org, and decided that they didn’t want to give the OTW any money this year. I don’t know how many versus how many didn’t care how the candidates ranked, but the number was higher than zero. [citation: several of my friends have said that’s their reasoning.]

          • Which Board commented:

            And yet, you only said “Board”. “Board” is rarely the one setting in motion, overseeing and carrying out public-facing projects in the organization. It is always some lowly volunteer nobody knows or cares about; the abused policy volunteers, the over-exerted sysadmins, the anonymous busybee wranglers, the stretched-thin volcom volunteers, etc. Board is a lot of lip service and presenting what everyone else but them is doing to the public and they don’t deserve to take credit for that. Approving motions and letting volunteers try to fix the mess that is OTW is the minimum they can do. I, too, have big hopes this new Board will be proactive and do something, not just sit on their asses without answering emails and watch things happen, like they’ve been doing for years. But it still won’t be “Board” doing the heavy lifting of enacting change. The rest of your message I didn’t, and I don’t, care about. I’m not hung up on statistics and coming up with excuses for why voters didn’t “come through” because I voted. You and your friends can do and think whatever they want, though.

          • Muccamukk commented:

            For someone who doesn’t care. You seem to care a lot.

      • Katie commented:

        And probably a lot who would have cared more about voting if a certain unpleasant candidate hadn’t dropped out early.

  2. Muccamukk commented:

    Did the Elections Committee ever address why they didn’t screen out the racist questions directed towards Zixin during the candidate chats? Is facilitating anti-Asian racism and Sinophobia what we can expect in future elections?

  3. dogtagsandsmut commented:

    I didn’t bother voting this year because the number on the ballot was the number of slots open.

  4. dontneedaclassroom commented:

    I invested a lot of time in reading all the the early rounds of candidate platforms and questions, but by the time only 5 were left, I didn’t feel like I needed to wade through the Q&A sessions and everything to rank them all. So glad the election process was thorough and so much effort went into letting the candidates convey their nuanced ideas about issues important to the community! Weirdly that’s why I felt comfortable not voting in the end.