Author Topic: The BCA ballot is out  (Read 9510 times)

Offline Badlad

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The BCA ballot is out
« on: November 09, 2019, 09:45:57 am »
I received my ballot by email and voted to support one member one vote and the introduction of on-line voting.  That's got to be the best future for BCA.

Congratulation to those BCA volunteers who have pulled the ballot together.  I understand it has been quite a lot of hard work behind the scenes.  The voting system worked flawlessly for me - well done.

Offline David Rose

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 10:18:36 am »
I just voted. The process took about two minutes. Excellent system. I assume it was Gary Douthwaite who set it up - and he deserves kudos. Great job.

Offline BCA Secretary

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 10:19:29 am »
Indeed it is Badlad and thanks for voting!

The email ballots went out yesterday (to around 4000+ of our members for who we have email addresses). The remaining members will receive a ballot letter by post although you will still be able to use the Ballot ID to vote using the simple and intuitive online system which was built bespoke for th British Caving Association.

The postal letters should be arriving by the middle of the week, thus allowing a one-month voting window (closes 13th December 23:59).

I find myself in a tricky situation with this ballot, as of course with this being my own proposal, I would love to campaign in favour, but equally, as BCA Secetary I need to maintain a reasonable distance from doing so. All I would say is to please take the time to review the changes. In a nutshell they would see the voting system changed to one-member-one-vote (rather than the current two-house system), and introduction of online voting for AGM proposals that currently go to the two house system, enabling all members to easily participate.

For me, this marks the start of some very important changes to the way the BCA democratically interacts with our members, but I appreciate that they are complex and extensive changes and some people will have concerns; so please review them carefully and participate in the ballot to ensure that whatever the outcome, it reflects the wishes of as many cavers as possible.

Matt Ewles
Secretary, BCA

Offline JJ

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 11:05:11 am »
I have voted and would like to thank Matt and Gary for what appears to be an excellent online voting system.

I found it very quick and easy to use :) So find your email and vote....... it's considerably easier than the other one we should all be doing in December!

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 11:15:44 am »
I echo the point on ease of voting but would issue a warning that my email provider had decided the alert was junk email.  So if you have not got an email by now, check your junk mail box.

Offline JoW

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2019, 12:12:19 pm »
Who do I contact if I have not received it? I had the previous test emails but don't seem to have the ballot!

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2019, 02:43:21 pm »
Who do I contact if I have not received it? I had the previous test emails but don't seem to have the ballot!

I think that should go to returning-officer@british-caving.org.uk.

Offline not_a_climber

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2019, 02:53:17 pm »
Will clubs receive a ballot in the post also?

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2019, 04:43:48 pm »
Will clubs receive a ballot in the post also?

Clubs will not receive ballots for their members (by email or by post); their members will be contacted individually using the contact details that the BCA has for them. Group representatives will receive their ballot by email, unless the BCA doesn't have an email for them, they specifically asked to receive them by post, or the test email bounced, in which case they'll receive them by post.

Offline paul

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2019, 05:08:58 pm »
Yes, quick simple and easy to vote.   :thumbsup:
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Ian P

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2019, 06:14:57 pm »
Excellent system.

The hardest bit is proving I’m “not a robot”. What defines a “hill” when asked to tick the pictures with a hill  :shrug:

Well done and thanks to all involved

Offline nearlywhite

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2019, 08:09:51 pm »
I have had a couple of requests from people to explain what the vote is about... Having been out of the loop for the last month and a bit, is there a thread I can direct people to that debates the merits of the proposed constitutional changes (I tried searching for them but wasn't able to find anything!)

Very happy with the system though! Brilliantly easy to use.

Offline badger

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2019, 08:18:58 pm »
without checking I would say that if you went to the draft bca agm minutes from june 2019 you will find the proposal in there, maybe. minutes can be found on the bca website

Offline PeteHall

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2019, 09:11:39 pm »
I have had a couple of requests from people to explain what the vote is about... Having been out of the loop for the last month and a bit, is there a thread I can direct people to that debates the merits of the proposed constitutional changes (I tried searching for them but wasn't able to find anything!)

Very happy with the system though! Brilliantly easy to use.

A simple way to explain it (in my mind at least), would be to ask yourself if the new online voting system is easier than driving half way across the country to the AGM to vote. If it is, then vote "yes"  as that's how future voting will work if the motion is passed.

To answer your question though, I think this topic probably covers it pretty well:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=24666.0
The distance between stupidity and genius is measured only by success.

Offline Cap'n Chris

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2019, 08:21:43 am »
I have had a couple of requests from people to explain what the vote is about... Having been out of the loop for the last month and a bit, is there a thread I can direct people to that debates the merits of the proposed constitutional changes (I tried searching for them but wasn't able to find anything!)

Very happy with the system though! Brilliantly easy to use.

Another way of explaining it is to ask your enquirers whether they think they would prefer to have a voluntary representative putting forward their views on their behalf (assuming they actually do) or whether instead your enquirers would prefer to put forward their own views themselves. Two-way connection with its membership directly is surely an excellent thing.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 09:27:24 am by Cap'n Chris »

Offline not_a_climber

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2019, 09:21:42 am »
Will clubs receive a ballot in the post also?

Clubs will not receive ballots for their members (by email or by post); their members will be contacted individually using the contact details that the BCA has for them. Group representatives will receive their ballot by email, unless the BCA doesn't have an email for them, they specifically asked to receive them by post, or the test email bounced, in which case they'll receive them by post.

Hi Ari, I was meaning how does a club rep receive their vote. Looks like we need to get someone registered. Do we do this through BCA online as well, or is it too late npw? Sorry, my club haven't seen any info about how to go about it.

PS I used my individual vote yesterday and was chuffed by how simple and easy it was, and enjoyed how similar the new layout of the BCA website is to the .gov.uk website!

Offline Robert Scott

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2019, 10:11:15 am »
Received the email  on Friday evening during a club committee meeting. It only took moments to vote for the proposal. Far easier than dealing with paper. Well done, Gary and all involved.

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2019, 11:24:43 am »

Hi Ari, I was meaning how does a club rep receive their vote. Looks like we need to get someone registered.
Hi not_a_climber. No need to get anyone specifically registered - if your club is a BCA member club (i.e. on this list) then a ballot will go to the email or postal address that was given for the club on the membership form! If you have any more questions you could get in touch with the Membership Administrator who should be able to give you some specifics about your particular club :)

Offline Pete K

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2019, 11:29:24 am »
I received an email for myself as an individual member and a separate email addressed to the club (with a different ID code) because I am the registered contact. The person who sends in your membership info each year to BCA will have got the voting email I imagine.

Offline badger

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2019, 11:31:28 am »
club vote would go to probably secretary or membership secretary. I would say then depending on the size of the club is if they ask their members or the committee make a decision on behalf of there members

Offline BCA Secretary

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2019, 11:41:52 am »
Just to clarify a few questions that have been going around on here and elsewhere;

All BCA members (CIMs, DIMs and Groups, the latter including regional councils, consistuent bodies and clubs), have a vote in this ballot under the existing two-house voting system. The individual members (CIMs and DIMs) vote in the House of Individuals, and the Groups in the House of Groups, and both must pass for a vote to be successful. For non-constitution related proposals, this must achieve >50% in both houses, but as this relates to the constitution, it must achieve >70% in both houses... a difficult thing to achieve indeed!

I believe someone commented at the AGM this year that the two houses have never voted in opposite ways (I have not fact-checked this).

All BCA members have received a ballot. For Individuals (CIMs and DIMs), this will have come by email, if you have provided the BCA with your email address (about 4000-4500 of our members). If we do not have your email address it will come by post (about 2000+ members). Bear in mind that the BCA relies on YOU as a member to keep your contact details up to date; we can only go off the details we are provided either by yourself directly (DIMs) or by your club (CIMs).

Check your junk/spam email folders for the ballot; it is very hard to email 4000+ people without this getting marked as spam.

The postal ballot (which is more or less identical to the email text) will be arriving no later than the middle of this coming week, and will include a ballot ID in exactly the same way as the email does, and will allow use of the online system. The postal ballot also includes a voting slip which can be used to cast your ballot by return post (at your own expense for postage).

If you receive a postal ballot this means the BCA does not have your email address. PLEASE considering providing the BCA with your email address upon 2020 membership renewal; the cost of posting 2000+ ballots (some of them internationally) is high and ultimately comes out of our member's pockets, as well as wiping out over a week of work for our Membership Administrator who is already extremely busy.

For Groups, we have email contact details for all but a few, so most groups will receive an email with their ballot ID; typically this will come to the club Secretary or whoever manages the club's BCA membership. Make sure your club Secretary has checked their junk/spam folder! Group ballots will be addressed to the Group (e.g. Dear British Caving Club), whereas individual ballots will be addressed to a specific person (e.g. Dear Joe Bloggs). The text is also slightly different to indicate whether that ballot is for a group or an individual.

How a club uses its ballot (i.e. whether this is left to discretion of just a few people who run the club, or the entire club committee, or whether the club wishes to enlist feedback from its entire membership) is no business of the BCA.

In response to the question from Nearlywhite. The voting system does contain a summary message from BCA Executive which may help. Essentially, the constitutional changes put forward are intended to remove the current two-house voting system, and instead implement a one-individual member-one-vote system. All proposals at BCA AGMs that currently go to a two-house system would in future go to an online ballot using an online voting system similar to the one use in this ballot. There would no longer be a group vote. The current two-house system is so entangled into the constitution, that a large number of constitutional changes are needed to remove it and implement the alternative, hence the complexity. Read the proposal carefully!

Matt Ewles
BCA Secretary



Offline zomjon

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2019, 01:15:47 pm »
Point of interest, I've had my email and have duly voted, but my lad, as a junior member - aged 12 - should he have had a vote?

Offline Jenny P

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2019, 02:50:38 pm »
I tried to vote, having managed the trial runs successfully, but this time it wouldn't let me in.  (I'm sure this isn't a conspiracy - more likely to be my cock-up.)

So I have appealed to the returning officer for help and we'll see what happens now.

Must remind our Club Treasurer, who is our BCA Contact, to vote according to the Club's directions as agreed at our recent General Meeting, i.e. to remove the two-house voting system in favour of individual member ballot only.

Offline BCA Secretary

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2019, 03:14:53 pm »
We have heard from a few people struggling to get into the online system although the vast majority seem to be finding it to work fine.

Our webmaster believes the issues may be due to people copy-pasting the ballot ID but accidently including a space at the start of their copy-paste. He made an amendment this morning that means the system should disregard any spaces put in by accident, so Jenny, can you please try again? Try both the manual typing and copy-paste approach.

Our Returning Officer will no doubt put your enquiry in the direction of our Webmaster if this doesn't work.

Offline Madness

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Re: The BCA ballot is out
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2019, 03:53:21 pm »
Just cast my vote. Very quick and easy.

Why can't all voting be this easy!