There was a blurb in the Connector today about an eligibility change for voting. The “change” is a requirement to update your profile (or for those of with more than one, all of your profiles). Here are the fields that are now required on the profile:
I don’t have a problem with those, or even with asking for a yearly update. I worry that there isn’t enough information there to do a good dedupe – one of my two profiles (no, I don’t vote twice) has the state as Alabama (not on purpose, some strange system default). I worry that many voters won’t see this in the Connector and end up not being eligible. The latter is especially troubling. A change like this shouldn’t be the third bullet in a email, it should be the email. The newsletter talks about a membership drive when I think what we need is an eligibility drive.
I’m hoping it is part of a larger strategy, but if so, where is it? Why not ask the members to help dedupe? I have two accounts, who/how do I tell them to merge those? Are chapters and events going to be pushing eligibility as much as membership? What if someone went to the Summit (surely an eligible member) and doesn’t update their profile – do we really not want them to vote? I’ve always thought that asking for a LinkedIn URL would be a decent way to uniquely identify someone – do a one time validation and call it done. It also seems like at least making phone number optional would be a good and useful data point to have, and it would be worth a discussion of whether it might become part of voting ala Google Authenticator.
I’m all for making eligibility right. Let us never have an election that is questionable. Put a committee together, come up with some ideas, and vet them publicly. E-voting is tough to get right for anyone, but we should be able to define a system that is fair to the honest member and at least puts decent speed bumps in front of those who decide to not play fair.