HP struggles to keep up
Opening up vote totals, then wallets

OpenMPE opens up vote details

After a little prodding from a few HP 3000 customers and consultants, OpenMPE has voted to release the candidate-specific details of its 2006 election. The voting put two new directors onto the advocacy group's board of directors, a set of volunteers who do just about all of the work for the four-year-old organization. Three of the four incumbents earned back their seats in the election, which drew a record number of ballots.

Six volunteers ran for the five board seats, with the top five vote-getters winning in the election. The results reported by the board, and confirmed in independent observation by The 3000 NewsWire:

111 people voted
492 total votes were cast

Donna Garverick: 101
John Wolff: 91
Matthew Perdue: 83
Bill Lancaster: 82
Jennifer Fisher: 69
Steve Suraci: 66

John Wolff, the vice-chair of the Board of Directors, explained how the voting process works.

"When a ballot for OpenMPE Directors is cast on the OpenMPE.org Web site, the ballot data is automatically sent to three e-mail address at once: to the Corporate Secretary, to the Webmaster, and to the independent election observer. At no time do the ballots pass through any one person's hands."

"After the polls close, the results are separately counted by the Corporate Secretary as well as the independent election observer. Then they are compared. This year there was complete reconciliation between the two counts. The Webmaster also concurred with the results. The Board then meets and ratifies the results. Winning and losing candidates are then notified of the results by the Corporate Secretary."

This year's Webmaster was John Burke, who was on the board but not seeking re-election. The OpenMPE Corporate Secretary is Donna Garverick, one of the candidates in this year's election. The calls for opening up the election details came from Joe Dolliver, Craig Lalley, Jim Alexander and Martin Vaughn. 

We watched the ballots appear in our in-box here at the NewsWire, one by one. Nothing looked amiss to us, although the race for the fifth place was very close. We're of the opinion that nothing about OpenMPE should be withheld from the members or the 3000 community, at least within the realm of what the organization can control. (HP has its own idea about confidential discussions with the group, and HP gets to set the rules there.)

Personnel matters, one sensible off-the-record exception, haven't been an issue for the group yet — because no one except a CPA firm has ever been paid.

Money could turn up as an issue in the future of OpenMPE, a group that has been lightly-funded ever since its inception. In order to ensure the advocacy work continues, membership might rise from free to a $100 individual membership, according to one director. That is an issue that's still to be discussed by the new board, along with what OpenMPE might do to earn that $100. Some customers believe the group has already earned its keep by prodding HP to work out end-game details for the 3000 — decisions the vendor had not considered until the board of volunteers cast its light upon them.