UPDATE: ICANN At Large Nominations Period Nears Conclusion

7 September 2000

The nominations period of ICANN's At Large membership election process will conclude tomorrow, September 8, midnight GMT. September 8 also marks the deadline for membership applicants to activate their memberships, allowing them to cast ballots in this year's round of elections.

The next stage of the At Large process will be the voter education and dialogue phase. Starting September 9, the ICANN website will feature a basic webpage for each nominee (including links to their own websites), and a Question & Answer Forum to facilitate public dialogue among the nominees and the At Large members. The voting period will run from October 1 - 10.

  • Brief History of the Nominations Process

The nominations process began in May 2000, when the Nominating Committee issued a public open call for recommendations and expressions of interest, along with its criteria of selection. Over the next two months, the NomCom received communications from over 400 individuals worldwide. On July 31, the Nominating Committee announced a set of 18 nominees.

On August 1, the member-nomination phase began. A total of 161 individuals put their names forward as candidates for member-nomination: 3 in Africa; 24 in Asia/Australia/Pacific; 74 in Europe; 7 in Latin America/Caribbean; and 53 in North America. Starting August 15, activated At Large members could make an endorsement of a candidate in their geographic region. Each candidate for member-nomination was given a basic webpage on the ICANN site (again, including links to homepages and candidate sites).

In order to encourage At Large members to examine the candidate pages, ICANN has sent a weekly email reminder to every activated member (4 emails total); in addition, ICANN has sent a weekly email to all unactivated membership applicants, encouraging them to activate their memberships to participate in this year's process. The objective of the candidate-webpages-plus-weekly-email-reminders communication strategy is to give members regular reminders to take part in the process, while (1) facilitating communication on equal terms for all candidates; (2) preventing the disclosure of members' personal information (such as email addresses) to candidates or others; (3) avoiding a flood of unsolicited email from many dozens of candidates; and (4) minimizing any communications advantages that might be enjoyed by candidates with access to greater financial resources.

To be member-nominated, a candidate must receive the online endorsements of 2% of the activated members in his/her region (or 20 members, whichever is greater), from at least 2 different countries. Together with the nominees of the Nominating Committee, the member-nominees will appear on the October ballot, up to a maximum of 7 total nominees per region. The final ballot (including qualifying member-nominees) will be posted on September 9. Barring any last-minute surges in activations, it now appears that at least one candidate will qualify for member-nomination in each region.

  • Brief History of the Membership Application Process

The membership application phase launched on February 25, 2000, with a goal of 5,000-10,000 members. By the time of the July 31 deadline for applications, over 158,000 had been received. Applicants were required to give their personal name, along with a valid email address and valid physical address. For verification purposes, each applicant was sent a member number and password via email, and a PIN number via postal mail. To activate a membership, the applicant must enter each of those data elements. ICANN is continuing to conduct a careful review of the membership database.

To date, over 75,000 members have activated worldwide, representing a remarkable accomplishment for a program whose original goal was at least 5,000 members.