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After the discussion period (which is mandatory), if it's been determined that a new group really is desired, a name and charter are agreed upon, and it's been determined whether the group will be moderated (and by whom), a Call For Votes (CFV) should be posted to news.announce.newgroups, along with any other groups that the original Request For Discussion was posted to. The CFV should be posted (or mailed to the news.announce.newgroups moderator) as soon as possible after the discussion ends (to keep it fresh in everyone's mind).

The Call for Votes should include clear instructions on how to cast a vote. It's important that it be clearly explained how to both vote for and against a group (and be of equivalent difficulty or ease). If it's easier for you or your administrator, two separate addresses can be used to mail yes and no votes to, providing that they're on the same machine. Regardless of the method, everyone must have a very specific idea of how to get his/her vote counted.

The voting period can last between 21 and 31 days, no matter what the preliminary results of the vote are. A vote can't be called off simply because 400 "no" votes have come in and only two "yes" votes. The Call for Votes should include the exact date that the voting period will end--only those votes arriving on the vote-taker's machine before this date can be counted.

To keep awareness high, the CFV can be repeated during the vote, provided that it gives the same clear, unbiased instructions for casting a vote as the original; it also has to be the same proposal as was first posted. The charter can't change in mid-vote. Also, votes that're posted don't count--only those that were mailed to the vote-taker can be tallied.

Partial results should never be included; only a statement of the specific proposal, that a vote is in progress on it, and how to cast a vote. A mass acknowledgement ("Mass ACK" or "Vote ACK") is permitted; however, it must be presented in a way that gives no indication of which way a person voted. One way to avoid this is to create one large list of everyone who's voted, and sort it in alphabetical order. It should not be two sorted lists (of the yes and no votes, respectively).

Every vote is autonomous. The votes for or against one group can't be transferred to another, similar proposal. A vote can only count for the exact proposal that it was a response to. In particular, a vote for or against a newsgroup under one name can't be counted as a vote for or against another group with a different name or charter, a different moderated/unmoderated status, or, if it's moderated, a different moderator or set of moderators. Whew! invisible.xbm

Finally, the vote has to be explicit; they should be of the form `I vote for the group foo.bar as proposed' or `I vote against the group foo.bar as proposed'. The wording doesn't have to be exact, your intention just has to be clear.

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National Technical University of Athens