Comment on 2017 OTW Elections Timeline and Membership Deadline

  1. Can I just ask why the deadline? Why not let members who joined in July vote? Or even members who joined during the election? Why would that be a problem?

    (Also here's a token comment pointing out that y'all really need to let your volunteers have free membership. Every reason you've given for not doing so has been debunked. I have an idea: why not put the notion up for members to vote on?)

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    1. Hi there!

      Thanks for your comment. The reason we have a membership deadline for elections is that, in order to keep the election process private and secure, we use a third party service to run the election. This means that we have to give them the voter list, ballot text, and other information before the election so that they can set everything up. In addition to that, it takes time for us to finalize all of that and make sure that it's complete and accurate. Therefore, we have to set an end date for when people can join and be eligible to vote in the election.

      As for why we don't provide free memberships to our personnel, it's because the US Internal Revenue Service does not permit volunteer time to be reported as a contribution, so when we file our tax paperwork, we can’t report volunteer hours as a mode of payment. Here are the IRS’ own words: “No, volunteer time cannot be reported as contributions in line 1 of Parts II or III of Schedule A. It may be described in Form 990, Part III, Statement of Program Service Accomplishments.” (,-Schedules-A-and-B:-Reporting-Value-of-Volunteer-Time)

      I hope that clears things up!

      -Janita Burgess
      OTW Communications Co-Chair

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      1. The first response makes sense. Thank you.

        I'm afraid I don't follow your second answer. This seems to be about reporting contributions for tax purposes, not about allowing volunteers to vote on the matters that will directly influence them.

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