Re: [ARIN-consult] Reminder - Consultation on ARIN’s Membership Structure

Owen DeLong owen at
Mon Nov 8 23:00:10 EST 2021

> On Nov 8, 2021, at 09:58 , John Curran <jcurran at> wrote:
>> On Nov 8, 2021, at 12:09 PM, Owen DeLong <owen at> wrote:
>>> One option would certainly to be have everyone just be “general members”, but it’s fairly plain that some organizations just want registry services and have little interest in participating in ARIN governance activities (and this characterization applies to both those who are existing ISP/general members and to end-user organizations.)
>> And what is the problem with those organizations (continuing to) abstain from voting, but retaining their rights to vote?
> Owen -
> There is nothing wrong with doing so - ARIN could easily have a single “general member” category and 14000+ general members, of which 1000 to 2000 vote in elections when they wish…. It is a functional model (and any quorum matter could be addressed by setting at an appropriate value at the time the membership surges with the additional end-user members.)
> It certainly suffices, but then again, it pretty much precludes ever having the general membership having increased authority over the organization –as the ability for an bad actor to surreptitiously harvest votes from the large uninterested and otherwise uninvolved electorate is quite real.
> A substantial benefit of an well-defined general membership that is that (once stable and smoothly running) it would be possible to consider taking more substantial matters of ARIN governance and putting them before that general membership. I note that when ARIN started out, all of the authority was held by the Board of Trustees (even the ability to “elect” new Trustees) but we have with time and and stability worked to empower ARIN’s membership (e.g Election & removal of trustees, formal consultation on certain bylaws changes, approval of RSA changes). It is my own personal view that such a trend of increasingly vesting authority of the organization with the members should continue, but I do believe having a well-defined and active general membership is necessary to do so.

That’s fair. I think we still get there if we make general membership for end-user organizations forced into membership the default. Sure, it might take 3 years, but we do still get there.

I also think that the requirement to sit out a year after you don’t vote for 3 should be removed. An organization which becomes a “service member” should be able to convert to “general member” at any time that a new member joining the organization would still be able to appoint a voting contact for the current year.

So if the current proposal were modified such that:
	1.	Default category for members (new and existing) is general member until they fail to vote 3 times in a row.
	2.	A service member may convert to general member at any time, but eligibility to vote is still subject to the
		existing determination deadlines (IOW, you can’t convert in late September and expect to vote in October,
		but if you become a service member in March, you should be able to convert to general member in July
		and still vote in October. Simlilarly, if you become a service member following an October election, you
		should be able to convert back to general membership and vote in the next election, so long as you do
		so prior to the cutoff date for voter eligibility in that election).

With those two modifications, I would consider the proposal acceptable. Without them, I still feel that it is overzealous in its efforts to disenfranchise members.


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