How to vote?

The voting process is supported by POLIS. It was created in the USA and its core open-source software is implemented on the original POLIS website. It was first used in Taiwan in 2012, which has helped to change several laws in Taiwan. Since then it has been applied world-wide. In 2018 the Computational Democracy Project was founded as a non-profit continuation of POLIS open source work and the mission behind it. Sustensis and Consensus are grateful for making this software available to a wider community.

POLIS has been seamlessly integrated with Consensual Debating. You need to register first and then sign in every time you would like to participate in a specific debate.

Here is some basic information on how to participate in Consensual Debating and vote.

  1. If you just want to try Consensual Debating then you will find the introduction to the project under London’s ULEZ Case Study tab.
  2. If you are one of the participants in a real Consensual Debating project arranged by your organization then the introduction to the project will be under one of the locked PROJECTs.  The data will only be visible to the participants of your organization.
  3. The structure and the principles of the website operations are the same for any of the PROJECTs as for the Case Study.
  4. When an organization requests conducting Consensual Debating, then one of the available PROJECT’s tabs is dedicated to this organization and all data will only be visible to the participants of that organization.
  5. The first 3 tabs on the Menu contain all the information gathered for a project, mainly coming from a sponsor’s organization.
  6. The INFO tab contains key objectives of a project.
  7. Each objective is preceded by the the project’s acronym like ULEZ.
  8. The DEBATE tab supports the voting process. It has several sub tabs corresponding to each objective
  9. The First objective (0) contains just one initial statement. In ULEZ case it is ‘The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) needs to be extended to outer London’ . The intention is to create a baseline for the voting showing how the participants voted without any prior knowledge about the objectives and all arguments and counterarguments of the proposed motion. That’s why on any project, the participants will not have access to any documentation gathered by AI Assistant before that first vote.
  10. Objectives are numbered from 1-5 (there should be no more than 5-7 objectives for a project). Each of them contains at least 10 ‘seed statements’, i.e prepared in advance by the AI Assistant. You can add your own statements during voting on which all participants will be voting in the next round.
  11. After each voting there is a break and a facilitated deliberation, where the participants are shown the overall results and any additional statements, which have been introduced by the participants for a given objective.
  12. If the first round of voting does not create 60% majority for at least one statement, then there are subsequent voting rounds, until such a majority has been achieved.
  13. The voting is closed once all objectives have at least one statement, on for which there is a 60% majority.
  14. If the voting is carried out without facilitators, e.g. on-line, then the next round will normally be opened by Consensus AI the next day. This process will shortly be completely and seamlessly managed by an AI Assistant. However, you can see the results of the voting at the end of the round, when you are asked to enter your email address. These results are at the very bottom of the screen (read a short instruction how to interpret the results – CLICK ON ‘MORE‘) and the click on ‘MAJORITY OPINION’, which will show which group has voted for which statement with at leest 60% majority.
  15. After the final deliberation there is one more voting. This is the voting on the overall motion (proposal), which is marked F. It contains the same statement as the 0 objective e.g. in ULEZ case it is : ‘The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) needs to be extended to outer London’ .
  16. The results of the voting for particular objectives and the final voting are summarized in a Report, like the obe for ULEZ.

The pages that enable voting look like the one below. When you have clicked on one of the DEBATE’s subtabs, you will be shown the first statement on which to vote. All initial statements are listed in the upper part of the page (see below). The pages for ULEZ case study (and on Digital Identities) projects are not locked, so you can vote without any restrictions. You will only see the result of your vote for a given statement, not for the whole project, as this requires the facilitator’s presence. Watch how your vote has impacted the overall vote (blue circle) and your relative position to others who have voted before you.

The initial ‘seed statements’:

  1. Reduces reliance on personal cars
  2. Encourages use of public transportation
  3. Increases use of walking and cycling
  4. Reduces carbon emissions from road transport
  5. Reduces traffic congestion in London
  6. Improves air quality
  7. Makes London more liveable and accessible
  8. Increases public health and well-being
  9. Helps London reach net zero carbon emissions by 2030
  10. Promotes sustainable mobility in London.