OVAL Board Voting Process

As an advisory body responsible for the strategic direction and advancement of OVAL, it is important that the OVAL Board reaches a resolution on critical decisions that impact the effort. To do this, a voting process" as defined below" is in place for making such critical decisions and for situations where a consensus cannot be reached.

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What Is Voted On?

The OVAL Board will be required to vote on the following matters.

  • Goals and timeline for an official OVAL release
  • Final approval of an official OVAL release
  • Approval of new OVAL Board members

Lastly, a vote may be requested for any other issue deemed necessary by the OVAL Board or OVAL Moderator. Each request will be considered on a case-by-case basis to see if it is within MITRE's scope of work as the OVAL Moderator to ensure that a vote is not held on an issue that cannot be acted upon. Areas that fall within MITRE's scope of work as the OVAL Moderator include the strategic direction of the OVAL Language, the OVAL Language revision process, governance of the OVAL Board, and the OVAL Adoption Program. If a request falls within one of these areas, the request will be processed and a vote will be announced. If a request falls outside of these areas, the OVAL Moderator will consult with the appropriate stakeholders to determine if a vote may be held. A few examples of issues that fall outside of MITRE’s scope of work as the OVAL Moderator include issues that may affect the scope of the OVAL Project, issues that may affect the resources required to moderate the OVAL Project, and issues that may result in the transfer of intellectual property.

To request a vote, an OVAL Board member can either publicly send a message to the oval-board-list or privately send a message to the OVAL Moderator at oval@mitre.org.

Who May Vote?

All active members of the OVAL Board are eligible to cast a vote. However, only one vote per organization will be accepted. Emeritus members are not eligible to cast a vote, but, they can provide their input on matters before a decision is made.

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Announcing a Vote

All matters, which require a vote, will be announced on the oval-board-list and the oval-developer-list along with the timeline. The timeline will provide a deadline for community and board discussion as well as dates for when the voting period begins and ends.

Casting a Vote

All voting ballots will be distributed through email over the oval-board-list and will typically require that an organization select one or more options as well as provide justification. Please note that all votes and justifications will be posted to the OVAL Web site to provide the community with transparency into the voting process and for record-keeping purposes.

Handling Multiple Votes from an Organization

In the event that multiple votes are cast by the same organization, only the first vote received will count. However, the affected organization is encouraged to immediately share the reason(s) for changing their vote or reaching consensus on a position so that the other OVAL Board members will know what their intentions were. Once voting has closed, the OVAL Board will be asked to consider the reasons for changing the vote and determine which of the votes should be considered valid. Please note that any changes to a ballot will be considered on a case-by-case basis and should only approved given extenuating circumstances.


In order to reach a quorum, votes must be cast by a simple majority of the OVAL Board members. If a quorum is not reached, a vote will be deemed invalid.

Reaching a Decision

A decision is reached if there is a quorum and the results of the vote indicate that a simple majority of the OVAL Board members are either for or against a particular issue. If there is a tie, the OVAL Moderator will re-open the discussion and schedule another vote on the issue.

Publishing Vote Results

Once the OVAL Board reaches a decision, the results of the vote will be announced over the oval-board-list, oval-developer-list, and posted to the OVAL Web site.

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Page Last Updated: April 01, 2014