Ballot FORUM-18 – Allow Re-election of CWG Chairs and Vice Chairs

Voting on Ballot Forum-18 has closed and the quorum was met. Results are below:

CAs voting in favor: Actalis, Buypass, Comsign, DigiCert, Disig, eMudhra, Entrust, Fastly, GDCA, GlobalSign, GoDaddy, HARICA, Izenpe, JPRS, OISTE, SECOM, Sectigo,, SwissSign, TrustCor, Visa

Against: None

Abstaining: None

Certificate Consumers voting in Favor: Apple, Google, Mozilla, 360

Against: None
Abstaining: None

Therefore the ballot has PASSED.

Since this ballot does not involve IPR, there will be no IPR review.


Ballot FORUM-18, Allow Re-election of CWG Chairs and Vice Chairs

Proposed by Tim Hollebeek of DigiCert and endorsed by Ben Wilson of Mozilla and Wayne Thayer of Fastly.


Section 4.1 of the Bylaws describes elections for Forum Chair and Vice Chair, and says:

“No person may serve as Chair for more than a two-year period or be elected to Vice Chair upon expiration or termination of the person’s service as Chair, but a person is eligible to be elected as Chair again after having vacated the position as Chair for at least one (1) term.”

This makes it clear Forum Chairs and Vice Chairs cannot be re-elected (be elected to a new term for the same office they currently hold), but the situation is less clear for Chairs and Vice Chairs of Chartered Working Groups (CWGs).

The current Bylaws have been read by some to allow re-election of CWG Chairs and Vice Chairs, and by others to prohibit it. 

It has happened once in the past, and whether it is allowed depends on whether “follow the procedures of Bylaws Section 4.1 as closely as possible” is merely referring to election procedures, or also candidate qualifications.

This ambiguity was discussed during the spring CA/Browser Forum Face-to-face meeting, and the consensus was that we should update the Bylaws to clarify that re-election is allowed, and the election process itself is sufficient to determine whether members want to retain the existing Chair and/or Vice Chair, or whether they want to vote for someone else. 

This is important because the pool of qualified and willing candidates is not particularly large.

This ballot retains the existing prohibition on re-election for Forum Chairs and Vice Chairs.


The Bylaws of the CA/Browser Forum are amended as described in the following redline:


The procedure for approval of this ballot is as follows:

Discussion (7+ days)

Start Time: 2022-07-20 2:45 PM Eastern (US)

End Time: 2022-07-27 3:15 PM Eastern (US)

Vote for approval (7 days)

Start Time: 2022-07-27 3:15 PM Eastern (US)

End Time: 2022-08-03 3:15 PM Eastern (US)

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