ICC Announces Procedures to Address Public Comment Hearing Onsite Voting Problem

The International Code Council Board of Directors has reviewed the Long Beach, Calif., Public Comment Hearing (PCH) results and concerns with the unexpected voting device problems. The Board has unanimously agreed on a process to address the issue that maintains the integrity of ICC’s Code Development Process and the Online Governmental Consensus Vote (OGCV), which follows the PCH. It should be noted that this process will only be used for those code changes which were voted utilizing the voting devices. The PCH action for the code changes which were considered and voted by a show of hands remains as published and will be the basis for the OGCV.

The Board has directed staff to develop and utilize a two-step, electronic voting process to re-create the PCH, resulting in accurate and transparent PCH results to be used to conduct the cdpACCESS OGCV.

“The Board has acted in a timely manner and considered all the options to address the challenges,” said ICC Board President Alex “Cash” Olszowy III. “It is unfortunate that the old voting technology we have used for more than a decade is not capable of supporting cdpACCESS and we will work to replace it before the Group B hearings.”

The online process will closely mirror the process used to conduct the in-person PCH. This includes the initial motion under consideration being the committee action in accordance with Council Policy 28 (CP28). It will be followed by consideration of the public comments, as applicable, resulting in the PCH action. To ensure consistency with the Long Beach PCH, eligible voting members will be limited to those who were issued an electronic voting device during the PCH period in Long Beach. The OGCV process will remain unchanged with the resulting PCH actions used to conduct the OGCV.

“We believe that the Board’s corrective procedures will result in a PCH outcome that reflects the consensus of the eligible voting members in attendance at the hearings,” Olszowy said. “It will ensure the Online Governmental Consensus Vote can be conducted in accordance with ICC rules and procedures.”

Anyone with a “MY ICC” account will be able to log on to cdpACCESS.com and view the process. All the necessary information, including: code change documents; access to both the Committee Action and Public Comment Hearing videos; and the actions and recorded vote counts from the Long Beach PCH will be displayed. Where submitted public comments result in an option for the approval of a combination of public comments, staff will annotate the ballot noting compatibility/correlation of public comments.

A two-step process is necessary as illustrated by the following two examples.

Example 1

  • Where the Committee Action Hearing (CAH) result is Disapproval (D), Step 1 will include the initial vote to sustain the Disapproval. A 50 percent majority is required to sustain the committee action. If the committee action is sustained, Step 2 is not necessary and the PCH result is Disapproval. In accordance with Section 8.1 of CP28, the OGCV will be conducted with the allowable actions being As Submitted and Disapproval.
  • If the committee action for Disapproval fails, Step 2 will include a vote on the public comments submitted. In the event that multiple public comments requesting further modifications are submitted, they will be on the ballot. Where a public comment was withdrawn in Long Beach, the public comment will not be considered. Where an allowable motion to consider a public comment was not made in Long Beach, that public comment will also not be considered in Step 2. Where the required majority in accordance with Section 7.6 is achieved, the PCH action will be the action that carried the required majority. In accordance with Section, if the required majority is not achieved, the PCH action will be Disapproval. In accordance with Section 8.1, the OGCV will be conducted with the allowable actions being based on the Step 2 PCH result.

Example 2

  • Where the CAH result is either As Submitted (AS) or As Modified (AM), the Step 1 vote will include the allowable public comments (as noted above) requesting further modifications (AMPC). A 67% majority is required for AMPC. If the required majority is not achieved, Step 2 is not necessary and the PCH action is Disapproval per Section and the OGCV allowable actions are Disapproval and As Submitted (or As Modified where the committee action was As Modified). If the required majority is achieved, Step 2 is not necessary and the OGCV allowable actions are AMPC and Disapproval.

The results of each step will be reviewed and certified by third party ICC auditors. The results will be posted prior to initiating the subsequent PCH step or OGCV, as applicable.

ICC staff is developing the two-step ballot process and the customization of cdpACCESS to ensure a secure and transparent process. It is anticipated that the two-step process will not open until December at the earliest, followed by the OGCV for all code changes considered in Long Beach. All efforts will be made to minimize the possible conflict between this process and the upcoming 2016 Group B code change deadline.

ICC will be conducting webinars to support understanding and participation in the process.

Questions should be directed to Mike Pfeiffer, P.E. at mpfeiffer@iccsafe.org.