Learn about Election Volunteers – Justinianus

With the upcoming Board of Trustees Election 2022, Movement Strategy and Governance Team’s facilitators talked to several Election Volunteers from different communities to hear about their experiences and motivation to join the Election Volunteer program. 

This blog is a result of collaborative writing between the MSG facilitators and EV program volunteers.

Please tell us about yourself.    

Hello, I’m Justinianus. I’m a lawyer and living in İstanbul, Turkey. I’m contributing to Wikimedia projects for about 15 years. I really enjoy being here and contributing to my interests. Although I am mainly on Wikipedia, I have recently started to contribute to Wikisource. I own admin rights on Wikisource and contribute here by adding non-copyrighted content. As a lawyer, especially due to my interest in the field of law, I add legal texts that are free of copyright under Turkish law, such as laws, contracts, court decisions, and correct and update existing texts. On Wikipedia, I also write articles in my fields of interest, such as law, and edit existing ones. I also try to participate in the discussions we have as a community and to express my ideas.

Apart from these two projects, I also try to contribute to Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons, although not very often. I edit links to existing items on Wikidata and add missing links. I add the photos that I took to Wikimedia Commons and try to use the photos in appropriate places.

And I’m doing translations in Meta. I try to translate the developments experienced by the Wikimedia Foundation into Turkish as much as I can and try to share them with my community. 

What motivated you to join the EV program? 

It all started when I saw an announcement by the Foundation for the Board of Trustees elections that took place last year that it was seeking users from the communities who volunteered to participate in the process. I have voluntarily undertaken the translation of the relevant pages regarding these elections on Meta. I also tried to share information about the process with my community as much as I could. I was very happy to see that my community’s participation in the elections was higher than in previous elections. I have personally observed that sharing such processes actively with the communities and providing support in the language preferred by the community more often (I should mention that this language is Turkish for me) encourages users to participate in this process. This situation encourages me to participate more in similar processes. I hope to be able to participate more in the future. 

 What are some challenges and successes that you would like to share? 

 As a part of this program, I have experienced that regularly following the developments regarding the process and sharing these developments with the community increases the participation of the community in this process. Let me give you an example: In the 2017 elections regarding the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees elections, 25 (7.49%) of 334 users who could vote on Turkish Wikipedia (in which our community voted the most) voted. In the 2021 elections, 73 (16.55%) of 441 users voted. I’m really glad to see this development.

As the only representative of the program in my own language -Turkish- (of course, I do not ignore the efforts of other users who have helped externally in this process, I also thank them) I must admit that it is a bit challenging to carry out this process alone. However, on the other hand, I must also admit that in order to increase the number of participants, someone needs to take responsibility. I believe that our community will be represented in this program with more participants over time.

Looking ahead: What are your expectations for the upcoming 2022 BoT Elections? What would you like to do, and how would you like to be involved?

In the 2022 elections, I expect the Turkish-speaking community to participate in the elections with a higher rate. For this, more information about the process needs to be shared with the community compared to last year. I will continue to do my best to the best of my ability. Also, I’ll always welcome the users who want to help 🙂