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I have a relatively simple question that can, hopefully, be answered rather quickly.

I noticed that the voting for moderators is underway on the main site, and it struck me that, after voting, I didn't get a badge! Now, I am not vain, but the reason I talk about this is that, perhaps if there was a badge for your first voting, it would get more people involved in the voting process.

So the question: Is it possible that Stackoverflow could implement a "first vote" badge to get new users into voting, and most likely keep them voting after they have had their quick say in the Stackoverflow Moderation team?

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I'm wary of this idea. Generally, encouraging people to participate is a good thing, but in the case of voting for moderators it feels particularly important that people actually do it because they care, not just to get a badge. –  Jeremy Banks Nov 18 '11 at 22:13
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Your "badge" is that you don't get a suspension if the wrong person is voted in –  random Nov 18 '11 at 22:14
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Voting on the election seems completely unrelated to voting on questions and answers, and offering a badge for it doesn't seem likely to have the effects you suggest that it would. There are already Supporter, Critic, Suffrage, Vox Populi, Sportsmanship, Civic Duty, and Electorate badges to encourage voting on posts, do we really need more? –  Kevin Vermeer Nov 18 '11 at 22:16
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When I vote in US elections, I get a sticker on my shirt or jacket saying "I voted." Maybe instead of a badge, users that voted get a little symbol next to their name (sort of like the diamond for moderators). Once the election is over, symbol goes away. Just a brainstorm idea based on the post-- I see lots of holes in it. –  LarsTech Nov 18 '11 at 23:09
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I'm with @JeremyBanks that it's probably not a good idea... but I'm surprised at the down votes. I think it's a good and interesting question. It's just that the answer is probably "no". –  mdahlman Nov 18 '11 at 23:19
    
@mdahlman, on meta sites, downvotes don't mean "this is a bad question," they mean "I disagree with this suggestion" (see the FAQ). Helpful for times when the reason(s) you disagree have already been written by someone else. –  Pops Nov 18 '11 at 23:42
    
I do see what is being said. I guess that not everyone is as responsible as they should be. –  nmagerko Nov 20 '11 at 21:57
    

2 Answers 2

Like most other democratic things, I think it's more important to have a quality electorate, not just a large electorate. Implementing this badge would encourage people who wouldn't otherwise vote to just pick the first three names in order to score a new shiny badge.

If you're not otherwise inclined to vote in the moderator election, then great, leave the election to the rest of the users who care.

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I like the idea, and initially voted it up... then I read Jeremy's comment.

I'm wary of this idea. Generally, encouraging people to participate is a good thing, but in the case of voting for moderators it feels particularly important that people actually do it because they care, not just to get a badge

And I agree completely. So, I reversed my vote.

Maybe if we could somehow make it more in dept... like:

Election Participant: Attended an election Town Hall or voted on all the Town Hall Digest answers, voted in the primary and voted in the election

Or maybe if they asked a question in the Town Hall... but that's going to be really difficult to implement. So I still say this isn't a great idea. (But a good thought!)

Instead, how can we make more people truly care about the election?

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"how can we make more people truly care about the election?" -- when you figure it out, don't forget to let real-life politicians know. :) –  Anna Lear Nov 18 '11 at 23:04
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@AnnaLear I have to say I am much more impressed by our StackOverflow "politicians". Pretty much all "real-life" politicians are a major disappointment in my eyes. (At least in the USA) –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 18 '11 at 23:42
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@Anna: I've spent more time looking over the current crop of moderator candidates than I did my most recent state-wide ballot. (Granted, only three items on it, but still.) –  sarnold Nov 18 '11 at 23:54
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Vote for Scott Adams in 2012! –  Matthew Read Nov 19 '11 at 2:36
    
@MatthewRead wow! If only! –  The Unhandled Exception Nov 19 '11 at 14:26

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