I've taken note that there are Several Elections going on right now - Server Fault finished recently, while Gaming and Ask Ubuntu have just launched their elections. I had to wonder though - What qualifies a site to need elections? What factors contribute to the need to elect more moderators?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are several possible reasons a site might have an election:

  • It has exited public beta and SE feel an election is viable. In which case, you get to elect new moderators to replace the pro-tems (who are by appointment) (or elect them back into their jobs).
  • A moderator has stepped down from an elected position and a replacement is needed to ensure the site does not suffer from too few moderators.
  • SE Inc, the current user base, the current moderators (any combination thereof, but there's usually a general sort of consensus) feel more moderators are needed e.g. due to an explosion in visits and ensuing spam.

In this specific case, I know the serverfault election was triggered by a moderator asking to step down. I haven't been following the other sites, so am not sure why - I think gaming is due to volume.

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Gaming's had like what, 800% growth in the last few months thanks to their promotions? –  Sathya Jan 31 '12 at 4:58
    
That's pretty much it. Barring anything unexpected happening, we currently evaluate sites to see if the need another election around the anniversary of their first election, give or take. –  Anna Lear Jan 31 '12 at 5:57
    
@anna Lear Do those 3 things define what you mean by "need"? –  paulmorriss Jan 31 '12 at 11:39
    
@paul Pretty much. There is no formula for it, but these are the things we discuss. –  Anna Lear Jan 31 '12 at 14:32
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