Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 158 Stack Exchange communities.

What is meta?
Here's how it works:
  1. Any Stack Exchange user can ask a question
  2. The community provides support, votes on ideas, and reports bugs
  3. Your voice helps shape the way Stack Exchange operates

I'm seeing people who's votes are up+down less than 60, and others who have up+down votes closer to 320, and we're only an hour or so in to the election process.

Doing some back of the napkin math I come up with 260 people so far only voting for one person, or a handful, and leaving.

Can we encourage people to (maybe only giving the badge today-forward on elections for voting if they) use all (or more than one of) their votes?

Is there merit in that proposal? Or am I just messing with a working system?


I think what I'm really getting at, with some help from friends in refinement, is: If you only cast one vote in the election, are you really helping to determine new mods, or are your votes just chaff that should be discarded or somehow counted for less?

share|improve this question
I WAS WONDERING THE SAME THING – The Unhandled Exception Jun 11 '12 at 20:44
What about my "Meh" votes? (+0) – Robert Harvey Jun 11 '12 at 20:44
Limit the field to users they all know and they'll vote. Otherwise, abstained. – random Jun 11 '12 at 20:46
There are some candidates I really want to make it to the election phase. I upvote them. Downvotes are reserved for people I really would rather not see in the final stage. Those who I neither favour nor object to, stay unvoted (by me). – Daniel Fischer Jun 11 '12 at 20:47
That's a good policy Daniel, and what I think Robert was getting at. However, I have some interaction with almost everyone on that list, and have looked into all of them enough to have a decision if not previously interacted with. So I'm all for casting all my votes, because I've put that effort into it. I also have a policy of "upvote anything that's not crap, downvote the crap" – jcolebrand Jun 11 '12 at 20:49
@jcolebrand But if I upvote all, or all but one or two, my votes have less influence than when I vote only for or against those I have a decided opinion on. That would level the ones I like and the ones I don't dislike. – Daniel Fischer Jun 11 '12 at 20:55
@RobertHarvey Maybe so, but these are moderators involved, I think that we should make a firm decision on who we want to be moderators. I never said I was right, I actually was asking for community input and feedback. – jcolebrand Jun 11 '12 at 20:59
@jcolebrand Sure I want to see more than one in the finals. And I have cast more than one vote. But I haven't voted on all candidates, and won't. Among those I don't favour, there are enough who are definitely not worth a downvote. – Daniel Fischer Jun 11 '12 at 21:00
@CodeGnome it is, and it is working great, isn't it? – Pëkka Jun 11 '12 at 21:30
@jcolebrand - if you honestly only wanted one person to win and felt so strongly about that one person that you didn't care out of the others I'd say yes. It'd be dishonest to vote for more just because you can. – Flexo Jun 11 '12 at 21:51
With all due respect sir, my initial reaction is "If this is what you have time to talk about, I'm not sure I can vote for you." – JimmyPena Jun 11 '12 at 22:01
@jcolebrand: "If you only cast one vote in the election, are you truly participating?" I'm with JP here: the very fact that you asked this question made me vote against you. And since I already upvoted someone else, I guess that means I "truly participated." Thanks! – Nicol Bolas Jun 11 '12 at 22:54
Again I want to thank everyone for their comments, you're absolutely helping me with this. I just figured this was the opportune time (in this particular election) to observe the mechanics of voting because we're not always gauranteed to get any sort of turnout resembling this at any other time. You can castrate me all you want, and I don't have a problem with that, never have. I don't understand why people make the choices they make, and meta helps me have clarity. Thanks again for your input, regardless what you think about me. – jcolebrand Jun 12 '12 at 3:36
@jcolebrand I respectfully disagree. An election, which is still ongoing and of which you are a candidate, is exactly the wrong time to start suggesting that some votes not be counted. No doubt if the people who vote for only one candidate had their votes discounted, some of the votes for candidates other than yourself wouldn't be counted. – JimmyPena Jun 12 '12 at 12:26
@JP. do you really think I stand to be elected? I'm in the lower half, and when I posted the question I was already trailing the rear. Do you not think the needs of the site should always be considered? Also, remind me what your experience with the site is? A 2 year old account and you're not even able to close yet? And yet you want to tell me that I'm in the wrong for asking if we need to consider new network policies while running in the same election I'm asking about? – jcolebrand Jun 13 '12 at 4:17

I personally wouldn't use just one vote - but hey, it's a free election, and everyone can do as they please. I don't think the system should mess with people's voting in any way.

If you only cast one vote in the election, are you really helping to determine new mods, or are your votes just chaff that should be discarded or somehow counted for less?

A vote is a vote. Many people will rationally abstain from voting if they don't know the candidate*, and I don't think that reduces the value of those votes they cast. Quite the contrary actually.

share|improve this answer
* at least in US House elections. I happen to have finished a political sciences paper yesterday that deals with this exact issue :) – Pëkka Jun 11 '12 at 22:00
really? the * in the comments? that almost prevented me to +1 this... – ajax333221 Jun 11 '12 at 22:43
As always, Pekka shows great insight into the system, and I still wonder why he isn't throwing his hat into the ring (I know why) – jcolebrand Jun 12 '12 at 3:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .