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I visited stack overflow today, and I noticed a blue notification in the multicollider. It was a reminder to vote in the Travel Answers election.

"That's strange," I thought, "I don't have 150 rep there." But, as it turns out, I do. I asked one question with a high score and I have my association bonus, giving me 158 rep total.

However, I don't consider myself an active participant of the site, and I don't think I should have the right/ability to vote in a community election. According to my profile, I have visited the site on 5 different days:

  • 1 the day I found out about it from the SE podcast
  • 1 to see a "Hot question"
  • 1 to ask a question
  • 1 to check on that question
  • 1 today.

This does not make me a qualified member of the community; I think there should be a requirement for number of days visited or number of questions asked/answered in order to vote in that election, which is a privilege as much as a right.

See also: Should the criteria to vote in elections for low activity exchanges be made stricter?

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I think the days is good, but not the questions or answers. Some people ask a lot, some only answer. – Prof Pickle Mar 26 '13 at 8:56
I meant a sum of questions and answers. I have 1 question,no answers. Here on meta, for example, I have 26 questions, three answers, which should be enough. – Jakob Weisblat Mar 26 '13 at 15:18
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I see your point, but I disagree on two counts:

  1. Just because you're not an active participant doesn't mean you couldn't be an informed voter. And on the flip side, just because someone is more active doesn't mean they're going to vote in a meaningful way - after researching the nominees, and so on.

  2. Elections usually see a fairly low turnout as it is, and the percentage of folks who actually vote after visiting the election page is even lower.

    On Stack Overflow, only 4.7% of folks eligible to vote actually did so. On smaller sites, the percentage of eligible voters who actually voted is usually higher (for example, 10% during the last election on Programmers, 12% on Seasoned Advice), but the raw numbers are quite low (867 on Programmers, 158 on Seasoned Advice).

I don't think we need to put up additional barriers to voting at this point. The requirements that are in place now are aimed at stopping folks from creating an account and immediately being able to cast a vote. If someone wants to go through the trouble of putting up even a single good question or answer, that qualifies them as a member of the site's community in my books. How they vote (if they do) at that point is between them and their deity of choice.

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