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Perhaps it was your intention to do it this way already, but I think down votes should be ignored. Candidates nomination or election should be based strictly on their up vote count.

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Could not agree more, I've never heard of a true democratic election that permits more than one vote per person. –  Mark Henderson Jan 14 '10 at 23:39
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Dunno why people seem to be going on and on about democracy. SO is far, far from a democracy, and is not pretending to be. –  Adam Davis Jan 14 '10 at 23:50
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@Pollyanna: probably because Jeff used it in the blog post. –  Shog9 Jan 14 '10 at 23:59
    
@Polyanna: Hey you're the first person who mentioned the "d" word explicitly :) –  Ether Jan 15 '10 at 0:05
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Remember to consider this in your SO moderator nominations: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/10067/… –  Troggy Jan 15 '10 at 8:07
    
Farseeker: That doesn't apply here, you can upvote more than once already. But, by the way, the original US Constitution allowed two votes for president from each elector (the runner up became vice president). –  Gnome Jan 15 '10 at 11:25
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6 Answers

Depends... Most of the people I think would make decent moderators have collected a hefty pile of down-votes - in some cases, removing these would bump them far, far above their nearest rivals.

To me, that says something: these people have actually been involved in the sort of controversial situations that any moderator on SO will soon find himself immersed in. I consider this a plus: provided that they've actually conducted themselves in accordance with the rules of the site, they'll be more likely to support others who are trying to do the same, even when it's not terribly popular.

On the other hand, they might create controversy merely by nature of their elevation to moderator status. That's not good. There'll always be a few soreheads who'll cry "mod abuse!" when a decision doesn't go their way, but bringing in a candidate who has a pre-cultivated crowd of enemies will just add fuel to the fire.

So the value in considering both up- and down- votes is that of being able to identify people who aren't "politicians", people so afraid of controversy that they'll shy away from making the hard decisions a moderator sometimes must... While at the same time identifying those who've managed to make their contributions recognized in spite of past disagreements.

Ultimately, it's up to the SO Team what criteria they use. It's possible they're using MSO for this just out of convenience, and plan to discard all down-votes as irrelevant. But I doubt it; if that was their plan then they could have just used the same system they did last time and tallied up the nominations at the end.

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I disagree.

This is not a vote for the next president of a country. It is a vote for someone that is well recognised and liked by the community to have the ability to have veto powers on site and community decisions, which can still be overridden by said community with the powers they have.

Down-voting indicates that someone does not believe a person has the sufficient skills to be a moderator and should be considered, since it is also an indication of how this person will be accepted by the community. If the user has a high up/down-vote ratio it is an indication that they are not seen as objective by the community, compared to someone with a low up/down-vote ratio.

As for allowing multiple votes, so what. You can still only vote once per candidate. There is a few people I believe will be good moderators and I will give them my vote irrelevant of who is at the top of the list.

I honestly don't see why a moderator vote system, that has worked well in the past has suddenly generated so much controversy around procedures and process. Seriously. Being a moderator is hard work, and has very little to do with status.

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Well said Diago! –  Troggy Jan 15 '10 at 7:59
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Some might down vote a candidate because they do not believe they have what it takes to be a mod. Then again, they may not be against a candidate they down vote, but do so just to lift their favored candidate in the rankings. Something doesn't seem right about that. However, you're right, it's not a presidential election. Pollyanna said, in his comment to this answer meta.stackexchange.com/questions/35685/…, "..it's just a moderator, does it really matter?" In the grand scheme of things, no it doesn't. –  raven Jan 15 '10 at 14:10
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My thoughts on this subject are somewhat complicated. There are really two aspects:

  1. The pseudo-"democratic" approach
  2. What the ultimate decision(s) will be

I don't recall the last election of mods too well, so I don't know how it was handled then. (I was not present on UserVoice, so anything which happened their is outside my view.) However, I get the feeling that the nomination thread is more for Jeff & company to ascertain which members of the community have what kind of support than it is a strict numeric count of who's getting nominated for the actual election. I suspect that Jeff & company will look at the nominations, separate our silliness from our realities, look at our histories, look at the vote counts (both up and down) and make nomination decisions from there.

From a purely pseudo-"democratic" approach, I think the idea of the downvotes should be considered. Note that this is to my own immediate detriment -- my score, as I write this, is 2, the split being 14/12. I take this to mean that there are 14 people, aside from myself, who would consider me a good mod -- and 12 who are so dead set against me being a mod that they needed to reduce my score.

I downvoted some of the nominees, and I upvoted some. This was not at all based on the fact that they were my competition, nor offers of cake, but rather based on whether or not I felt that those users would be good moderators. Most of the nominees I was neutral on -- OK if they make it, OK if they don't. Some of the nominees I felt would be outstanding, and they got upvotes. Some I felt were not mod material, and I downvoted. I suspect (and deep down hope) that others voted with similar motivation.

And thus, in my mind, the split should be important to Jeff & company, because if a large portion of the vocal community is against someone being a mod -- maybe that person shouldn't be a mod. I know this hurts my own case, but it seems to be the right way to consider things.

"Don't blame ME, I voted for Kodos!"
-- Homer Simpson

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It's hard to tell how much weight each individual up and down-vote is worth... some people might be downvoting everyone but their favourites, while others (like me) are only downvoting the few that they feel would not be appropriate. Since the process is so loose I think in the end the numbers will just be vague guidelines, but that's probably good enough -- this isn't a nation we're governing! –  Ether Jan 15 '10 at 17:37
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I think the vote splits should be taken into account. Downvotes are important as well, but yes, they can be abused.

Keep in mind that this is only a nomination, not a vote.

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But you're voting on nominations, so it's still an election, just an in-house election to choose who gets to face the public –  Mark Henderson Jan 14 '10 at 23:42
    
I just thought the down votes might taint the results, as some people might only up vote for their one candidate, whereas others might up vote their choice and down vote potential competitors. –  raven Jan 14 '10 at 23:45
    
Unfortunately we don't know if there's a cutoff. My programmer brain says it makes sense to only accept nominations of those that have garnered more upvotes than downvotes, but I understand your point - that if even one person "seconds" the nomination, then they should be on the ballot even if a dozen more 'reject' the nomination. Still, it's just a moderator, does it really matter? If anything we should pity the people who end up with this job... –  Adam Davis Jan 14 '10 at 23:49
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As I type this the top 3 nomination remain in the same order if you ignore down votes,

In any case, I think that ignoring down votes makes sense for nominations as such (we're looking for qualified people with a fan club), but that down votes should be important if the community is asked to vote on the winner (we'd rather have someone with a medium size fan club and few detractors than a very divisive personality).


For the record a system where each voter is allow to vote in favor of as many candidates as they desire is called "Approval voting" and has some nice mathematical features. I don't know if there is a name for allowing an up, down or neutral on each candidate.

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I disagree.

... because this is how it has been done before and it has worked just fine. Mr. Atwood has the final say anyways. There is enough people voicing their input, so I think the voting works just fine. There are people that disagree with certain nominations and they are free to voice their opinion too. People are usually very clear on who they want overall for the next moderator anyways. I say leave all the votes to the people.

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