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Clarify Electorate badge wording

I found what I originally thought was a typo in the description for the Electorate badge.

Electorate badge description

I had parsed this to mean that the badge was awarded when

  • a person voted on 600 questions, and
  • 25% or more of those total votes were on questions.

It has been brought to my attention that this interpretation is incorrect. The emphasis in the description is actually on the word "total."

Voted on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes—for both questions and answers—are on questions.

Am I the only person who found this description strange? Could it be reworded to be more clear?

How about the following?

Voted on at least 600 questions and no more than three times as many answers.

After all, our profile page shows the number of times that we've voted in each category—not percentages—so I think that this rewording would be more intuitive.

UPDATE: It appears that my original question was identical to this one, as was my original suggested correction: down to the letter. Interestingly enough, though, it appears that the Electorate badge used the following description, instead, in January of 2010:

Voted on 600 questions and has better than 3:1 answer/question vote ratio

The current description was actually suggested to clarify this. That doesn't appear to have worked (at least not for me or Grillz here). Furthermore, my new suggestion above is once again, nearly to the letter, identical to the following description in this answer:

Voted on 600+ questions, and voted on no more than 3x {number of questions voted on} answers. (Assumes "better than" a 3:1 ratio means <=3.)

Thank you to everyone for pointing me in the right direction; I now understand how the badge works but I still think that its current description is confusing. I think that my question is now:

What would be a clearer way of describing this badge?

  • 1
    Examine the voting results of recent Electorate badge recipients to see that the description is oddly framed but correct. Your rewording is incorrect. Aug 18, 2011 at 4:54
  • If you have 2401 total votes and 600 of them are on questions, you don't get the badge. If you have 600 votes and less than 600 of them are on questions you don't get the badge. Etc.
    – user154510
    Aug 18, 2011 at 4:55
  • Yep, I misparsed that sentence. Let me update my question accordingly. Aug 18, 2011 at 4:57
  • 3
    That's still wrong. You could vote 600 times, not 2400 — and if all your votes were on questions, you'd get the badge.
    – jtbandes
    Aug 18, 2011 at 5:16
  • Yipes, it must be too late here. Original comment deleted to mask my stupidity. Aug 18, 2011 at 5:18
  • @John At least I'm not the only one :) Aug 18, 2011 at 5:19
  • 3

4 Answers 4


Code Description Golf, (49 chars)

At least 25% of your votes are on 600+ questions.

  • That's not clearer, just shorter. I think it's actually less clear because the originally description clearly denotes both necessary actions - 600+ votes AND 25% of all votes are on questions - whereas this mixes them together. It takes more thought to figure it out, which means a greater chance of confusion.
    – user154510
    Aug 18, 2011 at 15:58
  • FWIW, I actually find this description easier to understand. Aug 18, 2011 at 17:46

You do have to have 600 votes that are on questions, and those 600+ votes must represent at least 25% of your total votes (questions + answers). The current description is accurate.

  • Ahhh, thanks. I totally parsed that incorrectly. I wonder if I'm the only one? Aug 18, 2011 at 4:55
  • You're certainly not the first person to get confused by this, but I'm not sure that there's a better way to word it. The badge description list actually has a fairly detailed explanation for this badge, since some people struggle with the concept even with an extended description.
    – Tim Stone
    Aug 18, 2011 at 4:59

No. What if I made 600 question votes and 2000 answer votes? That's 600 votes on questions, but those votes only make up 23% of my total votes.

  • You are absolutely correct; my suggestion for a new rewording essentially uses the calculation that you have given here. Aug 18, 2011 at 5:12
  • Your new suggestion is incorrect; you can certainly vote on more than 1800 answers, so long as 25% or more of your votes were on questions.
    – jtbandes
    Aug 18, 2011 at 5:17
  • Right again. Question duly updated. Aug 18, 2011 at 5:20
  • @Chris: okay, so how is this any better than the current badge description?
    – jtbandes
    Aug 18, 2011 at 5:20
  • Because it's easy to gloss over the "total votes" part. Total of what? Total votes on questions? Total votes on both questions and answers? To make matters worse, it's mixing absolute values (600) with percentages (25%), which is a bit hard to intuitively grasp. Furthermore, without "at least" in front of "600 questions" the original description could be misread to say that you need to vote on 600 questions precisely. Aug 18, 2011 at 5:23

I think the current description is very clear. View it as code:

if (questionVotes >= 600 && questionVotes/totalVotes >= 0.25) awardBadge();

The way you interpreted it makes no sense, quite frankly. "At least 25% of question votes are question votes" is nonsense, and should have prompted you to re-evaluate the description.

Would this, for example, be any clearer?

Voted on 600+ questions and 75% or less of total votes are on answers.

If you were already inclined to read the first version as "X% of Y votes are Y votes" then I don't think changing X and Y would help.

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