I was just curious, because moderator elections are currently labeled by year, such as the "Gaming 2012 Moderator Election" which seems to imply that you can only have one in the year. What if a couple moderators decide to leave that same year. You have an election in January, and around September/October, you need two more. Does the site have to wait until the next year to get more moderators, or would you come up with some uniquely interesting way to rename the election? Part Deux?

I know this is an edge-case which will probably never happen, but I'm curious! My mind wanders!

  • I know it verges on the unthinkable, but how about "Gaming Fall 2012 Moderator Election"? – lockstep Feb 2 '12 at 21:08
  • I believe there were actually bugs when Gaming had its second 2011 election, the system didn't quite account for it properly. This also happens with pro tem mods as well -- I was called up on Android a few months before our first election. – Matthew Read Feb 2 '12 at 22:12

I believe it's generally assumed that a site will only need, at most, one election per year, because the number of new moderator positions filled is typically enough to accommodate for a given site's growth in that time.

However, as you mentioned, there may be circumstances where this isn't true. If the site grows more quickly than expected, or a moderator steps down, it's possible that more assistance is needed. In this case, additional candidates from the previous election may be asked to step up and fill the gap.

Sometimes this approach isn't considered appropriate, in which case additional elections will be held. This has happened at least in the case of Stack Overflow and Gaming, both of which had two elections in 2011:

  • Nice, didn't know about those. The SO November election is the only one I've ever participated in. – animuson Feb 2 '12 at 21:09
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    This pretty much hits it. Ultimately, it just boils down to, "We don't really distinguish elections outside of year and results". Yearly is when we do a periodic check, but it's not the only factor for causing an election. – Grace Note Feb 2 '12 at 21:11

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