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The community bulletin says that there is a moderator election occurring.

How does the election work and how can I get involved?

election bulletin

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What's happening? The community is electing diamond ♦ moderators; those individuals responsible for moderating the site the election is happening on.

Elections are called as needed by the Stack Exchange Community Team on all sites. Depending on the site's current status, the election will either be a "full election" (established sites) or a "pro tem election" (beta sites and smaller, newer non-beta sites). The number of slots to be filled, and the type of election ("full" or "pro tem"), are both announced at the beginning of the process.

Moderators are elected by a four-phase process:

Phase 0: Announcement and question collection

Duration: 7 days

An election is announced by a post from the Community Team on the site's meta.

Also, a call is put out to solicit questions from the community for the candidate questionnaire, which will be posed to all candidates who nominate themselves. (This generally only occurs on "full" elections; it usually doesn't occur on "pro tem" elections unless the community specifically asks for it.)

Phase 1: Nomination

Duration: 7 days

Anyone may nominate themselves to be a moderator as long as they fulfill certain criteria.

  • The user must have a minimum amount of reputation on the site, generally 300, with a couple of exceptions:

    • On Stack Overflow, the minimum is 3,000 reputation.
    • On Mathematics Stack Exchange, the minimum is 1,000 reputation.

    The minimum reputation is only raised in extreme circumstances and is by default not customized per site.

  • On Stack Overflow, the user must have a set of required badges. The badges needed to nominate oneself are:

  • Nominees on Ask Ubuntu must have signed the Ubuntu Code of Conduct and link to their Launchpad page for verification.

  • A nominee must be "in good standing". Any nominee who was suspended at any time during the past year on any site in the network will not be allowed to run as a candidate (unless the suspension was in error or was reversed on appeal).

  • A nominee must be 18 years old or older, or be 18 years or older by the end of the election.

Nominations are not binding and nominees may withdraw themselves at any point, in any phase. The nominations are displayed in the reverse chronological order of nomination; earlier nominees will be at the bottom of the page.

Nominees create a small introduction to themselves and why they think they would make a good moderator. Any user has the ability to comment on each nominee’s introduction.

nomination

If the site is holding a questionnaire, it will be compiled by the Stack Exchange team with two standard questions plus the top eight questions proposed by the community, for a total of 10 questions. (If the community doesn't supply enough questions to make a total of 10, up to three additional default questions will be added up to a maximum of 10 total questions.) Nominees are encouraged to answer the questionnaire; if they do so, it will be linked from their nomination.

(On older elections, the questionnaire was a separate meta post rather than part of the election system itself - as such, when browsing past elections, you may see meta post links to questionnaire answers instead.)

After 7 days, the top 30 nominees ordered by reputation (top 20 on Mathematics) advance to the primary phase. If there are ten or fewer nominees (but at least one more than the number of moderator slots being filled by the election), then we skip directly to the election phase.

If there are too few nominees, depending on whether the election is declared as a full election or a pro tem election, the following will happen:

  • In full elections, if the number of nominees is less than or equal to the number of moderator slots, the nomination period will be extended by seven days, and if there are still not enough nominees to make the election competitive, the election will be cancelled entirely.
  • In pro tem elections, if there are no nominees at the end of the nomination period, it will be extended by seven days, and cancelled entirely if there are still no nominees by the end of the extended period. If there is at least one nominee but no more nominees than the number of slots, the nominee(s) will win the election by default at the end of the current nomination period (original or extended) and no more phases will take place.

Phase 2: Primary

Duration: 4 days

This phase only occurs if there are more than 10 candidates who've nominated in the election; if there are 10 or fewer, this phase is skipped and we move straight to the election phase.

This is where the voting starts. Any community member with at least 150 reputation* may vote, but candidates are not allowed to vote for themselves. You get one vote per candidate in the same manner as a question or answer. There are no comments allowed.

You vote by using the up and down arrows next to the candidate's post. An upvote indicates you want that person to move on to the next phase, and a downvote indicates you do not.

primary

Nominations are not binding and nominees may withdraw themselves at any point. The nominations are ordered randomly.

The vote tallies are public, so you should be able to get a good idea of the most electable candidates. Note that if a candidate has a negative score, the score will be shown as 0, or as 1 or -1 if you upvote or downvote it; if you have enough reputation to vote*, you can see the true count by clicking the number as you would on a post.

After four days, the top 10 nominees by vote advance to the election phase.

Phase 3: Election

Duration: 4 days (8 days if the Primary phase was skipped)

Last comes the election phase. Any user with 150 reputation or more is allowed to vote*; unlike the Primary phase, candidates are allowed to vote for themselves. Once again, no comments are allowed and the candidates are displayed in a random order.

Each community member gets one vote, with which they rank the candidates in order. Votes are tallied using the Meek STV method; to understand how STV works, see this video. Each voter can select the candidate they most want, and also specify additional choices of candidates they prefer should their top choice candidate not receive enough votes, in order of their preference. These additional choices may also receive partial votes if a voter's top choice wins and receives more votes than the threshold required to win.

(In past elections, voters could only rank their top three candidates; however, this has since been changed so voters can rank all candidates if they wish.)

Election phase voting UI with drag-and-drop functionality and mobile responsive view.

Unlike the primary phase, the voting tallies are private, so gaming the result is impossible.

Results and further information:

Winners of pro tem elections are elected with the understanding that when the site has its first full election, they must nominate in that election as a candidate and be re-elected, or they'll cease to be moderators once that is over.

ArtOfCode has created an election site that provides statistics and overview of running and upcoming elections. (There was originally a site created by Yi Jiang and hosted by Stack Exchange, but this was closed due to a culmination of issues around the HTTPS move.)

Past election pages are preserved for posterity and are available at <site name>/election; for example, the results of all Gaming elections are available at https://gaming.stackexchange.com/election.

When an election is in progress, previous results are partially hidden and are visible at
<site name>/election/<election number> instead. For instance, the first Server Fault moderator election is available at https://serverfault.com/election/1. When no election is in progress, all previous elections are visible at https://serverfault.com/election.


* - The check to see if one can vote only checks for the required reputation; users with moderator rights but not the required reputation are not permitted to cast a vote, nor to split the vote count in the primaries.

A full list of current moderators is available on the main Stack Exchange site and more information is available on the blog.

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  • Another useful answer that can possibly be distilled and mixed in here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/135042/…
    – slugster
    Jun 10 '12 at 12:03
  • 2
    There's currently an election at superuser, and it's in the "election" phase. I only like 2 candidates, do I need to cast all the 3 votes? I arrived here looking for this information but this explanation doesn't seem to answer my question... :(
    – msb
    Mar 20 '17 at 23:31
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    No @msb, you definitely don't need to cast all 3 votes vote for whomever you feel comfortable with. I don't even think you need to cast the fjrst vote, but I'm unsure how the scoring situation would deal with that. Mar 21 '17 at 6:14
  • It would assume no votes I presume, and not have any transference with less than 3 votes,.
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Mar 21 '17 at 6:22
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    You mean if the first vote is not cast @Journeyman? That would be my assumption also. Mar 21 '17 at 6:24
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    Fix#3: Winners of pro tem elections are elected with the understanding that when the site has its first full election, they must be nominated in that election as a candidate and be re-elected
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 2 at 8:42
  • @Mari-LouA Fixing 1 and 2. 3 is incorrect as that implies that others must nominate them; instead, users must themselves nominate in it. Jun 2 at 17:26
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    Nominated means a list of candidates who are eligible for election. If it's made clear in the beginning that candidates are self-nominated it doesn't need to reminded every single time.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Jun 2 at 17:59
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    Have there been any primaries held since the updates to the election page? I'm guessing the UI may look a little different so the screenshot may be worth updating...
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Nov 12 at 19:35
  • Sorry it's just me who gets notified @V2B. I haven't seen any but that doesn't mean much. The announcement only has the candidate view, but if you've got access to election data to find one or a dev environment to construct one that'd work Nov 12 at 20:11
  • In the section “Phase 2: Primary”, it is mentioned that “There are no comments allowed.” While it’s true that one cannot comment under a candidate’s nomination post in the “Primary” tab on the election page, apparently one can still comment under a candidate’s nomination in the “Nomination” tab. (See: Inbox links break after nomination phase. Admittedly, this is from nearly a decade ago, but the election UI hasn’t really been fiddled around with either, not until the revamping this year.) Nov 27 at 11:48

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