A good example of this is Mike, who entered the ring about an hour ago.

As I see it, the earlier you enter, the better chance you have (that is, assuming no difference between candidates). As you can see, prospective moderators such as Rocket Hazmat have upwards of 30 comments behind his nomination.

The issue here is, if a user has no clue who you are and has no other subjective information about your performance on the sight, (once again assuming no difference between candidates), they are less likely to vote for you.

Subjective information, such as:

I can attest to bluefeet's judgement from flags, closures, and migrations on DBA.SE! – JNK Mar 1 at 0:59

And other information, such as:

@BoltClock addiction :) Yes I can serve community to moderate threads during Indian time. And can serve best for the Mobile technologies. + I believe in power of community, just for more info i am already serving one community i.e. GDG Ahmedabad but managing it during my spare time. – Bhuro Mar 1 at 6:44

The thing is, without these comments from people like JNK and BoltClock, we wouldn't have so much information about the prospective moderator, and if users can't get in in the to ask these questions, then we have less information, and are hence, less likely to vote for them.

Basically, won't entering an election late have an adverse effect on your score?

One thing to mention though, is that this is generalising in the sense that it assumes you have no prior knowledge of the user and that all the users are equally as good.

  • 8
    Well, the lateness in entry ends up being one more thing to help make a decision...
    – Oded
    Mar 4, 2013 at 17:57
  • 1
    Won't entering an election late have an adverse effect on your score? Maybe. Maybe not. For a popular candidate, it may not make a difference at all. For a lesser-known one, it might. For an unpopular candidate, it might actually be helpful because it prevent sdamaging discussion (although I think discussion continues to be possible during the next stage? Not sure.)
    – Pekka
    Mar 4, 2013 at 17:58
  • @Pekka, in this hypothetical in which each of the candidates are only separated by the time nominated, and the users have no prior knowledge of them, wouldn't it be damaging?
    – Bernie
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:00
  • @Bernie I'm not sure about that. We don't know who views the election page when, and what voters base their decision on. Chances are the majority of voters comes in only when the big banner is shown on the front page (in the final stage, when it will no longer make a difference who came in when)
    – Pekka
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:01
  • @Pekka, alright, so pretend you're one of these users of the street. Are you going to vote for someone you know more about who has existing mods backing them? Or for the nomination on which the only information is their say so.
    – Bernie
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:03
  • 1
    You're right, probably the former. (Unless I know the candidate from my own experience, in which case I might not care about what others say)
    – Pekka
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:06
  • @Pekka, yep, that's where the hypothetical stops making a difference.
    – Bernie
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:07

1 Answer 1


I'm not fond of last-minute nominations; I think the time spent discussing candidates and commenting on nominations is extremely valuable, both for the candidates themselves and for the community as a whole.

That said, it's kinda hard to avoid. I wouldn't mind seeing a day set aside between the end of the nomination period and the start of voting for this purpose, but there's no support for this in the current system.

As a work-around, we have a chatroom set aside for this purpose: it'll be active throughout the election process, so feel free to jump in and post questions for or ask questions of each candidate.

There'll also be a structured Town Hall Chat wherein candidates can answer questions posted by anyone who cares to do so - the results will appear here on MSO.

As to the question of whether nominating first or last makes a difference in terms of how likely you are to be elected... I doubt it has much effect. Nomination order is randomized, and voters don't actually see the commentary when voting, so only the most conscientious will see a difference.

  • 2
    How about instead of nomination->primary with no comments, there's a few-day window for comments, either concurrent with the primary or before?
    – Kevin
    Mar 4, 2013 at 18:10
  • "There'll also be a structured Town Hall Chat wherein candidates can answer questions posted by anyone who cares to do so - the results will appear here on MSO" is that only on SO? Jun 21, 2021 at 21:29
  • @user1271772: I think the Town Hall Chats were basically replaced by the election questionnaire system years ago.
    – V2Blast
    Oct 22, 2021 at 18:20
  • But was it only on SO? Oct 23, 2021 at 5:56

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