The Election page here says:

139,718 voters were eligible, 87,022 visited the site during the election, 33,846 visited the election page, and 6,573 voted

However, both the result calculation pages (OpaVote and the one by Michael Mrozek) both list 6,574 valid votes.

Where's the extra vote coming from?

  • 2
    May be that ghost voter is Community ♦.
    – Himanshu
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:11
  • 9
    @hims056 I bet Community voted for me! ;) Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:14
  • 9
    @AndrewBarber, Congratulations to you, i am very happy to see you with Diamond.
    – Raynold
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:16
  • 1
    Maybe someone voted with two accounts and they were merged immediately afterwards?
    – fuxia
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:23
  • @toscho That seems most likely (or a user was outright deleted), as only 6,573 users are listed as having been awarded the Constituent badge for this election.
    – Tim Stone
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 4:28

1 Answer 1


Well, inspecting the ballot file, there are 6574 lines of votes (besides, MichaelMrozek's page is just a formatted version of the raw OpenSTV output -- since the format/algorithm is by OpenSTV, I'd trust their data more). I doubt that any are invalid -- the election system tries to prevent that. This probably is a bug on SE's side.

However, there are 56 votes where a user has neglected to vote for their first (and/or second) choice, and have directly given their second/third choice. Going through them, it seems that they are all OK, considering that this counts as a valid vote (the preferences get shifted).

Toscho makes a good point. The number of voters in an SE election is probably counted directly from the vote input (which is later converted to the BLT1 file). A user merge/deletion may be the root of this.

1 Every time I think of this it makes me hungry

  • 2
    A whole file full of BLT goodness? Makes me hungry, too! Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 5:09
  • 3
    There probably should be a system in place to negate the vote once the user account is merged, since it shouldn't have been cast in the first place. OTOH, I doubt this is a problem on a wide enough scale to merit that much attention.
    – user200500
    Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 5:12
  • @Asad: Yeah. This was a problem in a certain election (can't give details), but again, it wasn't such a large problem that the sockpuppetry influenced the outcome. Commented Mar 13, 2013 at 7:29

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