After participating in my first moderator election, I was wondering what the reason was for displaying the number of other users' votes cast. In my opinion, that can skew personal opinions of voters before they vote, perhaps making the election unfair to candidates that do not have a strong start.

Why are votes displayed in a moderator election instead of blind voting?

  • 3
    Are you talking about the primaries? That's not quite the election yet. The primaries are there to whittle down the number of candidates down so actual voting can start.
    – Oded
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:21
  • There might be an actual reason rather than a need for a discussion! Someone will have decided to design it that way and maybe they'll be able to actually answer the question. Feb 19, 2014 at 21:22
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  • 1
    @Oded Yes. I am talking about the primaries.
    – Blue Ice
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:22
  • 1
    More specifically, I'd ask why there's a difference in the primary and main pahse. If showing the score does skew votes, it shouldn't be shown for either phase. If it doesn't, then why isn't it there for the main phase?
    – Geobits
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:25
  • 2
    One reason it's not there for the main phase @Geobits might be because the Meek-STV method is horrendously complicated. The most you could do is have the number of first/second/third choices each candidate has. Feb 19, 2014 at 21:33
  • Possible duplicate of Why can we see the votes in an ongoing election? which in turn was closed as duplicate. Feb 19, 2014 at 22:06
  • 2
    What's the hell is going on?! Where's the answer?? Duplicate "REDIRECT on REDIRECT"? This question already has an answer here: [duplicate] ->> This question already has an answer here: [duplicate] ->> ->> This question already has an answer here: [duplicate] ->> ->> ->> This question already has an answer here: [duplicate]
    – Xsi
    Feb 20, 2014 at 0:49
  • The original question at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/76412/… gave good reasons for keeping the votes visible, and gave a JavaScript snippet for those who want to vote in an unbiased way. That works for me :)
    – Blue Ice
    Feb 20, 2014 at 1:17

1 Answer 1


OP is completely correct. Numerous studies1 have shown people's opinions can be completely determined by a prior conception. If you're going to do it this way, you may as well just close the primary election after 6 hours and take the results. This is an incorrect way to hold any phase of an election.

1See somewhere in Kahneman 2011 for instance. Or Wikipedia.

  • 5
    Oh, I don't know. There are plenty of downvotes on every primary candidate. Seems some folks can still think for themselves, when the need arises.
    – user102937
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:31
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    @RobertHarvey irrelevant. So what if some folks aren't biased? Wouldn't you rather all folks be unbiased?
    – djechlin
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:34
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    FWIW, I typically have decided how I'm going to vote before voting actually opens.
    – Mike G
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:41
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    In any case, I don't see how this is substantially any different than real-time polls in real elections, or for that matter "+1 you've got my vote" comments below the nominations. Would you ban those as well?
    – user102937
    Feb 19, 2014 at 21:45
  • 2
    Comments aren't enabled on the primary elections so that's also a moot point. Feb 19, 2014 at 22:03
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    @RobertHarvey Exit polls are illegal in several countries for this reason, and have a history of being flawed or wrong. Besides, an exit poll is not the same as the actual current vote count. We're showing the current actual vote counts next to each candidate's name on the ballot form, something that would never fly in any "real" election I can think of.
    – Geobits
    Feb 19, 2014 at 22:14
  • It's actually true that at 6 hours and 11 minutes into the primaries the scores were already sealed -- there was no need for 4 days of primary voting. Feb 22, 2014 at 3:34

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