The Help Center tells:

We hold regular elections to determine who these community moderators will be [...]. Moderators are elected for life, though they may resign (or, in very rare cases, be removed).

At the bare eye it looks like a paradox (elections being regular vs moderators being for life).

What am I missing here?

  • They get a life and then move on from moderating SE. :(
    – muru
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 22:16

2 Answers 2


"Regular" is probably not the best wording here, because elections don't happen during the same week or two each year, unlike, say, the US presidential election. It is true that there is likely to be one (or maybe two) election(s) each year, though, simply because of a few factors:

  • Sites generally grow, and so more moderators are needed.
  • Time constraints might become an issue for one or more of the moderators on the team, and so some more help is needed. Things happen, and we all experience temporary hectic periods once in a while.
  • Most moderators don't moderate for life (although, of course, someone's got to be the first), so retirements happen on a semi-regular basis. Going to a site's election page (i.e. sitename.stackexchange.com/election) will show you how long, in general, mods last.

Taking all of these into account, as well as any unusual scenarios that might come up, a good sized site will probably have an election or so a year, so it becomes regular by default.

Also, When do moderator elections take place? might be a helpful read.


They're regular insomuch as they happen with a general frequency* to accommodate for the fact that the sites on the Stack Exchange network have continued to grow and with them the number of people required to keep up with moderation activities (as well as to compensate for when existing moderators resign).

It's perhaps not the most technically correct wording, something like

We hold elections on an as-needed basis to determine who these community moderators will be…

might be more appropriate, but would also be a bit more wordy.

*Using historical data from the Elections site, you can see that there aren't too many months where an election hasn't occurred somewhere on the network since 2011, though there are occassional gaps (for various reasons):

frequency of elections from 2011

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