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Mod Election Questionnaire answers are ordered by vote totals by default (evident from visiting one in anonymous browsing mode). It can be (and I suspect is already being) used to steal attention from low-voted to top-voted answers, and subsequently make it look like there are better and worse candidates to vote for, just from these votes. For passerby users (who frequent other SE sites but not this one) who look for vote totals to tell them whom to vote for, it's a very bright marker. This should be fixed.

Candidate answers on Questionnaires and all other election-related posts should be ordered randomly, and also be un-votable.

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    The easiest fix is likely to just provide means of candidates including these answers in their proposal, which already does all of this. – Servy Sep 1 '16 at 16:58
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Changing how a meta question behaves for just one question might be hard, and I can't think of a way to use the built-in tools to achieve this effect. (You don't want to use locks, because that prevents edits and comments.) There are, however, a couple things that a site can do to mitigate the effect of meta answer-sorting:

  1. Individual candidates can edit their nominations to include links to their meta answers. I've seen this in some elections. When you're reading a candidate's self-pitch is probably exactly when you want to see that candidate's answers to the questionnaire.

  2. Anybody with edit privileges can edit the questionnaire question to add an index with links to candidates' answers. I've seen this in several elections and I've never seen an objection, either from SE or from the community. Here is an example.

You could also try to agree, as a community, to not vote on the answers, so they all have the same score, but I predict that that won't work. Not everybody will get the message, and some who do won't comply. In large elections, some use the answer vote as a way of keeping track of which answers they've read.

An individual reader can also sort the answers on the meta post by "active" or "oldest" instead of by votes, but I realize that your concern is more about what other people see.

  • Servy's proposition to include questionnaire answers directly into nomination posts sounds like it would solve both problems at once, and there is no need to edit any SE site code. – user1306322 Sep 1 '16 at 17:48
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    @user1306322 that would make nomination posts huge; we'd need to think about whether that's good or bad. I kind of like the forcing function of having 1200 characters in which to summarize why you'd be a great mod. A direct link or "click to expand" on the nomination would address both needs, though. – Monica Cellio Sep 1 '16 at 18:00
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    I have to agree with those points. I think an expandable area for questionnaire could work, but it's probably not gonna be greeted by the developers, as it means new feature implementation for them. – user1306322 Sep 1 '16 at 18:04

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