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It was pointed out to me recently that, starting with the upcoming Mathematics election, all nominees for a site election must have at minimum 1000 reputation in order to run.

Notice: Starting with this election, the minimum reputation requirement for nominating has been raised to 1000 reputation. If you plan on preparing your answers for questions collected in this thread in advance, keep in mind this change.

So, I guess the first question I have is really, is this going to be a network-wide change or does the quote just mean that all future elections on Mathematics will require 1000 reputation from the candidates?

I don't have a problem with this - I have a general perception that most, if not all, viable candidates have significantly more than 1000 reputation on the site they're running on. Even if this is Mathematics only, I think it's worth looking at the reputation of users who have won their elections and how it relates to others running in the same election.

  1. What is the lowest reputation of a user when winning an election on a site?

The closest I can find reference to is a user with around 1200 reputation when winning their election (jonsca on Web Apps) - though I think it's worth noting that, from what I can tell, none of the users in that election had much more than 2-3K rep (if that) when it was held, so it wasn't an outlier for someone with 1200 reputation to win.

This leads to my second question...

  1. How does the winner's reputation compare to the other candidates running in the election?

If all users running had the same reputation that says something different than someone with 1500 reputation beating someone with 30K.

  1. Are there cases where users with under 1000 reputation have gotten close to winning?

This one is a bit more complex but it's, essentially, in an election with (for example) six nominees and two slots, has there been an occasion where a user with under 1000 reputation was placed in the third or fourth slot and, if so, what was the reputation of the users who placed lower?

  1. In the case of low-reputation election winners, what was their network reputation at the time of their win and were they already a moderator elsewhere?

Sometimes someone has the skills and experience to be a moderator, uses a site (votes, participates on meta and in review queues, etc) but doesn't necessarily have the local reputation because they don't ask or answer questions on that site. They may have tons of network experience and reputation elsewhere, though.

I guess the point of these questions is

  • if this change is Mathematics only (because apparently they've had some issues in the past with very low-reputation users nominate themselves in elections) does the data support making this network-wide?

  • if this change is network-wide answers to this post may support the reasoning for why this change has been made.

I have an inkling that there have been issues in the past where the election system has been abused. Apparently nominees in elections used to be given swag for being willing to be considered as a candidate but that was ended when it became clear that some users were nominating themselves just to get the swag. It seems that raising the bar slightly to a level that wouldn't have prevented any of the current elected moderators from winning their elections makes sense.

  • Interesting question, and why 1000, as the user didnt even had the chance to do close review or other similar task, as such why not 3k. – yagmoth555 Sep 25 '17 at 21:22
  • @yagmoth555 I can't answer that but I will point out that jonsca still has less than 3K reputation on Web Apps, but has been a moderator since 2013, so I'd argue that reputation doesn't always correlate to being capable of moderating a site. Moderation doesn't necessarily require subjectmatter expertise... – Catija Sep 25 '17 at 21:25
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    You have so many questions in this post (far more than I can answer easily), but the only one that really matters is 'is this going to be a network-wide change?' and the answer to that is no, the rep change is only for Mathematics. – Taryn Sep 25 '17 at 21:26
  • @bluefeet sorry :( And darn? The questions are so related I hesitated to break them up into separate questions... if you have a recommendation for me, let me know. – Catija Sep 25 '17 at 21:29
  • @Catija Another issue is we don't have a snapshot of what the rep was when they nominated themselves for moderator. It would be very difficult to capture that for each user in every election to provide any type of stat on. – Taryn Sep 25 '17 at 21:30
  • @bluefeet Ah. That would be problematic. I figured that you must be able to tell someone's reputation on a specific date in order to create the reputation growth chart but I guess correlating that with election dates might be difficult. It's always sad to me when there's a shortage of data. :( – Catija Sep 25 '17 at 21:34
  • Glorfindel was a very low-rep winner in the last Ask Different election: he had around 1k rep, while all the other mods there have at least 20k. (Worth noting, though, that he came 3rd in a 4-horse race, and IIRC the loser had even lower rep.) – Rand al'Thor Sep 25 '17 at 21:47
  • @Randal'Thor So there were four people running in an election for three slots? – Catija Sep 25 '17 at 21:49
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    Also, if the [meta.maths.se] post you linked to is the worst you know of there, then you have no idea how many election issues Mathematics has had. I once went poking around on their meta and ended up feeling genuinely upset at all the drama and nastiness I found. – Rand al'Thor Sep 25 '17 at 21:51
  • @Catija Yep. – Rand al'Thor Sep 25 '17 at 21:52
  • @Catija I agree with you, but network's wide he got accounts with high rep! so 1k on math, is only for math as I understand it. Strange as I would thrust a user with less than 1k but with a good background on other SE site – yagmoth555 Sep 25 '17 at 22:00
  • FWIW, I nominated for the Ask Different election with 900-somwthing reputation, but passed the 1000 mark during the election. – Glorfindel Sep 26 '17 at 5:35
  • I plotted rep vs. votes for one election (on Unix), and it was an almost perfect line. R² of .98 or .99. – Kevin Sep 26 '17 at 19:29
  • @Kevin Can you phrase that in a way that doesn't require understanding of statistics? ;) Does that mean that you're implying that people vote strictly based on reputation of the user? – Catija Sep 26 '17 at 19:31
  • Yes, think of it like twice the rep led to twice* the votes, 4 times the rep means 4 times the votes, etc. (*: I don't think it was actually 2x, but I don't recall what exactly it was) – Kevin Sep 26 '17 at 19:36

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