The current method for scheduling moderator elections seems to be, with the usual UTC times,
- question collection begins: Monday, 20:00-ish (manual)
- nominations begin: the next Monday, 20:00
- nominations close, primary begins: the next Monday, 20:00
- primary ends, elections begin: Friday, 20:00
- election ends, results announced: Tuesday, 20:00
If there are not enough candidates to warrant a primary phase, the third Monday transition is to an eight-day election, and there's no transition on a Friday.
In a recent election, we had a qualified candidate who was reluctant to nominate due to a recent suspension, probably warned by the handy warning banner. However, as the nomination deadline approached with not many other candidates, this individual made an over-the-weekend decision to write a contact-form letter and nominate anyway, as the warning message implies that this is a soft rule, and that SE can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The response from the community to the nomination was positive, because this candidate had a 40/40 candidate score, far higher than any of the other contenders.
The contact-form message sat unread over the weekend (to which I say: good for you, SE!), and was processed early in the workday after the weekend --- which led to the ineligible candidate being removed at 17:00 UTC, only three hours before the end of nominations. This last-minute (well, last-hours) change to the candidate slate caused a bunch of consternation and drama in the community chat room.
Causing consternation and drama isn't what moderation actions should do, and is the exact opposite of the reason put forth for disallowing previously-suspended users to run.
This particular bit of drama could have been reduced if the end of the nomination period hadn't occurred in the first few hours after a weekend, so that the contact-form message about the disallowed nomination would have been read and handled significantly before the end of the nomination process. For instance a schedule of Tuesday-Tuesday-Tuesday-Saturday-Wednesday --- though that puts the primary-to-election transition on a weekend, and as an outsider I don't know whether the primary-to-election transition requires any manual oversight from an SE employee who would rather spend their Saturday fly-fishing. A weekend-free election schedule, without changing any durations, would have phase transitions on Thursday-Thursday-Thursday-Monday-Friday.
The idea of adjusting the election schedules was proposed in the Teacher's Lounge and mentioned in another post about this event as something that SE was willing to consider; this question is just a formal request to make the change, with about a million links.
Update: this change to the self-nomination form has changed some of the logic which prompted this proposal.