I recently encouraged a user in chat to run in the pro tempore election on Interpersonal Skills, to which the user responded that they will be quite off the grid during the election period. This brought up the discussion of whether or not they could have someone nominate them, which is usually reserved for moderator appointments rather than elections.

Is there a process by which someone who is interested in running in an election could do so if they won't actually be able to get to a computer to nominate themselves during the election?

The biggest problem I could see with it is that if they can't get to a computer to nominate, then they also wouldn't be able to answer the questionnaire.

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    Answering the questionnaire is absolutely not necessary to run in or even win an election. It's encouraged, but there have been elections where none of the candidates answered the questionnaire. – Rand al'Thor May 2 '19 at 17:09
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    Well, typically, such candidates lose. That is the usual process. – Martin James May 2 '19 at 19:58
  • could the candidate attend by proxy if they happen to be really good at training animals, or would that invalidate their application? – ocæon May 3 '19 at 20:05

There's currently no such process. The best advice I can give is:

  1. to make a draft of your nomination post upfront
  2. email it to yourself, save it in Dropbox or whatever cloud service you prefer
  3. submit the nomination from your smartphone. Look, they even made the nomination page responsive!
    Alternatively, try to find an Internet cafe or a library; it's really hard to be completely offline for 7 days.

Like Rand al'Thor says, answering the questionnaire is not required to win. I thought one of the moderators here got his first diamond without answering it, but apparently I'm mixing things up. Still, if you have a good* reputation on the site, a high candidate score (compared to other nominees) and a well-written nomination post, you stand a good chance.

*: yes, a good reputation

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    responsible pages? – Tinkeringbell May 2 '19 at 17:16
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    Blame a̶u̶t̶o̶c̶o̶r̶r̶e̶c̶t̶ my brain not functioning ... thanks for spotting that. – Glorfindel May 2 '19 at 17:17
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    If only autocorrect were responsive ... – Rob May 2 '19 at 17:32
  • @Rob it's certainly responsible from time to time... for awful word mistakes! – Tinkeringbell May 2 '19 at 17:35
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    Would it be possible to...say...write up a bot to send the nomination post from the OP's account at a specific time? :P – S.D. May 3 '19 at 14:12
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    Certainly, but it's beyond the capabilities of most people. The API doesn't offer any possibility to create nomination posts, you'll need your bot to actually login as a normal user. – Glorfindel May 3 '19 at 14:13

No. There is no such process. And I don't think such process should exist either.

I believe running in an election is or should be a delicate dance between nominee and community. Once your nomination is up you're supposed to be ready to answer comments, clarify stuff, answer the questionnaire and if you're brave enough join the election chat room to further assure the crowd you're a good fit for the role.

And once the election is over, you only get the diamond after signing off on the mod agreement. That simply requires you be present, alive and able to respond.

I don't think the election process becomes much better when we literally add "virtual" (time-shifted) candidates. It is hard enough as it is.

Have that user nominate the next time there is an election, given they are available then.

  • Couldn't you sign the moderator agreement in advance? – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog May 2 '19 at 21:47
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    Sometimes a prospective candidate is already well-known to the community. If such a person should be unavoidably offline at just the wrong time (for example, in the hospital), that person might have to wait several years to try again. I'm not saying we should have a process or what it should be; I'm just pointing out that it's not always a sign of a candidate not taking things seriously enough or the like. – Monica Cellio May 3 '19 at 1:26
  • @MonicaCellio I didn't try to suggest in my answer that such candidates would not take things seriously but you leaving that comment does worry me a bit. Which words or sentence steer my answer in that direction? Even after re-reading I can't see where I go down that rabbit-hole so your guidance would help me. – rene May 3 '19 at 6:11
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog yes, we can all sign the moderator agreement in advance .... – rene May 3 '19 at 6:13
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    @rene I guess it was the "delicate dance" part combined with "virtual candidate". While it's certainly preferred that candidates interact actively during the election process, a candidate who can essentially front-load a candidacy by being active on the site before an election doesn't seem "virtual" to me -- more like time-shifted. (And I grant that this is an extremely rare case.) – Monica Cellio May 3 '19 at 14:08
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    The moderator agreement is signed when you win. – Journeyman Geek May 4 '19 at 0:33

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