We just had our first Election over at Spanish.SE -- a Pro Tem election, but an election nonetheless 🎉

There were 2 mod positions available. During the nomination phase, 2 candidates entered the competition, as shown in our election page:

freehand circle as required

Due to the special nature of Pro Tem elections, having 2 candidates for 2 positions meant that no voting was necessary, so the election was cancelled, and the candidates were appointed without a vote. All clear.

However, I just downloaded the election data, following the link in the election page's bottom banner.
I got a file called spanish-stackexchange-com-2019-election-results.blt. Its contents are as follows:

0 2
"Spanish Language Stack Exchange Moderator Election 2019"

That's it.

Now, according to the BLT format (better explained in the English part of this Meta answer), those numbers seem to mean "0 candidates, 2 slots. No voting. No appointments."

I understand that, since the election was manually cancelled (to skip the voting phase), it might be expected that everything that happened after the cancellation is not reflected in the data file.
However, the number of candidates was 2 when the election was manually ended. I see no reason for the data to say there were 0 candidates, even if the election was cancelled.
It should show this instead, at the very least:

2 2
"Spanish Language Stack Exchange Moderator Election 2019"

Which would read as "2 candidates, 2 slots. Election cancelled."

It also would serve as proof that there weren't enough candidates to merit a voting phase. Right now, if there were 3 candidates for just 2 slots and the election got cancelled anyway, I guess some people would complain about the file showing 0 candidates.

Is this a bug? Can it be fixed?

PS: It'd be better if it showed this, of course:

2 2
"Spanish Language Stack Exchange Moderator Election 2019"

Which would read "2 candidates, 2 slots. Candidate 2 withdraws. No voting. Charlie appointed.". But given that both the withdrawal and the appointment were manual actions executed after the cancellation, I don't expect those to be reflected in an automatically-generated file.

  • Maybe the zero of the second line refers to the number of candidates that proceeded to the voting period. As the process was cancelled before that, nobody entered the voting process and hence nobody was selected.
    – Charlie
    Sep 17, 2019 at 9:44
  • @Charlie The BLT format does not include a line for "number of candidates entering the voting phase". But it includes a line with a single 0 to signal the end of the process. (According to fedorqui's linked Spanish.Meta answer which explains the format quite well IMHO.) Anyways, the bug would be the "0 candidates for 2 slots" part, in the previous line.
    – walen
    Sep 17, 2019 at 9:51
  • 3
    You could even argue that the file should not be available at all, given their was no election phase.
    – rene
    Sep 17, 2019 at 11:35
  • @rene "Every election has three phases: 1.Nomination 2.Primary 3.Election". The BLT format is meant to account for the whole process: it accounts for the result of 1.Nomination and 2.Primary by means of the first line and any "negative" lines that may follow (total candidates and withdrawals); and it accounts for the result of 3.Election via the rest of the lines (vote tally and winners). Just because phase 3 is skipped (due to being a Pro Tem election) that shouldn't mean that the account of the process up until that point must be destroyed.
    – walen
    Sep 17, 2019 at 14:44
  • (I really hope no one uses the "but you didn't have a real election" argument — that would be highly disrespectful to the candidates who endured the hardest part of the process, where you expose yourself to your peers' criticism and have to answer a lot of hard questions about your views on moderation and the site.)
    – walen
    Sep 17, 2019 at 14:56


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