There is was, @thanks Catija, something wrong with the current Skeptics election:

  • there is no election chatroom (and hence no link to it, but the page still says "Election chat room - discuss the election, candidates, etc.")
  • there is no questionnaire (and hence no link to it, but the page still says "The candidates answer your questions")

Other recent elections, e.g. the Ask Ubuntu one had a link to ArtOfCode's election site but it is offline right now. The link is also missing on the current Photography election. Is there something wrong with the template?

  • 2
    It's not a template. We have to manually edit it for each election. When we start question collection, we generally remove all the links and then add them when nominations start because the chat link and questionnaire is different for each election.
    – Catija StaffMod
    Jun 25 '20 at 12:51

I'm hoping that the information in this post will be outdated before long but, at the current time, running an election is a highly manual process. We have a handful of guides for how to run an election and, well... sometimes even those aren't enough to keep us from dropping a piece of it.

The election page persists between elections so when a CM schedules an election, they edit the prior one to remove the links to the old questionnaire and chat room - I usually just remove everything below the horizontal rule, myself, because having the text there with no links can be confusing.

Screenshot of the bottom section of the Skeptics election page https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/election/. The section is circled in red with a line through it. "Edit" and "History" links are visible at the bottom.

These pages are editable (you can see the edit link there) by anyone with a diamond on the site, so even mods can make changes to these pages. There's also a history view to track the changes.

Screenshot of the words "Step 3: Second week - ALL THE THINGS

Once the election starts the nominations period, that's the day with "ALL THE THINGS", as our internal documentation says (see above). The person running the election has to:

  1. Assemble the questionnaire from the questions proposed by the user (non-beta sites only), which requires evaluating the questions and compiling them into a meta post.
    • This includes updating the question collection page with a notice pointing at the questionnaire.
  2. Create the chat room and pin a few messages.
  3. Add the links you removed (or the entire section) back into the election page.

If you're doing this right and not in a rush the way I just did for the Skeptics election, it can take 30-45 minutes per election. This is why we don't run many elections at the same time.

Fortunately, the most important part - making it possible for people to nominate - is completely automated, so even if we fail to do the above... the election will still move forward just fine. This is also why beta elections don't include chat rooms or questionnaires - none of the stuff that takes up lots of time needs to happen.

As to the Ask Ubuntu election - remember how I said that mods can edit the Elections page and that it persists between elections? Well, that's what happened there. During the prior election, one of the mods helpfully added the link to ArtOfCode's site and when the new election started, it just didn't get removed. That's why you won't see it on Photography.

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