What happens when a moderator candidate schedules their profile for deletion while the election is going on?

Just curious. What will happen to the votes that they had already gained?

  • 6
    Not too much to say here. If I were to decide, such cases are so too much rare that handling them manually on a case-by-case basis should suffice. Then it becomes CM's internal discussions. Jul 17, 2020 at 14:23
  • I am more worried about complications on a technical level. I assume the election proceeds as planned, but the candidate gets eliminated due to ineligibility.
    – Dharman
    Jul 17, 2020 at 14:32
  • 6
    tbh - no one but a CM could really answer this, and considering its never happened before, its something worth getting right, as precedent
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Jul 17, 2020 at 14:34
  • 4
    Even if this is the first time such an event has occurred, whatever happens here can create a precedent. Maybe let's wait and see what the CMs say. Jul 17, 2020 at 14:34
  • 3
    @iBugsaysReinstateMonica Given that staff would have to manually process the deletion anyways due to other criteria, nothing but manual intervention could ever happen. ;)
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 17, 2020 at 14:36
  • For once, the company seems to have come out of it looking a lot more reasonable then two groups who where fighting each other. Maybe if the skilled and respected long surving CMs were not disposed off for being respected by the users, the problem could have been prevented. Jul 19, 2020 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


It's a Single Transferable Vote (STV), so there's options, though picking the best option is pretty important.

It mainly matters if the candidate came in a placing that let them win. Otherwise it might not matter. If they did win...

Since it's STV - in theory it's possible to simply either pass on the candidates votes to the next user (if the software allows), or go with the next choice to fill that seat - as if it was a mod stepping down.

As it's the first time it's happened, this would also set a precedent on how it's handled in future, though hopefully this would be an uncommon situation.

However, it's also worth recognizing that both standing for a moderator role, and choosing to step down are difficult decisions, and well, as fellow users and human beings, it's worth respecting the privacy and feelings of the moderator candidate. We might have our differences, but there's a point where we might want to tone back on the gawking, and remember there's a real person there.

In practice - it looks like any votes remaining will be transferred as per the Meek STV Algorithm though voters are free to change their ballot till the end of the elections.

  • 7
    What does STV stand for? I'm 54 and live in Italy, so sorry for sounding like an old spinster. Jul 17, 2020 at 14:52
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA Single Transferable Vote. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/77541/278659 Jul 17, 2020 at 14:52
  • Eliminating a candidate from STV shouldn't be too hard. There's still a vote loss, but this at least isn't the equivalent of killing the election. As long as people have additional candidates, it should be fine Jul 17, 2020 at 14:52
  • 3
    @Mari-LouA Someone posted this video in the election chatroom a while ago - it does a pretty good job at explaining the system Jul 17, 2020 at 14:57
  • 3
    @ZoeTheLockdown excellent, I watched it and the video does a super job of explaining. Thank you! Jul 17, 2020 at 15:05
  • Depending on the number of mods being elected, having voting limted to only puting 3 candidates in order, rather then putting all candidates in order (like in full STV) could result in a mod winning who does not have clear surport. Jul 17, 2020 at 15:29
  • Assuming the election has not ended, do people who voted for a candidate that withdraws get alerted, so they can use all 3 votes? Jul 17, 2020 at 15:32
  • @ian do you have specific numbers for me to run through? Worst case scenario, preferably Jul 17, 2020 at 15:39
  • 3
    What if two of the three voted candidates would reject running? Wouldn't that crack STV and elections need to be renewed? Jul 17, 2020 at 15:44
  • @JohnDvorak. No, when I looked at some past elections it was clear that both the winners and 1 or 2 runner up clearly had wide surport. If many voters only have 2 affective votes, it possible that only two candidates will clearly have wide surport. Jul 17, 2020 at 15:53
  • @RobertS-ReinstateMonica I suspect by then you have bigger problems. Wouldn't surprise me if SE decided to invalidate the entire election at that point and do it all over.
    – Mast
    Jul 18, 2020 at 11:58

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