We have just wrapped up our project to make it easier for our community managers to run moderator elections for our Stack Exchange sites.
Between April and June, we released a number of administrative improvements that are mostly invisible to users, but that dramatically decrease the amount of time community managers spend performing routine tasks. The changes follow user-facing changes we launched earlier this year to the questionnaire and voting UI.
Generate the Question Collection post - Released April 30, 2021
For most elections, we ask the community to contribute questions they want the moderator candidates to answer in a question collection Meta post. Until now, community managers had to manually create these posts by copying and pasting standard copy into a new post.
Now CMs can simply click a button to automatically create a Meta post.
Remind CMs to generate the questionnaire - Released June 5, 2021
When the nomination phase for an election begins, CMs need to generate the candidate questionnaire from the question collection post. If they forget, they receive a reminder email 30-90 minutes after the nomination phase begins.
Automatically determine election winners - Released April 27, 2021
Prior to this release, CMs had to take a number of manual steps to determine which candidates won the election and to give them Moderator permissions. Now CMs just need to click a couple of buttons.
The system automatically creates an election via an API call to OpaVote, our third-party tabulation tool. The API returns the OpaVote URL and the winner(s) of the elections in a confirmation box. Selecting "Confirm winners" automatically bestows moderator diamonds on the winners.
Automatically email new mods - Released June 1, 2021
When new mods are elected or appointed, they receive a welcome email with resources and instructions for how to be a mod. The CMs updated the email with new links and information.
Automatically create election results Meta post - Released June 1, 2021
After winners have been determined, the CMs create a Meta post announcing the winners and thanking any moderators who may have stepped down. CMs can now do this by clicking a button. They see a preview screen where they can edit the contents of a Meta post that is prefilled with both the winning candidates and any retiring mods. When they are satisfied with the copy, then can click a button to publish the post.
Automatically create a chat room - released May 18, 2021
CMs often create chat rooms so that candidates can discuss the election with voters. This is now a one-click process. The system creates the chat room and adds a link to the Election page, so that users can easily visit the chat room.
This project has been many months in the making. Wanted to acknowledge the hard work of various team members in making it happen.