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I would like to know, among the number of users eligible to vote in an election, how many have actually visited a site or been active e.g voting, reviewing, commenting etc. in the three months preceding an election.

If possible, I would also like to know how many of those eligible to vote have visited the main site since an election was announced.

For example, an election was first announced on 14 March, 2022 and is currently being held on EL&U. The ElectionBot in chat claimed that last Thursday (March 24, 2022) there were 16,629 eligible to vote. Today the Bot also answered the question, “How many users have voted?”

492 (2.96% of 16,633 eligible) users have voted thus far.

I asked ElectionBot how many users eligible to vote have actually visited the site since January 2022 but a user replied that the bot cannot answer arbitrary questions.

So, I'm asking you, the wizards of computers and algorithms and other stuff I do not know about, to help me answer this curiosity of mine.

Besides, what is the point in knowing the total number of users eligible to vote when thousands may not even be aware that an election is being held. When hundreds of eligible voters are users who have posted a single post–but thanks to the association bonus–have earned the right to vote in an election some 10 or 12 years later. There must still be more users who have earned the right to vote, despite the paucity of contributions, for having accumulated 150 reputation over a period of several years.

Personally, I find it extremely bizarre that users who may not have been active on a site for ten years are still eligible to vote. Weirder still, it appears that Stack Exchange allows users (at least theoretically) who may not have even visited a site for two years to self-nominate themself for the position of moderator as long as they have accumulated 300 reputation.

I have read the post below and it did not answer any of my queries.

There's an election going on. What's happening and how does it work?

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    With SEDE, we can check for users who have posted, edited, commented, favorited or bountied something. Would that help?
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 17:13
  • @Glorfindel Yes, please. I think that would be perfect. I would like to know the number of eligible voters who actually visit, post, edit, vote, comment, bounty etc. three months before an election is announced. Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 17:41

1 Answer 1

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Visits are not stored in the Stack Exchange Data Explorer, and almost all votes are anonymized. SEDE only lets us check users who have posted, edited, commented, favorited or bountied something. This query shows that's less than 5% of the users currently being able to vote in the upcoming English Language & Usage election.

The last visit information is still stored and visible to ♦ moderators, so a staff member might be able to answer this more precisely. Still, I think this is a good estimate. Also, users who haven't been active for a while are also quite likely to miss the notification that there's an election going on (though we do have other built-in metrics for that).

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  • What are the other ways of notifying users who may have gone on hiatus that an election is being held. On EL&U we have elections maybe once every five years, so I understand if a user-who leaves the site for only a month-might feel miffed at missing an election. Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:15
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    Only 5% of eligible users have visited the site. How many users is that, could you include that number please? (784) Which means the 492 users who have voted is a lot, all things considered. Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:15
  • For the numbers, you can visit the link to the query (784 out of 16633). For the notifications, there's an option to receive inbox notifications via email in your settings but TBH I never received an email like that even though it's setting is set to 'Daily' for me.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:18
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    We have one user, pretty upset, who missed the nomination phase and argued that the election is unfair because they did not receive any email. It was lucky that they visited the site before the election ended. I do think though that a regular contributor-who has been active until their break–deserves special attention. Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 19:22
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    It's worth noting that if you wait, you'll get the numbers for how many eligible voters visited the site during the voting phase of the election.
    – Laurel
    Commented Mar 27, 2022 at 23:20

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