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Every moderator election on the Stack Exchange network gets its own page where users can view the requirements to participate / vote, read the nominations, discuss, etc. However, these pages lack an important piece of information: any indication of what type the election is.

Knowing the type of the election is quite significant as types have different rules and implications in certain cases that users may fail to take into consideration if they are only familiar with a subset of types (or don't know there are multiple types in the first place).

As a quick recap, there are 3 types of elections on the network:

  • full, the "normal" mode for graduated sites

    1. if number of candidates <= number of positions, the nomination period is extended for another week, and if it stays that way at the end of the extended period, the election is cancelled entirely.
    2. Existing moderators don't have to nominate themselves to keep their diamonds.
  • graduation, the first full election for a graduated site

    1. Same as "full" elections.
    2. Existing moderators must nominate in and win the election, or step down.
  • pro-tempuore, the normal mode for Beta sites

    1. The nomination period is extended for a week only if there are no candidates. If 0 < number of candidates <= number of positions, the nominees will be auto-appointed without voting.
    2. Existing moderators don't have to nominate.

Neither the election history page (only available when there are no active elections on the site), nor the individual pages contain the info outlined above, however, knowing whether the candidates will be auto-appointed, that existing mods have to nominate, or if the nomination period can be extended can substantially influence users' decision-making process.

I propose adding this information to the election page (if reasonable, the history page should also display the type). Ideally, the type indicator should also link to the FAQ about elections for interested parties and / or at least have a short description of what the type entails. The proposal is also in line with the recent project to improve election process automation.

A side benefit of the proposal is that it would allow for community-maintained tools such as ElectionBot (disclosure: I am one of the maintainers) to reliably determine the type of the election (currently, the only semi-reliable way is to search for a matching announcement on the respective Meta site), as well as reduce the load on the API.

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    This can get a bit confusing in some cases. On some sites that just leave beta, the team initially sets up the election as a "graduation" election, but changes it to a "pro-tem" election if there aren't more nominees than slots and defers de-modding current pro-tem mods. Jul 18 at 10:36
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    @SonictheAnonymousHedgehog out of personal curiosity (due to the dev efforts on ElectionBot), do you recall a particular example of that happening to point me to take a look (I haven't encountered such an outcome yet live)? Btw, thanks for the edit, I failed to mention the important part that in graduation elections mods have to win too, not only nominate! As for the case you mentioned, I hope this would be just a corner case that can be easily addressed if the indicator is to be implemented alongside the ability for CMs to change election type as part of the CM tooling for elections. Jul 18 at 20:43

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