In future elections (as the user-base grows) I would like to see a reputation deposit required.

This is similar to UK elections where a candidate is required to pay a nominal fee. This is returned if they poll at-least 5% of the vote.

I suggest a deposit of 500 reputation, returned if the candidate polls over 5%.

This would provide several benefits:

  1. Allow for a lower required reputation (and address concerns like these)
  2. Increase the quality of candidates
  3. Voters can be assured the candidate is serious
  • 4
    Or better yet, the good ol American way, with those having >50K rep; deposit is 33%, those having >10K rep; deposit 25%, those having >5K rep; deposit 10%, those having <1K; gain 1K rep (wahaha, jk on the last one). I like the idea though.
    – SwDevMan81
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:25
  • 2
    I like the idea, but doesn't this approach favor high-rep users?
    – user102937
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:26
  • 6
    @Robert Harvey: As opposed to the current system?
    – mmyers
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:34
  • 1
    @Michael: You're right; withdrawn. But frankly I'm glad I won't have to look at more than 30 candidates to cast my vote(s), and I feel that the high rep users have earned the "privilege" (if you want to call it that).
    – user102937
    Jan 19, 2011 at 18:40
  • 1
    Yeah, Deposit for Moderator! Oh wait...you meant something different... Jan 21, 2011 at 11:38
  • The current minimum rep to stand in an election is 300 (except on SO), so this raises the floor to at least 501. Not saying that's a problem; just pointing out the effect. Feb 8, 2016 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


Do we have a problem with "joke" candidates? If not, why are we trying to make the system more complex to solve a problem we don't have?

Another issue is how high should the deposit be and should it be the same on all sites? (A 500 reputation deposit would have no effect on what I did on StackOverflow as I only care about remaining above 20K!) Hence I don't see a simple why of having deposits.

In a normal UK election, the candidates all get to send one letter for "free" to each voter, this has a real cost to it. There is no per candidate costs like this for StackExchange elections.

  • 4
    It's not a problem now but might be in future elections. But as sites grow the reputation required to "run for office" will increase. My suggestion will allow lower rep users (not too low :/) who are passionate and committed to get involved. Jan 20, 2011 at 14:12
  • We do have that problem in the SO election, although I think devs have been going through the list and manually pruning out people that are obviously not serious Jan 21, 2011 at 10:34
  • I believe it was a problem in the current elections - I'm pretty sure the admins manually removed some candidates.
    – Oak
    Jan 22, 2011 at 9:19

I like it - just to show the candidate is serious. However, I think the rep should be returned not for those "polling over 5%", but simply for those that had a net positive score in the primary phase.

Joke nominations will likely get an overall negative score in the primary phase and thus lose the rep, while almost anyone else will get to keep it - and if there are no joke nominations and everyone was serious, everyone would also get the deposit back.

I think that this could be a great way to weed out joke / non-serious candidates without intervention by the admins, which is what is happening in this election.


I believe that that is a bad idea because if I were to run I might lose to someone else who has more rep than me, and I might only get a couple votes out of the hundreds of votes. People would favor 10k rep people, for example, and I might lose 100 rep for nothing.

So I think you should do that for, say, 5k+ rep users and it could be a flat fee of 5% no matter what.

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