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I'm really confused on this. I have no idea on several things:

  • When do elections begin?
  • Is there a set time each year?
  • Do elections actually take place each year?
  • Can I vote?
  • Where do I vote?

Etc.

Can someone please help me?

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1 Answer 1

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When do elections take place?

There are no set schedules to elections. The only rules about when elections can and cannot occur are:

  • There must be a period of at least 6 months between the date the winners of the prior election are announced and the next one. This generally only becomes an issue on Stack Overflow and is rare. If more hands are needed before six months is up, the runner(s)-up from the most recent election are offered the role.
  • Elections are generally not scheduled between mid-November and mid-January due to the lower engagement in these months and the CMs schedules during the holiday season.

Elections are generally run on an as-needed basis since moderators hold the title until they choose to step down or become inactive and unresponsive and it's generally not necessary to add more hands to a moderation team if they would have little to do. In general, there are two main reasons for an election to be scheduled on a site:

  • Moderators reach out to the Community Managers to ask for additional help. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as an increase or change in activity on the site or a change in participation from the existing moderators.
  • A moderator becomes inactive or contacts the Community Team in order to step down from their role, in which case a CM will reach out to the remaining moderator team on that site to see if they need more hands - in most cases, sites should have at least three moderators so if this drops the headcount to 2 or fewer, an election will likely be scheduled, regardless. Exceptions to the three-mod rule are made in some cases - particularly on very inactive sites.

Historically, elections were held when a site left beta - "graduating" - to switch from the moderator team appointed by the CMs to one elected by the community. In 2018, simpler pro-tem elections were announced for beta sites and not all sites have a "graduation" election, or they may not have had one yet as most sites lost the beta label in August 2019 or December 2021.

How and where do I vote?

Please refer to the other FAQ about the election process:

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

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  • 1
    Maybe this should mention that "a year from last time" will be different on each site, basically (I guess?) from the date the site became official. Do I understand this correctly?
    – tripleee
    Mar 14, 2018 at 13:54
  • 3
    "Broadly, it's up to the moderation teams to indicate whether they need additional hands, and how many sets of hands would be ideal." Is it a dictatorship? I think you should oblige to have new elections at least every 5 years! "Sometimes a year can even go by without any election at all. " on TeX.SE we have never had an election since the beginning. I'm not saying the current moderators are doing bad, but I think new people can bring new ideas!
    – CarLaTeX
    Apr 1, 2019 at 4:48
  • 2
    What if a community has terrible moderators, (either not doing anything or doing bad things), how can the community kick them out if an election doesn't happen?
    – Flimm
    Mar 27, 2023 at 11:53

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