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Summary: Politics Stack Exchange will begin the nomination stage for a special election on September 21st to bring on two additional moderators - this is both to get the team back up to at least three and to bolster the mod team during the 2020 US election.

For full details of the process, see the announcement on Meta Stack Exchange. The timeline:

  • Starting on September 21st, users can nominate themselves. Users can also ask questions on meta for potential moderators to answer. (Use the and tags.)

  • On September 28th, if there are enough candidates, we'll run an election. If not, I'll simply appoint the candidate/s. (There's a small chance we'll need to remove a nomination, but I doubt that will come up.)

  • If there is an election, we'll announce the results on meta on October 6th.

(Note for current moderators: there's no need to nominate yourself even though you'll likely get an email saying you should. The system assumes the first election is a graduation election, which would mean moderators would need to be re-elected. This isn't that sort of election.)

If you have any questions about the process, please stick them in an answer here.

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You say that if there aren't enough candidates for an election (I assume this means >2), then you'll simply appoint the candidate/s. Right now, there is only one candidate who has nominated themselves. What happens if someone who would not be a good moderator, and who wouldn't win the election if there was one, sees the empty slot and nominates themselves to claim it?

What is the criteria for removing a nomination? Would you check in with the existing moderators to make sure a candidate is broadly acceptable (ie. they're not a troll, they haven't abused their powers before etc.) before appointing them a moderator?

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  • Good question - it's one that we as CMs have to think about and... sort of put some trust in. First, it's not even 24 hours in, so I hope we'll see additional nominees in the coming days. To the question at hand, we have a limited collection of reasons to exclude someone from an election - essentially, only the reason I linked to, that they've been suspended in the last year somewhere on the network. Short of that we'd be going out of policy to remove someone in most cases so the nominations would stand. – Catija Sep 22 at 18:32
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    This rule pre-existed beta elections and their non-competitive format, so it means we're open to some risk. A problematic but not recently suspended user could earn just enough reputation to nominate and get in by default. This hasn't happened yet but it's certainly something we've discussed... though we try to avoid doing so too openly as it... makes it more likely the abuse would occur. :) The thing is, even in a competitive election, a similar issue can happen - what if you have three candidates and two are problematic - we don't do anything to act in this case, either. – Catija Sep 22 at 18:34
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    You know there's a very easy way to not let that happen, right? Just... nominate yourself ;) – yannis Sep 22 at 18:44
  • Looks like we're up to three nominees now :) – CDJB Sep 25 at 15:22

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