Definitions from Merriam-Webster:

  • Voter one that votes or has the legal right to vote

  • Electorate a body of people entitled to vote

I suppose that, technically, the classification "voters" might include fewer people than an "electorate". But, there appears little to distinguish between "legal right to vote" and "entitled to vote".

Do we need [voters] and [electorate] as separate tags?

If NO, which should be made a synonym of the other?

  • You mention that some members of the electorate aren’t voters. However, you don’t mention the other situation, so I would like to ask: are there any voters that aren’t members of the electorate? Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 18:28
  • 2
    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica 1) I said might include fewer people. In the past, I've heard or seen comments to that effect. 2) are there any voters that aren’t members of the electorate? Republicans often make that claim; but I've personally only heard anecdotes of dead people voting.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 18:42
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica - Respectfully, 1) I used code formatting to make it more clear that the 6 was struck out. 2) You left a typo. 3) There are 462 posts that use code formatting; four of which are mine. Two of those contain "code" (one a regular expression, the other search terms), one a fixed format table that cannot be converted to markdown, and one was used to distinguish web sites not accessed. 4) I will rollback any attempt to remove that formatting.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 0:59
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica - The post talks about misuse of code formatting. Whether there is a "misuse" depends upon judgment, it is not subject to zero-tolerance. Sometimes 12 uses is just right; other times one use is too many. Ultimately, only edit the more flagrant abuses, such as the latter case, where a block quote should have been used. Leave the other uses alone, because you can not know why it was used and making such minor changes is "nitpicking" -- it's not worth it.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 12:58
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica - You appear to have missed my point, which is that "zero-tolerance" is "nitpicking" and "is not worth it"; and, by implication, "flagrant" cases are "worth it". I generally conform to this, but sometimes italics or bold are not suitable, in my judgment.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 14:28
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica - Big relates to size. Respectfully, if you think a "zero-tolerance" solution is the only way to address the issue, then you have a big problem trying to convince thousands of posters on SO and SE to conform to your wishes. And no, it does not prevent people from reading posts, it makes it more difficult, but not impossible, to understand what was posted.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 15:00
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. Commented Oct 17, 2021 at 15:45

2 Answers 2


Before discussing synonyms, I think we have to ask ourselves what these tags are for. Neither tag has guidance on how it should be used, so I think that can be problematic.

Of course, voters and the electorate are both common in politics. You might say many questions involving elections somehow relate to voters. That doesn't mean it's a useful tag. We should use tags only if they help us find similar questions.

Considering these two tags, I think it makes more sense not to use them at all and to use more descriptive tags instead. For example, the following voter-related tags exist and are more specific:

As such, I think we have two options:

  • Put them both on the blocklist so they won't be used anymore.

  • Make them both synonyms of the closest tag, which I think is .

Of course, we should only do that after review all question which are currently tagged or .

For the purpose of voting on this answer, this answer represents the second option:

Make them both synonyms of the closest tag, which I think is .

If you think we should go for the blocklist option, please post that as a new answer so it can be voted on separately.

  • I notice that some other tags apply to some questions: [voting-records] and [voting-registration]. My sense is that, by editing during review, more than half the [voters] and [electorate] tags will be removed or changed. I've "bookmarked" the list and, without objection, will review 1 or 2 per day, rather than posting a complete list on Meta. We can see how things stand in 7 - 10 days.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 20:46
  • @RickSmith I'm not sure if we need to remove the tags manually if we're going to merge them into another tag. I'd say editing is only needed if the [voting] tag doesn't fit the question, assuming we follow my proposal in this answer.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 20:48
  • I'll keep that in mind. If the question already has a [voting] tag, would [voters] need to be removed?
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 20:52
  • 1
    @RickSmith no, editing is only necessary if the [voting] tag doesn't fit or if there are other issues you want to edit. When merging the tags, the old tags will be removed and the new one will be added if it's not there yet.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 20:56
  • Seven of the remaining question, I feel, are OK for changing [voters] and [electorate] to [voting]. I am unsure of politics.stackexchange.com/q/50789/26455, because the question makes little sense to me. You could take a stab at the rest by using the "List of all 8 questions" link in the question.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 2:37
  • @RickSmith alright, I edited two questions, I will merge those two tags into [voting].
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 3:00
  • FYI: The second edited question, politics.stackexchange.com/q/10984/26455, was mentioned in another Meta post, politics.meta.stackexchange.com/q/6008/26455, for the [political-commentary] tag.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 3:06
  • @RickSmith yea, if it's only so few questions then I think it's fine to go ahead on your own. With 3/0 score I think there's enough of a consensus already.
    – JJJ Mod
    Commented Oct 7, 2021 at 3:10

List of questions tagged electorate, and whether they could be tagged voters instead

In an MMP system, why don't parties game the system by splitting into two parties? Could be tagged voters.

Does commentary on interviews have more effect on voters than interviews themselves? Could be tagged voters.

Is door-to-door canvassing common in America? Could be (and currently is) tagged voters.

What is the pyschology behind the "Silent Majority" claim? Doesn’t need either tag.

Did any jurisdiction ever restrict franchise purely by IQ? is arguably about both people with a right to vote and people entitled to vote and should be tagged with both (Note: I’m not sure about this one)

Reducing Corporate Influence in Politics Doesn’t really need either tag

(Note: while I believe the tag should be removed on some of these questions, and under normal circumstances I would have removed them, as the tag is currently being discussed on meta I have refrained from doing so.)

Questions tagged voters, and whether they could be tagged electorate instead

My current understanding of the topic is that all voters are members of the electorate. If anybody disputes this I will go over the questions in the tag and review whether they could be tagged electorate or not.

(Note: I’m not saying what the outcome should be, just providing my opinion on how specific questions should/could be tagged)

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