I'm sure I'm not the only one getting this solicitation today: https://stackoverflow.com/election

I don't understand why I'm being asked to vote regular Stack Overflow users to become mods? I hardly visit the site and there are no mod elections mentioned for Ask Ubuntu where there are lots of great people I'd love to vote for.

The regular users of Stack Overflow on the ballot I've never seen before and in all good conscience can't vote for any of them based on ignorance.

What am I missing here???

  • 9
    Well, the page you linked says “Any community member with 150 reputation may vote in the election.”, so that seems to be the way it is. Are you asking why this limit is so low? Isn't this rather a question for meta.SO?
    – dessert
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:00
  • 1
    Well, if they let me vote blindly based solely on my ignorance+fluff of candidate CV's posted, it sounds like normal democracy in Canada, US, UK, EU, AU, NZ and SA. I think there should be higher standards in our peer proven world on Stack Exchange. For example, I'd never vote for MEEEE. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:04
  • 4
    Just a question, out of curiosity, to anyone reading, what makes this on topic when it is about SO elections? I don't care if it stays open, just curious on the logic.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 21:09

2 Answers 2


You get an inbox notification for moderator elections on every site where you are able to vote for the candidates. According to the election page itself (yellow note on the right):

Any community member with 150 reputation may vote in the election.

So if you have enough points on SO to vote in the election, you of course get notified for it. How else would you be able to use your right to vote?

Regarding Ask Ubuntu, elections on different Stack Exchange sites are neither coordinated nor regular, they happen when there is a demand and the moderator team and/or Stack Exchange team decide to hold one. Reasons for that might be old moderators stepping down or a significant increase in moderating tasks due to site growth.

You didn't get notified of any Ask Ubuntu elections because currently there simply are none.

You also said you couldn't vote for any of the candidates on the current SO election because you don't know any of them. This is a valid problem, but the possible solutions are obvious:

  • Don't vote. This is the boring solution, but nobody forces you to vote.

    If you don't care enough about that site, don't want to support any of the candidates or simply are not able or willing to invest the few minutes, just ignore the notification and move on. It's not exactly a really good solution, because every democracy relies on a high turnout of voters to be able to represent the community properly, but not voting is your good right just as much as voting.

  • Inform yourself about the candidates using the material provided on the election pages:

    • the nomination statements and the comments and replies below those
    • the candidate scores (x/40 points; where half of the score is determined by reputation and the other half by relevant moderation badges)
    • the candidates' answers to the moderator questionnaire (links can usually be found as part of the nomination statement)
    • the links to their regular user profile with all available general information and activities

    This information should already give you a quick but pretty good impression on whether a candidate is rather suitable for the job in your opinion or not.

  • If you are able to invest more time, check out the candidates you deem acceptable in more detail. You can look at their activities like review actions or meta posts as well as regular main site participation or their behaviour in chats, if applicable.

    Finally, the time span from beginning of the nominations to the end of the final voting stage is over two weeks. This is also still enough time to make contact with any candidate you're specifically interested in and ask questions.

  • Thank you for your answer. Of course it is perfectly correct but, I still don't think I should be eligible to vote on Stack Overflow. I'd be comfortable voting here because I've seen the same trusted screen names every day for 18 months or so. I guess my question isn't as much about what the rules are but more a discussion on if they should be changed???? Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:09
  • For example how about voting for demi-mods? ie Yourself, Serge, Zanna, David, Elder, Chili, Muru, etc. can make one mod out of 66% agreement to take a given action. I don't really understand the mod powers but lets say you can gang-up on the review queues to quickly close things when two out of three agree to do so. I'm digressing... sorry :) Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:13
  • Established users with high enough rep scores can do a whole lot of moderative actions already, but they can't do most of the things alone. E.g. closing or deleting stuff usually needs several pairs of eyes to pass, which is a good thing. Moderators can do things without approval of anyone else (although they should always try represent the community and the Stack Exchange policies with their actions). That is the main difference, and the source of their power and responsibility. It's a good thing to have not too many of them, and to have them democratically elected.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:30
  • Btw, I expanded my answer with another part about your concern. I also think 150 points is a fair minimum to filter out candidates with barely any activity, but still let many people vote. Especially as reputation is not exactly a measurement for quality and quantity of your involvement with the community, but mostly for how well you write on-topic questions and answers. One of course affects the other, but they are not the same. To come back to your comparison to politics, what "higher standards" would you want to apply here, a simple web community, over a government election?
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:36
  • I think I read somewhere someone with "command line gold" can close command line tagged questions without the normal 5 close votes. That is what I was thinking about when I floated the demi-mods concept. Two demi-mods could close a question or delete an answer for example. Fast tracking the review queues. I realize the phrase sounds too much like demi-gods which is a turn off for many. Just the first title that came to mind. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:37
  • Sorry the "higher standards" was directed at desert's comment and had nothing to do with your answer. Your answer is on-topic to the question, desert's comment is taking the whole thread off-topic to meta SE which was how my comment was structured. Different strokes for different folks. Getting back to your answer and "it's your right not to vote" I contextualize it differently in that if I've never seen a post by any of the candidates (except ArtofCode the lowest ranked) I'm doing a disservice by voting for the only name I've seen before. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:44
  • 2
    There is no "wrong vote". If anything, there are more and less popular votes. Because for one thing, some quality criteria apply to be allowed to nominate oneself in the first place. Then, during the Primaries, only the 10 best candidates got picked for the real election already, so there should not be any outright "bad" candidate in the list any more (at least on sites like SO with enough candidates). And the other thing, even if you decide to vote using a set of dice, your vote counts, but it still only counts once. If you vote for suboptimal candidates, this doesn't turn around the results.
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:56
  • That's interesting. You know a lot about this subject. I still can't let myself vote on something I know nothing about. And as apparent parallel of life itself, Stack Exchange doesn't let me vote on the users I know about and respect from their many, many posts I've read :(. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 0:59
  • Elections are as needed. If there's no elections it simply means no top up of mods is needed. Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 4:13
  • Can we disable these notifications somehow? I love SO but have no interest in spending time choosing moderators. These notifications are just clutter in my eyes.
    – Tiago
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 0:36
  • @Tiago No, you can not opt-out of election notifications. See meta.stackexchange.com/q/299110/280883
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 12:28
  • 1
    @WinEunuuchs2Unix I think what you are referring to is the ability of gold-badge holders for a tag to "dupe-hammer" (immediately close a question as a duplicate) questions. This is the only situation they can bypass the 5 votes requirements, the other types of votes still require 5 users or a mod.
    – mbrig
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 16:22
  • @mbrig That is along the philosophy for sure. Perhaps two semi-mods could close Q&As when vote queues clog up. Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 2:55
  • 2
    @Tiago: One per year or so? Not really "clutter". Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 9:03
  • 3
    I think you already wasted more time complaining about this than you'd spend in your whole life to simply clicking all election notifications away...
    – Byte Commander Mod
    Commented Mar 29, 2018 at 11:35

You are a member of the Stack Overflow community. You currently have 227 reputation there and have contributed 5 answers. The fact that you are more active here doesn't change the fact that you are also a member of SO and, as such, have every right to vote there.

I think you're reading to much into this. While you (and I) are among those few users who spend a lot of time—some misguided and ignorant souls might even dare to say too much time—on Stack Exchange, the vast majority of users only spend a little. As a result, of the 8,590,390 users with an account on SO, only 400,279 have more than 200 rep. This mean that you, with your 227 rep, are already in the top ~5% of SO users by rep!

Total Rep*  Users
100,000+    583
50,000+     1,683
25,000+     4,396
10,000+     13,265
5,000+      28,982
3,000+      49,229
2,000+      73,268
1,000+      135,146
500+        237,215
200+        400,279
1+          8,590,390

So of course you can vote.

If you feel you can't, then don't. But it is very reasonable that someone in the top 5% of users by rep would be given the option to vote.

As for the demi- or semi-mods that you mentioned in comments, we already have them. They're called high-rep users, like yourself, who can do most things mods can do already. You can edit any post ont he site, vote to close it, gold badge holders can close with a single vote even, you can upvote and downvote and even vote to delete.

  • I do spend a lot of time on SE but it's mostly educational to learn Linux. The answers are merely giving back a little of what I've taken away. I don't think it's overboard considering some day I'd like to earn a living in the Software Development Industry. My blue-collar Warehouse Receiver peers would consider the 20 to 40 hours / week in SE extreme but a University student would consider it minimalistic. If you love learning and enjoy a challenge this is one of the best places on earth :) Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 22:23
  • 1
    Can we disable these notifications somehow? I love SO but have no interest in spending time choosing moderators. These notifications are just clutter in my eyes.
    – Tiago
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 0:36
  • 5
    @Tiago it's one notification that usually comes very very rarely. Less than once a year, possibly even more rarely. It goes away if you click on your inbox. If that is really so annoying, then no, I am afraid you can't do anything except delete your account. Although, if you do love SO, it seems a shame that you're not willing to spend a few minutes to help elect the people who help it be what it is.
    – terdon
    Commented Mar 25, 2018 at 0:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .