I am watching Ask Ubuntu moderators election.

I noticed that there are 2 candidates who have the same voting result. For instance @maythux and @searchfgold6789 have right now the same result: (5)

But @maythux has more upvotes than @searchfgold6789

If the election ends right now, who might win among them?

Any official SE rule for this?

  • 2
    Remember that this is still just the primaries. The actual election runs on a different system. I think I saw somewhere that it's Single Transferable Vote - if it is, then each person gets one vote but chooses an order of preference (so if someone's first choice gets eliminated, the next takes the vote instead and so on). So there's a little less chance of a tie than there is in the primary, where people are able to up (or down)vote as many candidates as they like. But it'd be interesting to hear what happens in the unlikely event.
    – Jez W
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 8:31
  • maythux now appears to only have two votes... and the actual election bit has started.
    – Wilf
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


We throw each candidate into a tank and fill it up with flags.
First person to moderate their way out (and not drown) wins.

In primaries the first-nominated in a tie goes through.

In the main election, it's a different system as Jez commented. We use Meek STV which is a very complicated (by very fair) single-vote, multi-preference system. You can look it up if you like... The side effect of this is in an organic situation, you're extremely unlikely to end up with exact ties.

That said, if one did happen, Stack Exchange would just add another seat and we'd have an extra moderator. This is contrary to the standard OpenSTV behaviour which just picks a random winner (that I was previously suggesting).

I've asked for what would happen if there was a massive tie (too many to add seats) but I think at some point things are either going to get random or violent.

  • thanks for the effort
    – kamil
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 9:13
  • 3
    I've asked for confirmation: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/222362/…
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 9:33
  • Interdasting. Hadn't expected it to be on a coin flip - maybe on number of first preferences or a decision from on high or something else like that - but for sure a coin flip is fairer that way than alpha or index sorting. (and of course "first preferences" could still very well lead to a tie again - less likely again, but possible)
    – Jez W
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 13:30
  • If you look at Meek STV you'll see exactly how difficult it is to organically arrive at a dead heat. Votes lose value as they're transferred and that results in fractions of votes flying around the system. But yeah, ultimately if you do draw, I guess there aren't too many options (short of a run-off or the fabled "flag tank") that would fix things fairly.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 13:53
  • 2
    @kamil Dramatic reversal!
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 16:15
  • 1
    @Oli I appreciate your way of research. Thanks again
    – kamil
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 17:03

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