After recent debates here on Meta about the opportunity to elect new moderators I see that a decision has been made and, as they say, now the race is on to be elected. It is the first time I have a chance to see how it works and I am impressed that a fair number of users have immediately proposed themselves as candidates.

What strikes me is that the current candidates are either experienced high-rep users or low-rep user with a limited or unclear contribution to ELU.

It appears that no real prerequisites are necessary to be a candidate and potentially become a ELU moderator, such as a minimum level or reputations and a measurable participation in ELU activities which often generates badges etc. Much of the preferences will likely be based on "I am a good guy and I will be a good moderator, just trust me".

Is it so? or is it just a wrong impression from an inexperienced user like me? While I may express a preference on an experienced user looking at their activities on the site, what should I think about the less expressed ones, and there are quite a few on the list, whose activities are still limited and standard of behaviour is still to be proved?

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    There is a minimum requirement. Users should have at least 300 reputation to nominate and 150 to vote. Having said that, no one is perfect, and the whole point of voting is to contribute to the appointment of the mod-ship to people you like to see as mod.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 10, 2016 at 7:56
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    @zaq - my point is; does it make sense to have candidates whose low-reps and limited contribution to ELU make it objectively difficult express an opinion on?
    – user 66974
    Aug 10, 2016 at 13:10
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    If you don't like a candidate's level of site participation... don't vote for them. I'm not sure why that means they should be prevented from nominating themselves.... Rep does not make someone a good candidate, though.
    – Catija
    Aug 10, 2016 at 21:04

2 Answers 2


Voters are not asked to rank all candidates from best to worst. In the final round of election, one only needs to identify 3 worthy candidates. If you don't see any reason why someone would make a good moderator, then you are probably not going to put them among those 3, and that's the end of the story.

does it make sense to have candidates whose low-reps and limited contribution to ELU make it objectively difficult express an opinion on

It makes sense to have a process that allows many site users to nominate themselves. Perhaps they should not, but they should be able to.

Pretty much any activity on the Internet has some background noise; elections are no exception.

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    And indeed, if it is objectively difficult to recommend a candidate, that's a good reason not to do that (and maybe even to vote down in Stage 2).
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Aug 10, 2016 at 14:36

Since the election page offers a candidate score which includes exactly the reputation and a set of - more or less - helpful badges each candidate has earned you can easily discern those qualities you mentioned.

Since your question ends with, "what should I think of", we can't really answer that. It's the point of any election that everyone decides with one's own gusto how to cast the vote(s). As you can see on the current stage, the votes the nominees got so far correlate quite nicely with their candidate score.

As with any real election you will have voters who are more involved and voters who are less involved - just look at the post Brexit google trends in the UK. However I think that with the candidate scores, the election chat, the possibility to see the candidates' contributions it is possible to make an informed decision if you want to. No one can be forced to inform themselves beforehand.

One of the most important reasons for self-nominating is that only the person putting themselves forward can know if they want the job and invest the time that it requires.

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