I was wondering if it would be an idea to ask a question on the main site making users aware that they can, and should vote for the coming moderator election? In the last election round the number of voters was disappointingly low (55 votes). This means a mod is chosen based mainly on a select elite group of hi-rep users (an inbred mod so to speak). Shouldn't a mod be chosen based on hundreds of votes instead of tens? We have thousands of users here at this stack.

Could we post a question on the main site urging users to vote?

I am concerned another meta post on this wouldn't make any sense at all. To reach as many people as possible we could write a post as a question on the main site, and bump it up frequently to the top of the page by making small edits to the original post. We do have to make sure to not answer it multiple times in the first few hours after posting I guess as it may make it's way to the hot list :-) I do think a steady number of question upvotes would help though.

Any other ideas on this?

Proposed question restrictions
- Removal of the question promptly after elections are over
- A moderator should post the question

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I agree it would be good to promote, but I don't think a question is the proper way. There is already a link to the election in the "upcoming events" box and everyone received a message about it. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 23 '17 at 22:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @canadianer makes sense, but that doesn't take away the fact the number of voters was disappointingly low last time. I think it's worth the shot $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 23 '17 at 23:01
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not opposed to the idea. You'd think they would make such an event more salient in the site design... like a big flashing red banner. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Mar 23 '17 at 23:07
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    $\begingroup$ I'm glad you posted this. I was very nearly thinking of proposing the same thing! 55 voters in the last election is pretty shoddy turnout :/ $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 24 '17 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ The problem is that we have quite a number of possible voters but a lot of them are not active on the site now. Posting it to the main page would be off-topic (although I understand the intention) and the posting would come down pretty fast, as we cannot pin a posting. There is the box on the right which announces the election process, if people are not able (or interested) to follow this link, I am not sure, if the follow a posting. $\endgroup$ – Chris Mar 24 '17 at 12:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris the pinning is dealt with in the question, we'll more or less. But I understand it would be an unconventional thing to do $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 24 '17 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps voting should be compulsory for registered users. As soon as they visit the site it will say before you can action please vote ;) $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Mar 24 '17 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Kenshin that is a joke I hope. People would vote randomly just to be rid of it if you're lucky. If your unlucky they leave the site and never come back :-) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 24 '17 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ @AliceD yeah it was just a joke :) $\endgroup$ – Kenshin Mar 25 '17 at 0:21
  • $\begingroup$ Voting nubers are notoriously low on every SE site I frequent. A very, very small percentage of regular users vote. On one site with ~4K 'regular' users users, 165 people voted. And that was considered a good turnout. :( $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Mar 29 '17 at 4:07

We could create a Community Promotion Ad.

enter image description here

My more serious attempt:

Voting Promotion Ad

Update: Well, since I assume this linked ad will eventually be deleted when no longer relevant, I'll copy it below (in case we want to do something similar in the future).

Go Vote Now!

2019 update to make general:

enter image description here

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Thanks to all those that upvoted this on the community ads post -- it received enough to be added to the ad rotation! Just in time for the primaries, too ;). It'll be cool to see how many people actually click on this ad during the election... $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 27 '17 at 19:07

The turnout to our last election seems quite normal, for a SE-site of this size. During the last election, Bio-SE had:

891 voters were eligible, 226 visited the site during the election, 119 visited the election page, and 55 voted

In comparison, Chemistry-SE had a similar level of attendance when site was of similar size:
enter image description here

The same also goes for Physics-SE (slightly higher though):
enter image description here

Sure, you might still find this too low. My point is that the attendance at the latest BioSE election was normal (not abnormally low), which means that it will probably not be easy to increase it that much.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is an interesting and valuable piece of statistic. But when 6% of eligible voters vote, that is disappointingly low. As an analogy; If all European countries would have a show-up of 6% on national elections, I would still put a lot of effort in getting those numbers up in the Netherlands, or wherever I would be living. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 25 '17 at 19:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Using this analogy: out of 891 eligible voters, most have emigrated long ago and are no longer involved in the life in the country. When a user no longer visits the site, they do not really exist anymore. So 6% is a misleading figure; the baseline should be 226 eligible voters who are still visiting the site. $\endgroup$ – user13145 Mar 27 '17 at 17:36
  • $\begingroup$ @NormalHuman - That is an interesting point. perhaps it is not so bad indeed. But then, it's still just 25%. Of course we can settle for that, but I still find it improveable. Further, the # site visitors may be brought up when we put a community-based post up with a more personal message. I just do not wanna give up just yet :-) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 27 '17 at 18:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @AliceD I agree that it could/should be higher. On the other hand, only ~65% of potential voters vote in the US presidential election, where the news coverage and the stakes are arguably a bit higher.... Considering that, 25% for a mod election at a smallish SE-site might not be too bad. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Mar 27 '17 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @fileunderwater - I think you may have overestimated the % of Americans who voted. Some sources put it as low as 55%. Which is appalling. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Mar 29 '17 at 4:12

on hundreds of votes instead of tens

As the election page shows, the number of eligible voters who visited the site during the last elections was 226. This is the group one may hope to reach; those who don't visit the site won't see any announcement.

55 out of 226 is not that bad. It's a quarter of electorate, not a tiny slice of it. Also, the list of voters contradicts the idea of

a select elite group of hi-rep users

There are plenty of three-digit reputation scores on that list. At a glance (I didn't feel like counting) about half of voters don't even have the close vote privilege. (Note also that these are their current reputation values; they were lower in 2015.)

Besides, an inbox notification is a lot more of an alert than a post on main site, which will scroll from the homepage pretty soon.

Finally, the election page also shows that 119 users were perfectly aware of the elections - they visited the election page. Most of them just didn't feel like voting.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The homepage problem is covered in my question. The email... I get tons of emails on a handful of different accounts. That doesn't help in many cases. Those visiting non-voters may be pushed across the line to vote when seeing a community post explaining the importance. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Mar 23 '17 at 23:23
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    $\begingroup$ Inbox notification is not email, it's a red notification like the one you got because of this comment. Did you notice it? $\endgroup$ – user13145 Mar 26 '17 at 18:49

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