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The banner at the top of the election page states that:

After 14 days, the top 30 nominees, ordered by reputation, advance to the primary phase. However, if there are 10 or fewer candidates, we skip directly to the election phase. If there are not enough eligible nominations at the end of the nomination period, it will be extended by one week. If there are not enough nominations after an extension the election will be canceled.

At the time of writing this question, there are three open positions, and two candidates (MadHatter and apsillers), and the nomination period has already been extended.

The banner is pretty clear about the fact that if there aren't enough candidates, the election will be canceled. However, it doesn't explain what that means. Does that mean that we just continue to operate business-as-usual with the pro tem moderators? Or do the nominees just automatically become moderators without an election?

I guess that in this case it doesn't really matter, since the two nominees are the current moderators anyway, but I'm interested in how this process "should" work.

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    @JNat, would you like to handle this, as the most definitive repository of SO election rules that I know? Failing that, I will attempt to cobble an answer together from what you've been kind enough to tell me.
    – MadHatter Mod
    Nov 1, 2023 at 9:03

1 Answer 1

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As you said, the banner is clear about the election being cancelled. In effect, that means no one gets to vote.

As for what that means in terms of the current candidates and moderation team:

  • if the current state you point out is maintained (only the current mods run), nothing really changes. The current mods stay on as pro-tem mods; the team gets no new members; the site still hasn't had their "graduation" election, and we'll still attempt it at some point in the future. If this happens, the Community Team will generally coordinate with the current moderation team and the community here on Meta to ascertain what could be preventing folks from nominating, and how we can try to engage more users potentially interested in participating in moderation duties in a moderator capacity.
    So, to answer your question "Does that mean that we just continue to operate business-as-usual with the pro tem moderators?": yes.
  • if we get one more nominee, I'll just appoint them as a pro-tem, as explained in the 4th bullet point here. This means the site will still keep pro-tem moderators, and that third candidate will join the current mods as a pro-tem; the site will still be due for a "graduation" election at some point in the future, but the immediate need to hold it is postponed, as the main priority is to get the moderation team up to the 3-mod-minimum threshold.
    So, to answer your question "Or do the nominees just automatically become moderators without an election?": yes.
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  • Thanks! I wonder if it's worth summarizing this in an FAQ somewhere.
    – Mureinik
    Nov 6, 2023 at 11:59
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    There are a very large number of SE-specific election rules, all of which should ideally be written down somewhere, and (IMO) none of which should then be amended without consent of the user community. I don't expect any of that to happen.
    – MadHatter Mod
    Nov 6, 2023 at 15:43

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