So I am shocked to see that anyone with 150 reputation can cast a vote for moderator elections.

With the 100 rep bonus for linking another SE account, this is pretty much equivalent to allowing anyone at all to vote, and given how tiny the community is and how few users probably pay attention to elections it seems like it's asking to be gamed by users from other sites.

(See for instance the recent influx on meta of non-physics users here to argue with Ron).

Wouldn't it be more sensible to restrict voting to 'Established' users (>1000 rep)?

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I suggest to take a look at past elections on other SE 2.0 sites, the number of users voting is rather low in general. That is something you need to take into account when you want to add more restrictions on the electorate. –  Mad Scientist Dec 4 '12 at 21:08
    
@MadScientist I need more statistics there. I think the relative amount of voters among 1k+ rep and 0.1k+ rep is considerably different. I have no proof. –  Bernhard Dec 4 '12 at 21:10
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Why are you shocked? This is publicly available information on the election page. –  Colin McFaul Dec 4 '12 at 22:45
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@ColinMcFaul because I've never had a reason to look at the election page before this kerfluffle? –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:01
    
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4 Answers

It seems to me that 150 is OK. Earning the additional reputation still takes a bit of effort.

Raising the bar to 1000 would be rather undemocratic. Some of our candidates would be unable to vote for themselves.

The restriction you want could be more cleanly achieved by requiring that the user have actively participated in the site at least a month before the election.

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I agree that a time restriction would also be good, but frankly I would like to see even stronger restrictions on candidacy. –  user2963 Dec 4 '12 at 21:26
    
@zephyr Nominating restrictions get stricter when the site is bigger (see for example SO). –  Alenanno Dec 4 '12 at 21:26
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I think it's up to the community to ensure that we have good moderators. I'd rather not see it done by policy fiat. –  user1504 Dec 4 '12 at 21:30
    
@user1504 I'm afraid that's how SE works, it's not something single communities can override. –  Alenanno Dec 4 '12 at 21:59
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@Alenanno: I'm actually defending the status quo here. –  user1504 Dec 4 '12 at 22:01
    
@user1504 Ah, it seemed the opposite. :P lol –  Alenanno Dec 4 '12 at 22:02
    
@zephyr, what would you change the candidacy requirement to? If you raised it to 1000, you would only exclude two of the candidates we have. One of those two doesn't appear to be in any danger of getting any votes. –  Colin McFaul Dec 4 '12 at 23:18
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And the other of whom would be a perfectly good moderator. –  user1504 Dec 4 '12 at 23:19
    
@ColinMcFaul somewhere around 5K would seem appropriate to me –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:01
    
Under that standard, there are two eligible candidates, and one candidate that is 74 rep shy of eligibility. –  Colin McFaul Dec 5 '12 at 0:04
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What is your point? We shouldn't give mod powers to unworthy people just because there aren't a lot of good candidates. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:07
    
BTW I didn't specify 5K just to exclude one candidate, I meant that as an order of magnitude number –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:08
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I guess my point is that you seem very sure that the election process should be changed. But you have shown no interest in that process until now. The nomination process started a week ago; you should have been asking this then. –  Colin McFaul Dec 5 '12 at 0:16
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@ColinMcFaul I didn't realize there might be a problem until all this fuss started and people who don't even use physics.se started popping up everywhere. But I also think it speaks to another problem with this whole process - it's very poorly publicized. There is one tiny blurb in the sidebar about the election, something this important should be plastered on a big red banner across the top of the front page. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:41
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If you want to go this direction, you should also take into account recent activity. I just compared my recent activity to yours. Based on that, I think I have more of a right to vote than you do.

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Perhaps you should, I certainly don't think of myself as incredibly involved here, although I do read through the front page and up/downvote every few days. I just think there needs to be some more substantial barrier to make sure those voting actually are members of the community. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:04
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I totally agree with this. There should be at least a minimum of 500 Rep to cast a vote. It is at the moment too easy to vote for moderators by people that have hardly any interaction or contribution to the site.

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Why 500? Why not 400, or 4000? –  Shog9 Dec 4 '12 at 23:01
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@Shog9 why 150? Why not 15, or 1500? –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:04
    
@zephyr: why replace one arbitrary number with another? 150 has the property of requiring some (though not a lot) of useful participation to achieve, but there's nothing particularly special about it. If you're gonna pick another non-special number, there should at least be a reason. –  Shog9 Dec 5 '12 at 0:22
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Shog9 - I might agree with you, except for that 100 point bonus. 49 rep is just too easy to achieve, especially since upvotes are weighted so much more than downvotes. I don't know if you remember the troll "king" who was running around here a few months back, but I'm pretty sure even he had more than 150, despite posting nonsense and being banned on multiple occasions. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 0:34
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there you go Shog9, zephyr spelled out the reason for me. Now you have a non-special number and a reason –  lurscher Dec 5 '12 at 0:55
    
@zephyr: 49 is easy for folks who know the subject and want to participate. So is... Almost any other reasonable number. Also, I think both of you are vastly overestimating both the number of new users who put any effort into the site and the number of folks who care about voting in moderator elections. Go check the stats on the last one if you don't believe me - this one will be even worse (percentage-wise). –  Shog9 Dec 5 '12 at 2:12
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@Shog9 I don't overestimate the number of users who care about voting - that's exactly the problem. This may not be happening now, but I think that if a cabal of off-site users wished to steal our election, it would be trivial. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 2:15
    
Not exactly trivial. I suspended a candidate in another election recently after it became apparent that he was getting a suspicious number of votes from a user with only two posts on the site (and... other suspicious behaviors). Moderator candidates are subject to a fair bit of scrutiny, both publicly and in private. –  Shog9 Dec 5 '12 at 2:20
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@Shog9 that is good to know. Still the numbers just seem off to me - for example 3000 rep is required to cast a close/reopen vote, a level many qualified users here probably will never reach - I'm less than 50% there after almost 2 years of (sporadic) activity. But basically anyone can cast a vote on such an important topic as this. –  user2963 Dec 5 '12 at 2:26
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@zephyr: think of it this way... The moderators are elected to represent the entire community, from the guy with 200K points and thousands of answers under his belt to the gal who just signed up and asked her first question. The former can actually handle a lot of moderation himself - the system trust him. The latter needs a moderator to represent them. –  Shog9 Dec 5 '12 at 2:33
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I absolutely agree with Zephyr's concerns (though a barrier of 1000 rep seems a bit too high to me), the new moderators should be voted exclusively by the genuine active Physics SE community. With the low amount of additional reputation needed to vote, in addition to the association bonus, this is absolutely not guaranteed, on the contrary.

Observing the huge amount of moderators and people from other parts of the SE network suddenly flooding our (meta) site scares me and makes me fear that indeed the outcome of this election will not be determinded by our Physics SE community.

And reading the vigorous discussions I observe that it is mostly them who very vocally disagree with what people of our community, such as Ron, User1504, Zephyr, etc are saying ...

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I wonder. It seems to me that the tempest Ron stirred up may actually motivate more of our community to show up and vote. –  user1504 Dec 4 '12 at 23:31
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I am also of the opinion that you become a genuine member of the community as soon as you show up and participate. This doesn't necessarily make you not an idiot, but it entitles you to a vote. –  user1504 Dec 4 '12 at 23:35
    
@user1504 yep I hope many members of our community will be motivated to vote now (I have already done it) and I largely agree with what you are saying in the course of the tempest Ron has stirred up too. –  Dilaton Dec 4 '12 at 23:58
    
@Dilaton: I think you're overestimating the number of folks willing to put any effort into participating. If you check, you'll find fewer than 100 people have crossed the 150 reputation mark this quarter... –  Shog9 Dec 5 '12 at 1:57
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Where can I see this flood of newcomers from other SE sites? I see that Ron was banned for a month and stripped of all reputation and I have seen the edits he made, but I can't find the posts or discussions where outsiders to Physics SE are joining the political process. –  Mitchell Porter Dec 5 '12 at 4:53
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@MitchellPorter they have deleted them all. In one of the posts I was active too.It is horrible, now that they have taken Ron away from us it os probably time to leave Physics SE :-( –  Dilaton Dec 5 '12 at 8:36
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