RationalWiki talk:Moderator elections/Archive3

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This is an archive page, last updated 13 June 2012. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Needs RationalWikiWiki's dirt on moderator nominees[edit]

What's the big idea taking down RationalWikiWiki right before the election? I hereby make a Freedom of Information request of full edit histories of the nominees articles at RationalWikiWiki. You are not going to tell me RationalWikians have even less right to information than the 99% of United Statians, will you?!?!?! Campaign smampain, the last place you find what a politician will do is what they say to get elected. ~ Lumenos (talk) 17:27, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Talk to Trent. I think the bot server is down. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 17:35, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Google cache is your friend. http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://rationalwikiwiki.org/wiki/ <- insert nominee's username here ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Indeed, RWW is run off the Bot Server, and through the miracle of Trent making hot pockets, RWW, PiBot, and Capturebot2 are down for the count. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 16:04, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Say, it works. TY Weaseloid. Helpful vermit ey is. ~ Lumenos (talk) 05:29, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
The Wayback Machine is also your friend. And you can actually navigate around between pages, though the search function is broken. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:21, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but that's from waaayyy back. Recent Changes from January 2010? Not all that useful for the current elections. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:45, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Further Question[edit]

When the results are made public, will the names of the people who voted be as well? I'd be in favor of this, as I think it might address some concerns brought up in the last elections. Obviously I'm not talking about who anyone voted for, just a list of all voters. In most countries with secret ballot this is public information. DickTurpis (talk) 13:07, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

What concerns would it address? ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:21, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
There were some concerns about sockpuppetry, I believe, and while it wouldn't necessarily do anything about it, if we saw some very suspicious accounts voting we'd at least know that it was happening, and we could decide if anything should be done about it in the future. I guess my opinion is that it might do some good, and don't see how it could do any harm, and in general it's better to have more information than less. Though if a voter list is to be published, I think it fair people are told this could happen in advance. DickTurpis (talk) 13:30, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that the reason why we have eligibility barriers for voting? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:32, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, but they're not that hard to get around. I have another account that meets the technical requirement for enfranchisement, but I'd guess that if anyone saw it voting they'd immediately think that there was something wrong there. Anyway, is there any reason not to have who voted made public? DickTurpis (talk) 13:36, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
I think I heard once that the votes come out in alphabetical order, which would mean that you could easily match them up with a list of who voted if it were provided. Peter Urist for Mod! 20:44, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
I believe the votes comes out in chronological order, but you'll have to check with someone more tech savvy to verify that. In any case, scrambling the results shouldn't be too tricky, should it be necessary. DickTurpis (talk) 20:48, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, I remembered it backwards. Peter Urist for Mod! 20:49, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Basically, whenever someone votes, their vote is appended to a new line in the results file, hence why it's in chronological order, and then their user id is inserted into a special table in the database. The results file is posted after the elections. A simple query of the table would also come out in chronological order, but it's of course trivial to sort it in alphabetical order. -- Nx / talk 21:59, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Eligibility for moderator candidates[edit]

Already discussed here & here. I guess this is the best page to take it up. Personally, I think if we're going to restrict voting (as we do), the same restrictions should apply to candidates & we shouldn't see these single purpose accounts coming out of the woodwork just to appear on the mod ballot. If we are going to restrict eligibility, we would need to agree it soon for it to apply to this election; more likely we can agree something for future elections instead. ωεαşεζøίɗWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:42, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Does anyone even vote for the socks? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 18:54, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
I think this proposal is unnecessary because it will restrict worthwhile candidates who have something important to add to the discussion. On the other hand it will not impact on joke or troll candidates who never receive much of the vote in any case. It definitely seems wrong to retrospectively change the rules for this election, just because there are candidates with a voice and a message that you personally do not like. Titus Atticus (talk) 21:34, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree, we don't change the rules in mid process, but whether they should be changed for the following election is another matter. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 08:38, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Genghis. We shouldn't change the criteria partway through, but that doesn't mean we can't change them for future elections. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 09:18, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree, it's a bit late to change it now, and at least the voting restrictions preclude trolls crawling out of the woodwork to vote. However, we should put something place to prevent trolls appearing on the ballot to begin with. --PsyGremlinParla! 10:50, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

So, uhh . . .[edit]

It's the 28th. According the alleged "schedule", voting is supposed to have started already. Do we need to try & get hold of Trent to get the voting booth to work, or is anyone else equipped to activate it? WėąṣėḷőįďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 23:35, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I'll let him know tonight or tomorrow. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 01:20, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Cheers Nutty. WeaseloidWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:28, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposals: Release the list of voters; institute a mechanism to strike sock votes post-hoc[edit]


Trent already releases the ballot file; I propose that the list of accounts that voted be released as well, in alphabetical order (so that the names cannot be matched to votes). I further propose that Trent retain the full ballot file so that motions can be made to strike obvious sockpuppet votes (such as Blue2 or NxBot, e.g.) post hoc. There should be a three-day period during which these motions can be made and voted upon, after the election booth closes and the list of voters is published. Blue (pester) 04:00, 30 December 2011 (UTC) Stricken; in favor of idea below. Blue (is useful) 23:29, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Bot accounts weren't supposed to be eligible in the first place, and it's a simple one-line addition to LocalSettings.php to make them ineligible. But aside from the obvious self-admitted socks and bot accounts, what would be sufficient evidence that an account is a sock? -- Nx / talk 08:37, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
You want more voting on voting after already having a vote on voting on franchise? Of course you do. This ship sailed months ago. The franchise rules say who is eligible to vote, not some mob with no authority voting to disenfranchise someone entitled to vote with whatever eligible accounts he wishes. In any event, we have no reason to suspect this has ever even been a problem, let alone occurred a single time. We also don't have the authority to do this even if it wasn't frivolous nonsense that's impossible to fairly implement. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 12:45, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
My view is that the names should be published, but I'm against any ex-post facto maneuvering to rescind votes. If revealing who voted seems to show some suspicious activity, we can discuss if it warrants some changes to the voting procedure for the next election. Having more information and keeping the process open seems beneficial to everyone. DickTurpis (talk) 13:02, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
My view is that unless it's against the rules to vote with sockpuppets that are otherwise eligible (hint: it's not and never will be because there's no way to fairly enforce such a rule), Blue even suggesting that names be published in an election in which people were promised a secret ballot is a breach of trust. "Having more information and keeping the process open" in this regard is a pointlessly destructive exercise that I strenuously oppose. I've got multiple sockpuppets I use to edit on different subjects that are eligible to vote. I will not vote with them. Whether others will vote with theirs is not for anyone but them to decide. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 13:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Secret ballot means a voters choices are not revealed, not their names. In this country, at least, whether or not someone voted is a matter of public record. It was a minor issue for Trump this year when records showed he hadn't voted in a primary in eons. What exactly is the reason for not making the records public in this case? DickTurpis (talk) 14:04, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Comparisons with real world governmental voting don't work well in what is a relatively small online community. Knowing whether somebody has voted or not in these elections violate the principle of it being a secret ballot, & there are all sorts of possible consequences. E.g. a user implicitly promises to vote for you, then you find they haven't voted at all; maybe you would resent it, confront the user about it, etc. A user who has LANCB still casts a vote; a bunch of users then confront them calling them a hypocrite, etc. None of this would be in the spirit of a secret ballot, even if we don't know who they specifically voted for. WèàšèìòìďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:22, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Meh. I don't really agree. Secret ballot means no one knows who you voted for, and I don't think anyone is proposing we violate that. It means we don't chose moderators the way Wikipedia chooses admins (which in my mind has advantages and disadvantages). The "spirit" of secret ballot isn't something that terribly concerns me, nor is the issue of potential butthurt by people's potential playground antics. I think in a relatively new process such as this, having more information is better than having less when assessing how it's working out. I'm not suggesting removing any votes after the tally, regardless of whether any blatantly obvious sockpuppetry is revealed or not. Furthermore, I disagree with Nutty's analysis that sockpuppet votes are allowed. The rules say one must be a register user for 3 months, not a registered account. A person can have 25 accounts, but they're still one user. DickTurpis (talk) 14:35, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with DT, although I don't know how you can honestly figure out what sock is which. steriletalk 14:42, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
More to the point, just like calls for voter ID in the states, this is a solution in search of a problem, IMO. We have set critera for an account to be able to vote specifically to prevent the use of sock accounts for voting. Seldom do sock accounts ever meet such criteria, and if they do, it's typically because the person behind said account switched accounts at one point. Lord of Reckless Noise Hooray! I'm helping! 14:42, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Look, I don't want sockpuppet accounts voting either, but to say there's a meaningful distinction between an account and a user (we obviously disagree on whether there's any operative difference) begs the question of whether it's even possible to distinguish between the two in the first instance. And it's incorrect to say that we set criteria for anything but who can vote; we recognized the reality, which is apparently getting revisited here, that it's usually impossible to distinguish between a sock account and any other, as well as generally ensuring that voters have a real stake in the site. That's it. The rules are silent on the issue Goonie claims they specifically prevent because we have no such rule. As for lists of voters, it's hardly a matter of simply asserting that more information is better than less and making a comparison to American elections. Lists of who actually voted are not necessarily public information in every jurisdiction. It would certainly be correct to say that lists of eligible voters are generally public from state to state; but whether lists of who showed up at the polling place are public is hit or miss. In any event, regardless of any of our positions on these matters, if there's nothing anyone can do about this problem, which I agree is at least a theoretical problem but one we previously addressed with the rules we already have, there's literally no reason to press this issue. There's most definitely no reason to implement some new policy on the fly that is guaranteed to fail to identify what I suspect would be the majority of accounts used by people interested in engaging in this kind of skulduggery. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:15, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Revealing who votes I haven't a problem with. It's revealing who they voted for I don't like--User:Brxbrx/sig 14:58, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Which appears to be what everyone is already talking about. Ignore the above post--User:Brxbrx/sig 15:03, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
As much as I dislike the ID of socks voting, releasing the list of who voted is even more offensive. SECRET BALLOT actually means that the list of WHO VOTED is blanked as well. You cannot call your local Clerk and Recorder and ask for a list of everyone who voted. That violates privacy. If someone chooses not to vote, that is in itself, a vote. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 15:05, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
While it sounds like a good idea in theory to me, releasing who voted and for whom they voted seems to violate the trust of the community (a trust I don't know why it was established in the first place, but whatever), and therfor shouldn't be done. Personally I wouldn't mind my data being published, and neither would I have a problem with making that data available, maybe others wouldn't either and can put up what they voted for in their userspace. I for one am going to write down now for who I vote, but not put it up on RW until somebody else does it too (because if just I do it, I look like a egocentrical asshole to new folk). --ʤɱ sinner 16:12, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Just to clarify... nobody's suggesting disclosure of who voted for which candidate. The discussion is limited to whether a list of who voted should be released under the circumstances. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:29, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I know, I just wanted to cover that too. --ʤɱ structuralist 16:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
(EC) Perhaps we should consider why secret ballots were introduced in the real world. As I understand it, it was to remove the real-world possibilities of intimidation or retribution. Do (mostly) pseudonymous users operate under the same constraints?--BobSpring is sprung! 16:31, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
No. That's why I don't understand why it was put in place in the first place. And even if they would, I don't think RW is that hard on the edge of being ruled by authoritarian cunts that the mods are going to start banning people because they didn't vote right. --ʤɱ heretic 16:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I want to see chads. And ink-stained thumbs as well. steriletalk 16:42, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

It appears everyone is basically against sockpuppets voting. Mightn't the knowledge that a list of voters could be released deter a sock or two? And keep in mind, in elections like this one or two votes do make a difference. I still fail to see the harm, and see the potential for some gain in assessing how our voting system is working out, and if it could potentially use some revision down the road. DickTurpis (talk) 17:56, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
The previous elections had some suspicious activity (2 or 3 very similar votes in a row), so this would be a good idea to identify any problems (e.g. should we have a rule that only editors who made x edits recently, so that people can't go digging up ancient socks - this is just an example off the top of my head, don't take it too seriously), but I'm against any post-hoc disenfranchisement, except maybe for bot accounts. -- Nx / talk 18:06, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree. I'm against any sort of disenfranchisement for this election. That being said, if we see some really obvious sockpuppetry or such we might want to think about tweaking the process for next time around. As of now, is there an issue with voting? Maybe. Nx references some suspicious activity from the last election. What can we do about it? About all we can do is gather some more information, and about the only further info we can gather is a voter list. Or we can do nothing. But especially in a situation in which a couple votes can swing an election, I think the more data we have to work with the better. DickTurpis (talk) 18:24, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I love DT's idea that this is a good time to WATCH and then review our process, so that in the future we can decide if there are things we want to change. But doing anything this election seems "a bit too late" to me. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 18:28, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

It has always been my view that we shouldn't wait for a huge controversy to address problems here. In this particular case, leaving this issue open for yet another election is inviting doubt over legitimacy. I can even envision people (not I, of course) purposefully voting for identical ballots with their socks to force the issue, and destabilize the already precarious institution of moderators. It may be the case that we should wait until the next election to implement either of my proposals, I realize. Blue (is useful) 21:12, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Hm. Well, there's Capturebot2, NxBot, Ponder Stibbons, Captain Obvious, a bunch of test accounts older than 3 months that I can get up to 75 edits... -- Nx / talk 21:21, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Hans Johnson probably qualifies, too. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:22, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

EZ edit button 1[edit]

Here is the problem, post-facto elimination of invalid votes by its very nature has to reveal who was voted for. Because of the nature of how the data files are saved it is possible to reconstruct which account corresponds to which vote. I am the only one that has access to this data and I don't bother to do it because its a pain in the ass and a violation of privacy and my role was election judge. But I would be forced to do this if you wanted to remove a vote. The way that this situation is handled is through voter registration roles where eligibility or ineligibility is decided ahead of time on a name-by-name basis. That would be about the only way to do this, make a place for people to register to vote and if their name is not on that list they can't vote. That list could be public and if people want to challenge a user ID then they can do it before the vote takes place. But as far as this election goes its too late. (talk) 21:45, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

We have 2 proposals here (at least). Blue's involves purging votes by sockpuppet accounts. This seems very unpopular and has the problems you cite above. Mine is simply to list who voted. If, following that, everything appears above board, great. Everyone's happy. If, on the other hand, something smells fishy, we can take it as a potential lesson for next time. We don't investigate who these suspicious accounts voted for; we just see if there's a case for tweaking the process. I suppose this doesn't even have to be solely about sockpuppetry; maybe we find that the number of names doesn't match the number of votes or something, or some other sort of discrepency is revealed (I have no idea). I don't see it as introducing new rules or bureaucracy, just making an important process more open. The fact that it could act as a deterrent to socks seems a good enough reason to give it a try. It's still secret ballot either way. DickTurpis (talk) 22:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
If you're going to list the people who voted merely to see whether there is a problem you shouldn't do it immediately after the polls close, as people will question the legitimacy of any moderator they don't like. Do it nearer the next one. I like 72.38's idea, come to think of it. Peter Urist for Mod! 22:12, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Personally, I"m still strongly against listing who voted. If someone chose not to vote, that is a personal decision, not a public one. If they didn't like any of the candidates for example, that is a vote, in a sense. Can you, perhaps, just list a list of IP address who voted? Yes, someone COULD put it all together, but at least it's a shield. Pink mowse.pngGodotEn live 22:16, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
If I remember correctly, IPs are not recorded, only usernames. -- Nx / talk 08:33, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
This is getting hysterical. Listing who voted for whom, suggestions of revealing IP's for fear a sock might vote? Gibberish. AceAce For Mod! 22:21, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, listing IPs is not OK. I still want to see chads. Some of them might be hanging chads. steriletalk 22:26, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Listing IPs wouldn't work, either. Peter Urist for Mod! 22:28, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
No one's suggesting listing who voted for whom, Ace, pay attention. And as for fear of questioning legitimacy of a mod, well, that can happen anyway. We all know there are enfranchised socks, and we all have suspicions that there may have been some sock voting last time. If someone wants to they'll use that as an excuse to question a mod's legitimacy. Either way it will be just that, an excuse. Anyway, we vote for other matters all the time without any sort of privacy for anyone involved, and while I get the use of secret ballot here, I don't see why this process has to be as closed as possible. DickTurpis (talk) 22:43, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I would like to fully put my support behind the voter registration idea of the IP I'm assuming is Tmtoulouse Blue (pester) 23:26, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to come out against this as unnecessary and bureaucratic. Something like this should be a last resort if it turns out we have a systemic problem with how elections are running. As of now all we have is a little bit of suspicion. DickTurpis (talk) 00:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
So far, I've got 4 socks that are eligible, and 5 that only need 75 edits to be eligible (easy to accomplish in a week). 86 accounts voted in the first election, and 61 in the second, interim one. 9 votes would make a pretty big difference. I bet I could make Maratrean a mod. -- Nx / talk 09:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Don't you bloody dare. Redchuck.gif ГенгисevolvingModerator 12:00, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Why not? Nutty said it's not against the rules. -- Nx / talk 12:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
If you are gonna make someone a Mod out of spite, I vote CRIMINALISE MARATREAN. Mara is really getting on my nerves lately. DamoHi 12:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Not out of spite, but to force the issue. Unfortunately, I don't think we can prevent someone making a bunch of non-obvious, non-admitted socks in the span of a year, and getting them all up to 75 edits, and then voting with all of them in the elections. Oh well. -- Nx / talk 12:28, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Can we not just stop kidding ourselves and admit that voting over the internet like this inherently suffers from these problems? There's not a way around it that isn't a) massively convoluted or b) to highly restrictive of who can actually vote. Democracy is shit. Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:43, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
True, but how will releasing the names prevent you from using the socks. Unless you make a mistake and confuse your socks there is no way to prove who is whose sock. Even if you were to give your sock 75 edits in quick time, any accusation that it was a sock would be just that, an accusation. I just don't see how releasing the names would help. I'm open to other ideas and persausion. DamoHi 09:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Most of them are admitted socks. -- Nx / talk 11:49, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Right now people seem to be putting the cart before the horse here, looking for (or dismissing) solutions before we even know if we have a problem. So far, we know the system is open to abuse, and we have some suspicious activity in the last election. A list of accounts that voted could (but won't necessarily) shed a little more light on the issue, and might not reveal any problems at all, which means we don't have to worry about solutions (which would be great). If, say, Nx were to go ahead and vote with 5 accounts which got all their 75 edits between now and the 5th, we'll know we have a problem (and Maratrean as a mod). Even if we don't know whose they are, we'll know they're sockpuppets and we can put our collective heads together and to try to figure out how to prevent this from happening in the future. But there's no point in trying to figure that out yet. At this stage, I think it would behoove us not to rule out listing the voters if only because it might discourage Nx from following through on his bluff to fix the election for Maratrean. I know no one here wants that. DickTurpis (talk) 12:59, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Why would it discourage me when I already told you I was going to do that? And even if I don't do it, that doesn't mean someone else won't. -- Nx / talk 13:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
"Looking for (or dismissing) solutions before we even know if we have a problem." Dick, I'm hoping, despite your equivocations, you see why this is problematic under any circumstances. I keep asking the equivalent of "what are you going to do about it anyway" and you keep repeating this claim that more information is going to somehow give us insight into something meaningful. As I've said, putting your collective heads together to come up with a "solution" entails that you know there's a problem in the first place. None of you have any remotely actionable evidence this has ever happened. The only additional information one could derive from a list of voters is literally nothing more than a poorly informed guess that X, Y, and Z are sockpuppets because it's obvious to everyone that _____ couldn't have gotten that many votes. You can't link those voters to votes for whoever you believe wasn't popular enough to get such and such number of votes. Further, whoever believes ___ couldn't get that many votes is inappropriately discounting the reality that there's no way to distinguish between a legitimate vote for a protest candidate and whatever that person believes is "bad faith" or whatever. What if we all miscalculate the odds of others voting for Maratrean and ... he ends up winning. That's democracy in action, my friends, even if you don't like the result. Someone going through the list of voters looking for who they think voted for Maratrean or Cretinous Incompetent so they can ... do what? What if someone else got votes they don't think make sense. Who are they to decide? Where's the cutoff? Here's where: that sweet spot between arbitrary and capricious. It's called bullshit. It's not just those of you who have just fucking awful judgment I'm scared of; even the most circumspect and well-informed of us will never have enough information to do anything fair with a list of voters. I agree with Armondikov that this is what you get when you have an election on the internet. You couldn't solve this non-existence problem even if you start recording IP's usernames, voter registrations, blood types, and sexual preferences. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 16:24, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
The suspicion of some malfeasance arises not from the winners, but from some suspicious votes: identical or nearly identical series of votes appeared one right after the other. Of course, without violating the secret ballot we can't know who voted for whom, but it doesn't really matter. I'm not suggesting we go on a witch hunt regardless of what might turn up. We have the criteria for voting in this election and we need to stick with it regardless of the results. But seeing as how easy it is to game the system, and how we had some suspicious activity last time, I don't see anything wrong with further analysis of our voting procedure. This notion that "elections are easy to screw with so there's no point in trying to curb it" doesn't wash with me. Let's just say we have the names of the accounts that vote, and we see a handful of accounts created a year ago, but with only 1 edit until December 28, then a series of 75 in the next few days (or something along those lines). We'd then know there's something foul afoot, and, armed with that knowledge, we can discuss if it's worth trying to put a stop to in the future, or if it's futile, or if we should can elections altogether, or start doing it more like our voting in the Coop and elsewhere. The point is, we can't so anything except assume everything is A-OK unless we have information. About the only such info I can think of right now would be who votes. If someone has other less personal data that might give us some insight into how straight and narrow or voting system is, by all means let us know what it is. DickTurpis (talk) 17:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
How about just roll with it? Doesn't matter if the elections are rigged in any way because, I hate to break this to people; it doesn't particularly matter. Unless every single person elected is an asshole and suddenly gets themselves exclusive server access no real harm can happen. What can someone do who is unfairly elected apart from DO THE FUCKING JOB THEY WERE ELECTED TO DO? Scarlet A.pngbomination 18:38, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. But it matters a little. Otherwise we wouldn't bother with this process at all. We'd go back to "everyone's a bureaucrat (unless another bureaucrat doesn't want you to be)" or something. If we're going to have elections we might as well do them right. Not perfectly, I realize, but right. I don't get this adamant opposition to making public who voted. The arguments seem to be that: 1) it violates secret ballot (it doesn't), 2) people might get butthurt if they find someone who promised to vote for them didn't actually vote (what are we, 12?), 3) it will let people know if they didn't vote, which is in itself a vote (I hardly see this as a big deal, and in the future we can probably include a "none of the above" so they can not vote while still appearing to vote). Weighing this against keeping the process more open, possibly deterring sockpuppetry, and giving us some insight into how well it's working, well, one side makes more sense to me. To address Nutty's point about "Someone going through the list of voters looking for who they think voted for Maratrean or Cretinous Incompetent so they can ... do what?", well, we can do that anyway. The votes themselves are released, and we all generally know each other enough that we can hazard guesses about who might have voted for whom. But that isn't the point. Maybe we should not release that information either. We can cast our votes and have 7 names spat back at us and assume it's worked out as it should. Why release the data? I'm not arguing that we should look through the voters, find obvious socks, piece together who they likely voted for and take some sort of impeachment proceedings. Not at all. But I would like a little more information on how this process is working, and ideally it should be before a Maratrean or such is elected so we don't have the reaction "this guy got elected? Obviously something has to be wrong with the system!" Instead we have a procedure in place that isn't an attack on a specific user. Anyway, what I seem to be getting from this discussion is that I should vote as many times as I can, because, well, why the fuck not? If I had done that previously I'd probably be a moderator now. Maybe there is a lesson here. Well, I've got 5 more days to consider. DickTurpis (talk) 22:14, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, I think you can enter an empty ballot by leaving all the dropdown boxes at none and clicking vote. So that solves 2 and 3. -- Nx / talk 22:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Anyway, what I seem to be getting from this discussion is that I should vote as many times as I can, because, well, why the fuck not? Yeah, and that'll snowball into a disaster like the RW Awards, with people trying to gather as much eligible socks as they can in response to sock voting from other people. But releasing the list of voters only helps in case of known sockpuppets. What's to stop someone creating socks who silently edit a couple articles in the background, getting their edit count up to 75 edits, and then using them all to vote in the next election? -- Nx / talk 22:36, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That's one reason why I'm probably not going to do it (despite what almost seems like attempts to convince me I should). Though I have a feeling your comments about 9 socks voting for Maratrean is much more likely to garner such a response. Anyway, obviously nothing is going to work perfectly. I realize that; I'm not an idiot. Someone determined to cast a couple extra votes will be able to unnoticed no matter what. And a professional burglar who is determined to break into my house is going to do so no matter what precautions I take, that doesn't mean I leave my front door wide open. If in some future election we saw the names of the voters and noticed a few dozen accounts no one had really heard of, each with about 75 edits, we'd have strong reason to suspect the process is broken, and then we'd have to collectively decide whether it's worth trying to fix, or maybe scrap it entirely. As of now, we'd never know it was broken. I guess we can take the attitude that what we don't know can't hurt us, and it hardly matters anyway. It's not a bad way to go about it, I suppose. But for a site dedicated to science and the pursuit of knowledge, I'd like to think if someone were to ask us how our election process worked, we'd come up with a better response than "based on nothing, we assume just fine." DickTurpis (talk) 23:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh, and I just took an old joke account of mine and voted for no one. It seemed to register just fine, so it can be done. DickTurpis (talk) 23:07, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Nobody's trying to convince you to vote with a sockpuppet account. Nx is making the point that you won't be able to identify most sockpuppets. I'm adding that even if you could, what are you going to do about it without knowing who voted for who? I can only repeat that we already addressed this when we came up with the voting rules in the first place: it's not all that obviously against them (disagree as much as you want). We put franchise rules in place of expressly prohibiting sockpuppet voting because it's next to impossible to function otherwise. It's a matter of good prudence and sound public policy to balance the potential harm with the difficulty of addressing it without stomping people's privacy rights. You keep repeating this "we need more information and then maybe we can do something about it" and this time you're actually trying to justify it. But pointing to trends and then the speculative existence of some unknown editors with about 75 edits doesn't change that a list of voters will not necessarily give you any insight into which is a bad faith account and which is not. What if 10 of us in a row decided to vote for Maratrean or Cretinous Incompetent? Voter registration won't even stop the alleged problem, since it's just as easy to register a sockpuppet account as it is to vote with one. The only solution is public voting, which I think all of us oppose. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 15:52, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be misconstruing what I'm saying. Who voted for whom, which (if any) are bad faith accounts, if 10 identical votes are cast in a row or whatever - none of that is at all relevant. We're reasonably rational and intelligent people here; if there's a substantial number of bad faith accounts voting we'll have a pretty good chance of spotting it. Who they are and who they voted for doesn't matter because the election will be over and we'll have the winners. But we'll know that there was likely some foul play this time, and we can take that into account in 6 months time when we vote again. Not that we'd have to do anything, but we'd at least have that option. Worst case scenario is we see a lot of votes by unrecognized accounts all created in a short period and with just over 75 throwaway edits to their userpages and whatnot (and I don't think this is at all likely to be the case, this is an exaggerated example). We don't have to know who those accounts voted for to know the process is compromised at that point, and we can discuss if we should bother continuing with it. Oh, and I'll just add that I'm not necessarily against public voting (not necessarily for it either), though I do understand why we use secret ballot here. But with the exception of, I believe, 2 moderator elections and a board election, all of our voting on this site has been public, and there haven't been many complaints. DickTurpis (talk) 22:05, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

What a pile of bullshit. AceAce For Mod! 06:07, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your insights, they're enlightening as always, Ace. -- Nx / talk 08:35, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
How can one be insightful about what is obviously a pile of shit? Must I describe to you the smell? The rich, creamy meld of browns? No, shit is shit. And this is shit. It is also fuck. Do you need me to explain that also? AceAce For Mod! 08:41, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
No, but apparently I have to explain sarcasm to you. -- Nx / talk 08:47, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Waldorf and Statler are two of my favorite muppets. Good to see their spirit is alive and well on RationalWiki. DickTurpis (talk) 22:29, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

It's not fair![edit]

i never get to vote in the election! Oh well, good luck to all of the candidates, I hope Goonie and Human and Blue win. Alyssa Bryant (talk) 17:47, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

But isn't voting open until January 5th?--Colonel Sanders (talk) 18:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I just realized that I didn't vote for someone that I had intended to vote for - I had several people in mind, and arranged their names, but after voting, realized I had left someone out. :-( I guess it's not possible to "add on" a vote? Refugeetalk page 06:22, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately, no. -- Nx / talk 08:34, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
It would probably be grossly unethical of me to offer one of my sock accounts so you could vote again. Probably. *twirls evil mustache* Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 08:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Or you could spend the next few days trying to guess someone's password. Rennie McGreet (talk) 16:52, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Another proposal: One-week nomination period[edit]

I don't see very much use for having a full two weeks of nominations. Most people accept within the first week and the second drags the whole election process on for longer than it has to be. Blue (pester) 01:04, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Being away from the wiki for a week or so due to real life stuff is fair enough, so I think allowing a couple of weeks here is OK. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:16, 8 January 2012 (UTC)