User:UHM/RationalWiki:Standard Voting Procedure (Proposal)
Why a standard voting procedure?
If a solution to a problem is needed one of the popular ways is to get to a solution is to hold a vote. This is the favorized way of doing things on RW, directly after a consensus. But voting systems are tricky and if the vote is close the outcome is almost up for interpretation. Such incidents (as occurred during the events of May 2011) can cause site wide HCMs. The new mods, although if rather efficient up until now, are not free from falling to such HCM and are in danger of not knowing what to do themselves or simply being equally split themselves. For these cases we should install a objective standard procedure that can be used, but does not have to be.
Areas of use
This procedure is not for personal elections but for the decisionmaking over issues. That means this is not thought of as a way of counting the votes in the elections for the board of trustees, nor for the elections to the mods. The issues can be user rights, guidelines, punishments from the chicken coop or the moderators, how the site deals with things outside of itself or changes to the procedure itself. The decision whether this procedure shall be used or not is up to those who propose the vote, if this is not clear the moderators are to decide.
Number of votes per user
All users that are eligible to vote (as described in "Users eligible to vote") only have one vote. Using sockpuppets to influence the results of a vote is not wished and may result in punishments by community.
All votes of this version shall consist of three voting options. Those are Yey favoring the proposal, Ney against the proposal and Goat which will be defined later in this proposal.
Necessaty of a vote
As a general rule of friendliness a vote can be opened by all users with accounts.
Duration of a vote
The minumun duration of a vote is 24 hours from the point on that the vote is opened (the creation of the vote section). This is due to the fact that RW is an international community and all members should have a chance to vote - even with busy schedule.
In the appearance of downtime during a voting process the downtime should be added to the used time frame, or in case of a long downtime another 24 hours should be added. If a clear duration is not known a guess by tech team (at best those who fixed it) is to be made.
A vote may only be closed by at least 2 moderators agreeing that the vote should be closed, if one moderator disagrees a decision should be reached by the same voting procedure as described here, but restricted to moderators. If this also fails, the vote will be left open for another 24 hours and the closing vote procedure can be started again. This is due to the fact that users have tried to manipulate votes before, by closing them when the results fit their opinions.
The best way would be if the duration of the vote is stated directly at the beginning of it, that satement should be worded so that not mathematically sufficient users still get how long it will be open (therefor seconds and minutes are not to be used (or only in joking manner), but at least hours or days).
Users eligible to vote
Only users with an account have voting rights. IPs are generally excluded from a voting process. Although, if an edit is made by an IP but soon later claimed by an otherwise eligible user that has not yet voted, the vote shall be counted as his or her vote. The user should then strike out the signing of the IP, put his own signature behind it and substitute the ":" with an "#" again.
Only users are eligible to vote whose accounts were created before the vote was opened. A non-eligible user or IP that votes, should be told why their vote was not counted, this should happen in a friendly manner on their talk page.
Edit warring over a vote is not allowed. If a user might revert anothers vote he should be told not to do so. If he continues to do so his or her vote shall not be counted and after community consensus the user might lose the right to vote.
Addition level 1: Only bricks, sysops, mods and techs are allowed to vote.
Addition level 2: Only mods are allowed to vote.
This topic should be cleared up before a vote even starts.
If a mojority of moderators believes a vote to be made by a sock of another user, this users vote and vote(s) of it's sock(s), are to be made illegitimate, stricken out and idented out (substituting "#"with ":"). If installed the accused user may request to let a checkuser be run on his name.
Form of the vote
A vote by a non-eligible user should not be reverted but struck out with <s></s> and a quick comment why the vote was struck out should be added. All votes should be added using #, as this way the votes count themselves. All votes shall be signed. A user might post a justification together with his vote, but discussions about it should be hold elsewhere than directly in the voting area. A user may make his vote invalid or change it through striking the old vote out, there is no max how often one can do this.
The voting options shall be marked clearly as what they are, this is to avoid confusion for users that didn't get the reference (the option "goat" will be counted as clear when called goat in some manner).
Places and Locations
A vote concerning an article should be held on it's talk page. A vote concerning a punishment and open to all users after Al1 should be held in the Chicken coop, a vote concerning a punishment and open to users after Al2 should be held on RationalWiki:All things in moderation. A vote concerning community policy should be held on RationalWiki:Community Standards. A very long vote might also be moved into a subpage, as various factors might slow down the page.
If a users feels the necessaty for a common place for votes, he or she can open a page in the RationalWiki namespace and the community can keep track of all the votes.
All results should be counted by at least two users, this is to avoid the human error of miscounts (even with # in use this might happen due to struck out votes or otherwise human error (shit happens, better be save)).
Different ways of counting
There are two different forms of votes: The vote on implementation, which concerns how to deal with regulations, guidelines and the implentation of those, and the vote on punishment, which concerns a single user or group of users rights or pending lack thereof.
Version 1: Absolute majority, that means that an option has more than 50% of the vote. Might be used for all communal punishments (Chicken Coop or Moderator intervention)
Version 2: Two-thirds majority, that means that 66,66% have to be for something to give the decision validity. Might be favored for infinite blocks, to reach a clear front on the matter.
This topic should be cleared up before a vote even starts.
The "goat vote"
The goat vote is not counted as a vote, but serves as an area to comment upon the vote itself or express one's indifference about the vote. The results of vote may be portrayed with the goat votes counted or not.
No way to go
If after all an impass is reached and the "Yey" and "Ney" votes equal each other out, the issues is to be holded or the status quo before the vote is to be reinstalled. The vote will be repeated until a solution is reached or nobody cares anymore. Between the votes there should be a consirable amount of time (several days or weeks) or debates that clear things up. It might also be tried to reach a compromise.