At the moment there are fewer candidates for moderator than there are slots. What happens if this remains so?

There are, potentially, a few members here that others, including myself, would not like to see as moderators as they seem, in posts and comments, to have too negative an attitude.

If there turn out to be "too few" candidates, it might be useful to let the election proceed but in a different form. "Should X be a moderator? yes/no".

If the no votes outweigh the yes, perhaps the person should not be given diamond status.

It might be useful to do something like this in any case if the number is more than the number of positions but below some other value. The number of open slots is two. Maybe with fewer than five candidates (or some similar value) the form of the election would change.

Disclaimer. This is not directed at any current candidate as I write this.

And maybe it is too late to make any change at present, but it should be considered for future elections, IMO.

  • 1
    Relevant Q&A on the main Meta. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 19:54
  • See also this discussion and maybe consider participating with your concerns and suggestions. Commented Sep 22, 2019 at 20:00
  • 3
    Sorry if this is a stupid question, but where does it say how many slots there are? This site seems to have a good number of moderators already, so I would have thought there was only one slot currently available. Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 4:28
  • 1
    @aparente001 Top right box in academia.stackexchange.com/election : moderator positions available: 2. Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:58
  • @FedericoPoloni - Thanks very much. Why do we need two more moderators? Maybe I should ask a Meta Question. Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 4:50
  • @aparente001 The current moderators asked to create two more positions to get more help: see this comment. I missed that comment, too, initially, but then @ Strongbad pointed it out to me in another answer. Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 6:16
  • This thread on various moderators being fired or resigning on other SE sites was just brought to my attention. Maybe this series of issues between Stack Exchange (the company) and the community is part of the reason why we have so few candidates? Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 18:06
  • Voting on "Should X be a moderator" makes no sense unless X wants to be a moderator, and also has the time available to do the job. (Those two considerations may be independent of each other, of course.)
    – alephzero
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 15:18
  • @alephzero, yes, agreed. I meant X only as for the declared candidates, not everyone. And the only reason for that, actually, is the possibility of self nomination in case a bad actor self nominated and there were no other choices.
    – Buffy
    Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


If the nomination phase is coming to an end and there aren't enough candidates, we (the Community Team) generally extend the nomination period for one more week. We also make a new post in Meta, to draw attention to the lack of candidates.

Hopefully, that's enough to draw in more people willing to step up and moderate, but if it isn't then the election is cancelled. After that, the Community Team will need to convene with the moderation team, and assess next steps — though waiting for a bit before retrying the election is standard practice (if it failed, we wanna make sure we're not retrying just a month after, lest if fail again). We can also make a "interest check" Meta post before retrying the election, so we can assess how many people will be willing to moderate before starting another election that can potentially fail again.

  • out of curiosity: while this is not a very friendly thing to do and should probably not be considered when there are plenty of candidates, are there options to vote against a candidate when the number of candidates is less or equal to the number of positions? Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 4:05
  • Who are the "we" that take these decisions? The Stack Exchange staff? Or the users of each community? Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:51
  • You can vote against candidates if there are enough candidates to trigger a primary phase: see the description on the sidebar here, @ZeroTheHero.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:56
  • The Stack Exchange staff, @FedericoPoloni
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Sep 24, 2019 at 7:56

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