The election results are in, and we elected MikeSchinkel, Rarst and EAMann as our moderators! A formal announcement by the community moderators will probably follow soon, but you can run the OpenSTV algorithm on the election file yourself to see the results.

59 of the 189 eligible users did vote, which is great! Only the Maths and Theoretical CS sites had higher participation rates.

I assume they now owe us a free round of beer in the chat room?

  • The results are coincidently exactly how i place my votes... Congrats to all three! You'd have got my nomination if there had been a fourth spot Jan.. ;) All very deserving candicates though....
    – t31os
    Commented Apr 2, 2011 at 12:17

5 Answers 5


I'm just disappointed that there weren't six moderator slots. All of the candidates have made strong contributions to WPSE, and I have personally benefited from the responses to questions from each of the candidates.

I haven't been a part of any other forum site that has the calibre of moderators and moderator aspirants as this one. Well done gents. I look forward to your continued insights and experience, whether in or outside of the Mod role.

  • 1
    Don't be too disappointed, not being a moderator doesn't mean we can't contribute more to the community! Now, wasn't there a suggestion to start a WPSE blog? That doesn't need to be written by moderators only...
    – Jan Fabry
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 6:30

Some stats (hope I interpreted results right):


First choice

Choice distribution

Mike crushed it. :)

Little step by step explanation, it's not simply counting of votes. We had:

  • 6 candidates
  • 3 spots
  • 14.75 votes threshold to win


  1. Mike has way more votes than 14.75 and wins a spot. His surplus votes are transferred to others.
  2. Rarst has his 10 original votes, gets 5+ votes from Mike's surplus (people who picked Mike first and Rarst second), reaches threshold and wins second spot. His surplus votes are transferred to others.
  3. No one has reached threshold.
  4. Lowest ranking candidates (Bainternet and tnorthcutt) are eliminated. Their votes are transferred to others.
  5. EAMann had reached threshold and wins third spot.

PS this is still not official btw, just my interpretation

  • 1
    Wow. I'm speechless. Seriously. Thanks everyone. Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 21:00
  • Next time, I'll have to educate my voters on how to vote strategically: if Mike is going to win anyway, you don't have to vote for him :-p Another observation: ignoring vote order, the triplet of Mike, Rarst and me was voted on most often (16 ballots). Next is Mike, Rarst and EAMann with 9 ballots.
    – Jan Fabry
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 6:40
  • I do think it is interesting to note that Jan Fabry appears to have received a few more total votes than EAMann (around 33 votes vs. 29). It is equally interesting to note that Rarst got several more total votes than EAMann (around 43 to 29 - and note that Mike got around 46 total votes). In both cases, basing the outcome primarily on first place votes somewhat masks the actual vote disparity. My preference would be to base results on total votes, and break ties with the 1st/2nd/3rd place votes. Or, just add 1-3 more moderator slots, and let them all in. :) Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 17:56
  • @Chip Bennett it is more complex than that. The second and third choice are not used as total number of votes for candidates, but as priority for distribution of surplus votes. The specific priority of choice has more impact than total amount of votes. If I understand right our pool was too small for third picks to matter much, and most of votes for Jan are third pick.
    – Rarst
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 18:19
  • "If I understand right our pool was too small for third picks to matter much" - then maybe we should only have been given two votes each? :) (Or maybe that should be reversed, and we should have been given four votes?) In any case, I find discussion of the methodology to be quite interesting. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 18:34
  • @Chip Bennett you are focusing too much on total number of votes. The process is not like casting three votes. It's more like - I want to vote for Mike, but if he doesn't need my vote or that vote won't help him anyway, then I want to vote for Rarst instead. You cast only one vote, but whom you cast it for is determined by priority of your picks and how well (poor) they are doing in the election. In plain words while a lot of people mentioned Jan as option to cast their vote for, for most he was low-priority option.
    – Rarst
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 18:57
  • 2
    Ah, then the problem isn't so much with the vote-counting methodology as it is with the explanation of the methodology. I was presented three vote options, and believed myself to be casting three votes, which were to be tallied for the purposes of filling three equal positions. But, now that you've explained it this way, I see the methodology itself as rather the worst of all worlds, for the given scenario. (It would make somewhat more sense if the moderators were ranked; but, they're not. This is more like filling a slate of alderman, or school board members.) Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 19:05
  • @Chip Bennett yes, you are not casting three votes. You choose who is your preferred choice and two... backups :) You are not filling three positions, you decide whom you want to be moderator most, then a little less and least of three. I added write up of how it played out to my answer.
    – Rarst
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 19:12
  • But then, there's the problem: you and Eric aren't backups; rather, you're all equal-status as moderators. That's why the convoluted "ranking" system with the cast votes doesn't really make sense. But, at least I know how it works now. :) Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 19:41
  • @Chip Bennett but we weren't chosen because we were backup. We were chosen because (1) a lot of people had us as their 1st pick (2) enough people had us as their 2nd and 3rd picks so that transferred votes pushed us over required threshold. Jan had less first picks and not enough following picks to reach threshold before Eric. A lot of people picking me as 2nd doesn't mean I get second spot. It means I get transfer votes when first choice doesn't need them anymore (being elected or eliminated).
    – Rarst
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 19:47
  • @Rarst that's a tautological argument. :) I argued that the voting methodology was not appropriate for the type of election, to which you responded that the three candidates were chosen based on the methodology. That's true, but it's circular. In any case, we have surely beaten this poor, dead horse to a pulp by now! Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 19:56
  • @Chip Bennett I do not get what is inappropriate about it. It is designed to fill available spots. It does that by starting with most successful candidate and moving down until no spots available. What is wrong with this as for you?
    – Rarst
    Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 20:00
  • 1
    @Rarst, I think my problem with this methodology is it essentially gives each voter only one primary vote to cast for three equal ballot positions. The "second choice" and "third choice" votes are treated as inferior to the "first choice" vote. This methodology is good for ensuring voter intent for, say, a President, 1st VP, and 2nd VP - but not for ensuring voter intent for three equal positions, because the three votes are not weighted equally. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 20:18
  • @Rarst: in other words, why should my "first choice" matter at all, much less, matter predominantly, when I'm filling three positions? In this situation, choice preference should only matter for tie-breaking. Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 20:19

Congrats, guys! I know you'll all three do a great job.


Congratulations to the winners and all the candidates. The work you all put in is appreciated by the community.


Congratulations to each of you! You do a great job of sharing information and teaching us what we need to know.

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