I have mixed feelings about this being the correct place to ask this, but JNat has explicitly written:

If you have questions about the election process itself, please ask your question on the Spanish Language Meta Site.

so I will ask here.

In a comment on a Meta answer, Charlie wrote:

I have been talking with the CM in charge of this site and I've been told that we need at least four candidates (including me) to have a competitive election (there's 3 positions to fill).

I could not find much information on Meta Stack Exchange about what happens when there are less than four candidates. The only question I found deals with the case of no candidates, but it says:

One site had an election cancelled after this failed, but I don't know what happened with remaining mods -- whether mods who wanted to step down stayed longer or the site ran with fewer mods or what.

So this does not help. What happens then if there are only one, two, or three candidates? Will those candidates become moderators? I understand that the election would not be competitive, but in such a relatively small community as ours, I think that it would be preferable to appoint those (for example) two moderators than to cancel the election and stay at one, or even none.

  • @fedorqui actually, not linking to the comment was intentional... but good, let's leave it as it is. It is not like it is hard to find.
    – wimi
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 20:13
  • Oh, apologies then. I didn't feel the reasoning not to link it, so I added it. You can rollback if you want, then we delete comments.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 20:16

2 Answers 2


JNat explained the following in the election announcement:

On October 12, if there are four or more candidates, we'll run an election. If not, we'll extend the nomination period for one more week. If at the end of this extension period there are still not four or more candidates, I'll simply appoint the candidates who've nominated and we'll default to considering this a "pro-tem election" just to try to bring the total number of moderators on the site up to 3.

So if there are not enough candidates, every candidate will be automatically appointed a new moderator. If there are no candidates or just me, the elections will fail and I will continue to be the lonely moderator of this site.

  • 2
    Just dropping by to confirm this answer is accurate ^_^
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 12:31
  • @JNat is this the standard process now for not-beta-but-not-graduated sites? If so, it would be useful to update the FAQ question about elections in Meta.SE.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 12:58
  • 1
    This is currently the only site where we're attempting it this way, @fedorqui'SOstopharming', so I wouldn't call it the default yet, no.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 13:03
  • @JNat ok, thanks, so it is a pro-tem election that can become a graduation election. I like the system, thanks for the effort on making the site keep alive.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 13:05
  • @JNat oh really, is this the only site that has this problem? That is sad to hear... but I am also grateful about the effort to find a solution.
    – wimi
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 8:04
  • 3
    Not the sole site in this situation, but the first one where we're trying this method out, @wimi.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Commented Oct 9, 2020 at 8:57

From There's an election going on. What's happening and how does it work?:

Phase 1: Nomination

Duration: 7 days


If there are too few nominees, depending on whether the election is declared as a "full" election or a "pro-tem" election, the following will happen:

  • In "full" elections, if the number of nominees is less than or equal to the number of moderator slots, the nomination period will be extended by seven days, and if there are still not enough nominees to make the election competitive, the election will be cancelled entirely.

  • In "pro-tem" elections, if there are no nominees at the end of the nomination period, it will be extended by seven days, and cancelled entirely if there are still no nominees by the end of the extended period. If there is at least one nominee but no more nominees than the number of slots, the nominee(s) will win the election by default at the end of the current nomination period (original or extended) and no more phases will take place.

JNat defined the election we are holding now is your "graduation" election (source), so the rules for "full" elections are supposed to apply. So if there were not enough candidates, I guess the current pro-tem moderator (Charlie) would remain and new elections would be scheduled a month later.

Note this is our second election, the first one being a pro-tem one. Back then, there were no more candidates than positions available, so the process ended on the Nomination phase and the candidates were appointed directly without the Primary and Election phases and the candidate joining the back then pro-tem moderators. But now the election is full in the sense that the resulting mod team will be entirely based on this election, so for this I suppose the "full" elections rules are applying.

Hopefully we will not have to go through this path...

  • 1
    I see, the answer was not so hard to find, I should have seen the FAQ... so we need 4 then.
    – wimi
    Commented Oct 7, 2020 at 20:14
  • 1
    Gonna have to change the accept mark to the other answer, which applies to our current election... The good news is that we indeed do not need 4.
    – wimi
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 12:39

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