Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Arbitration Committee Elections December 2019

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Emblem-WikiVote.svg 2019 Arbitration Committee Elections

Status as of 21:04 (UTC), Saturday, 12 October 2019 (Purge)

The purpose of this request for comment is to provide an opportunity to amend the structure, rules, and procedures of the December 2019 English Wikipedia Arbitration Committee election and resolve any issues not covered by existing rules. 21:02, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Background: In the case of proposals that change existing rules, or that seek to establish new ones, lack of consensus for a change will result in the rules from the 2018 election remaining in force. Some issues are not covered by the existing rules but will need to be decided one way or another for the operation of the election, in those cases it will be up to the closer to figure out a result, even if there is no clear consensus, as they have had to in the past.

ACERFC decisions to date [prior to this 2019 request for comment]

  • Election: There will be 13 arbitrators, six seats on "Tranche Alpha" from the 2018 elections and seven seats on "Tranche Beta".[1] A maximum of seven 2-years term are up for elections each year,[2] with the seventh seat switching tranche if necessary.[3] Any additional vacancies which open before voting begins[4] will be filled by a 1-year term.[2] A minimum 50% support is required to be elected for a 1-year term, and a minimum 60% support is required for a 2-years term.[5] Successful candidates with the lowest support percentages are given the 1-year term if any.[6] If there are more vacancies than candidates with the required minimum, the extra seats will remain unfilled.[α][7]
  • Candidates: Registered account with 500 mainspace edits,[β] editor in good standing "that is"/"and is"[γ] not under block or ban, meets Foundation's Access to nonpublic personal data policy,[δ] and has disclosed alternate accounts (or disclosed legitimate accounts to Arbcom).[8][9]
  • Electoral Commission: A RFC to appoint 3 Electoral Commission officials who will solve disputes and problems during the election.[10] Commission should only intervene when there is a problem that needs resolving, and either discussion isn't working, the rules are unclear, or there isn't time.[11] Open to anyone who is over 18, meets Foundation's Access to nonpublic personal data policy,[δ] and otherwise be eligible to vote.[12] Appointments to the Commission should be confirmed by the Arbitration Committee per the CheckUser policy.[δ][ε][12]
  • Timeline:
    • ACE RFC: (30 days of September)
    • Electoral Commission RFC: 7 days nominations, 7 days evaluation, selection by 7 days after close of evaluation.[ζ][12] (October)
    • Nominations: 2nd Sunday of November (10 days)[13]
      • Nomination is hard deadline for creation and transclusion of nomination statement. How to handle any site-wide disruption is at the discretion of the Electoral Commission[14]
    • Fallow period: (5 days)[13]
    • Voting period: (14 days)[13]
    • Scrutineering: No deadline for releasing or announcing the results.[15]
  • Guides: Allowed but with some strong suggestions.[16] Must be allowed reasonable visibility.[17]
  • General Guide: Wikipedia:5 Minute guide to ArbCom Elections created and advertised.[18]
  • Voting: A voter needs 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and registered an account before 28 October,[η][19] not currently blocked at the time of voting.[19][20] Voting system of (Support/Abstain/Oppose) will be used[21] with percentages calculated via Support/(Support + Oppose).[22] Secret ballots[23] via SecurePoll will be used.[θ]
  • Scrutineering: 3 functionaries[ι] from outside as scrutineers.[24]
  • Ordering: The order of candidates are software randomised on the candidate page, and on the ballot.[25]
  • Warning: Potential candidates are warned of risks from standing for election with message similar to that on WP:CUOS2015 to be incorporated into the candidate instructions page.[26]
  • Questions: No standard questions for every candidates.[27] No limits on the number of questions, but candidates are not obligated to answer every question.[28] Electoral Commission (as a group not individually) have the discretion to remove offensive (eg. WP:POLEMIC-style statements) or off-topic questions from question pages, following discussion among the Electoral Commission members. While other editors can obviously remove clear vandalism, egregious personal attacks, etc., the determination of what is inappropriate or off-topic is clearly to be left to the Commission.[29]
  • Advertising: Traditional notices posted to various community noticeboards,[30] watchlist notice and/or central notice banner[31][32] for election in general (not individual candidates),[31] Mass Message - eligible voters, have edited last 12 months before nominations.[33] Extra care should be taken in wordings of advertising to make sure it's neutral.[34]
  • Blocking: Blocking policy applies normally, but a candidate shouldn't be disqualified for being blocked (except for sockpuppetry) after nominating him/herself.[35]
  1. ^ De facto carried over from pre-2012.
  2. ^ Transcription error from 2011 to 2012 election. De facto since. Consensus against proposed changes in 2016.
  3. ^ Changes during transcription from 2010 to 2011 elections.
  4. ^ a b c WMF's requirement.
  5. ^ Not in practice.
  6. ^ De facto community evaluation from start of nominations.
  7. ^ Left-field supervote on account registration date.
  8. ^ De facto since 2009.
  9. ^ Stewards de facto since pre-2012


  1. ^ 2018#Number of arbitrators
  2. ^ a b 2013#Length of terms
  3. ^ 2013#Handling of the 8th Vacant Seat
  4. ^ 2012#How should vacancies be handled?
  5. ^ 2018#Percentage support needed for appointment
  6. ^ 2012#How many seats should be 2-year terms, and how many 1-year terms?
  7. ^ 2011#Fundamental mechanics
  8. ^ 2012#What should the requirements be for candidates to run for the election?
  9. ^ 2014#Disclosure of Previous/Alternate Accounts of the candidates
  10. ^ 2012#How should we deal with unforeseen problems?
  11. ^ 2013#Role of the Election Commission
  12. ^ a b c 2014#How should the selection of the election commission be conducted?
  13. ^ a b c 2013#Schedule
  14. ^ 2015#How should nomination deadlines be handled?
  15. ^ 2012#Deadline for releasing the results
  16. ^ 2012#How should voter guides be handled for the election?
  17. ^ 2014#Should voter guides be included in the official template?
  18. ^ 2018#Write a short general guide to voting
  19. ^ a b 2012#What should the requirements be to vote in the election?
  20. ^ 2011#What should the requirements be to vote in the election?
  21. ^ 2013#Voting procedure: proposing change "No vote" to "Abstain"
  22. ^ 2012#What should the method of voting be?
  23. ^ 2012#Secret balloting?
  24. ^ 2015#Should adjustments be made to expedite the election results?
  25. ^ 2016#Should the names of candidates appear in randomized order, and if not, how should they be ordered?
  26. ^ 2016#Should we warn the candidates about the risks involved?
  27. ^ 2014#The standard questions
  28. ^ 2014#Should there be a limit to the number of questions posed to candidates?
  29. ^ 2017#Should election committee members be allowed to remove questions where appropriate?
  30. ^ 2012#Advertising
  31. ^ a b 2015#Should there be a change in the methods of publicity for the election?
  32. ^ 2016#Should we continue or modify the practice of notifying eligible voters by mass message?
  33. ^ 2018#Mass message
  34. ^ 2014#Should the site notice be changed when voting begins?
  35. ^ 2013#Blocking candidates

Structure: This RfC is divided into portions, each of which contains a discussion point for the community. The standard RfC structure will be used, in which any user may make a general statement that other users may endorse if they so agree. The points will be listed in the table of contents below, along with the users who have made statements.

Per the consensus developed in previous requests for comment, the electoral commission timetable is as follows:

  • Nominations: Saturday 00:00, 5 October – Friday 23:59, 11 October (7 days)
  • Evaluation period: Saturday 00:00, 12 October – Friday 23:59, 18 October (7 days)
  • Commission selection: completed by Friday 00:00, 25 October

Per the consensus developed in previous request for comments, the arbitration committee election timetable is as follows:

  • Nominations: Sunday 00:00, 3 November – Tuesday 23:59, 12 November (10 days)
  • Setup period: Wednesday 00:00, 13 November to Sunday 23:59, 18 November (5 days)
  • Voting period: Tuesday 00:00, 19 November to Monday 23:59, 2 December (14 days)
  • Scrutineering: Begins Tuesday 0:00, 3 December

Anyone is free to raise any new topics that they feel need to be addressed by adding them as level two headers.

Duration: In order to preserve the timeline of the election (see above), we should aim to close this RfC as soon as 30 days have passed, i.e. on or after September 30, 2019. The results will determine the structure, rules, and procedures for the election.

Use the following format below; post a new statement at the BOTTOM of the section in which you want to make a statement. Endorse by adding a hash symbol (#) and your signature.

===Statement #N by [[User:USERNAME|USERNAME]]===
Comment ~~~~

==== Users who endorse statement #N: ====


Users should only edit one summary or view, other than to endorse.


Points of discussion[edit]

Number of arbitrators[edit]

The consensus is that the English Wikipedia for the 2019 election will:

1) Elect enough arbitrators to bring the committee back to a size of 15. As of August 31, 2019, that was 8 2-year terms and 1 1-year term. Additional resignations/removals between August 31 and before the holding of the election, as determined by the election committee, will be replaced by more 1-year terms; There is advice that if vacancies occur during the election, they will not be filled in this election; and

2) Leave the minimum percentages of support at 50% for a 1 year term and 60% for a two year term.

If needed, the election committee will determine whether there has been any material change in number of vacancies since August 31, and will adjust the process accordingly. Alanscottwalker (talk) 11:31, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Added per talk: It follows from the 2 propositions adopted in this section that there must be both an available seat AND a candidate must reach the required percentage to take the seat. If the second condition is not met, the seat remains unfilled, until a new special or regular election. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:00, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Rschen7754[edit]

  • Elect enough arbitrators to bring the committee back to a size of 15. As of this writing, that is 8 2-year terms and 1 1-year term. Additional resignations/removals would be replaced by more 1-year terms.
  • Leave the minimum percentages of support at 50% for a 1 year term and 60% for a two year term.

Well, that didn't work - we wound up with 10 arbitrators, quite a few of those with large periods of inactivity, and a lot of difficult issues. Maybe it would have worked out better had 2019 been more like 2018 or 2017, but oh well. This restores the committee back to the usual size, but keeps the minimum support requirements that addresses the concerns of fewer candidates running and "less suitable" candidates getting elected. Rschen7754 21:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (number of arbitrators):[edit]

  1. As proposer. I know I'm jumping the gun a bit here, but I proposed the original reduction, and I want to do my part in making things right. --Rschen7754 21:28, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  2. I agree, but I also wonder if we want to increase the committee further, by perhaps another 2 arbitrators. This would be to allow all our arbitrators to have some 'holiday' time away from the committee without having to feel that they're neglecting their position etc. Nick (talk) 21:34, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  3. I agree, though I don't agree with a larger increase. There were reasons for the reduction but we've seen the risks. I think the negatives of potentially long conversations from too many ARBs are outweighed by the issues from insufficient viewpoints being provided in decision making, due to resignations/inactive. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:26, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  4. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:29, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  5. I might even be open to a larger increase, but this seems like a reasonably conservative move for now. StudiesWorld (talk) 22:59, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  6. Per Nosebagbear's final sentence. Thryduulf (talk) 23:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  7. This is a step in the right direction, and I'm hopeful that we'll be able to increase the size of the Committee as Nick suggested in the future. I don't think this would be an appropriate time to do so yet, though. Supporting as proposed by Rschen7754. OhKayeSierra (talk) 01:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. We could use a few more arbs. Reducing the size of the committee was a good idea last year, but it didn't work out the way we hoped. – bradv🍁 01:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. More arbitrators increases the chances that the committee better reflects the community as a whole. Calidum 02:32, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 03:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. More arbs hopefully means greater diversity of views while achieving a greater spread of the workload and allowing scope fo recusals/breaks. I think adding two more would have the potential to make ArbCom too unwieldy. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 04:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. SQLQuery me! 04:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. CThomas3 (talk) 05:56, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. TheSandDoctor Talk 06:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Dave | Davey2010Talk 11:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. --qedk (t c) 11:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. To add a perspective from inside the committee: we had two long-term inactive arbs, and typically 2-3 temporarily inactive at a given time, so functionally we were working with 8-9 at the beginning of the year and now after the resignations 6-7. My impression from the beginning of my term was that we were struggling to keep up with the day-to-day workload, leaving some larger issues unaddressed, and that was before our busy summer. I was surprised by how much of the workload is not visible on-wiki: appeals, drafting, functionary oversight, refining internal processes, etc. Those things typically don't require much discussion and would simply benefit from having more hands. I'd say restoring the committee size to 15 is essential. More could be nice but is probably too large a step now, given the amount of empty spot to fill anyway. To compensate, it would help if voters looked for a strong commitment to activity from candidates. – Joe (talk) 11:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. The current size of the committee is too small to effectively handle spikes in case activity. While the case activity this year does not appear to be representative of the activity in average years, the committee should be sufficiently large to meet proposed deadlines (cf. Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Antisemitism in Poland/Proposed decision), or at a minimum, communicate changes to them in a timely fashion. The possibility of edge cases in resignations and recusals should also be taken into account, and should not put the committee into duress. — Newslinger talk 12:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. -- Tavix (talk) 00:25, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. Reducing it to 13 last year was a mistake and there's no reason to let it go on like this. Lepricavark (talk) 01:13, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. Per OP. Vanamonde (Talk) 03:37, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. In my experience, we have always had a few 'seat warmers' appointed to the committee who ultimately never really fulfilled their commitment or take on an equal or appropriate share of the workload. I do not expect that will change anytime soon. 2019 thus far has been an unprecedented year for ArbCom and due to a number of factors, the committee is certainly not operating at optimal capacity. If the outlook for 2020 and beyond was going to be similar to 2016 - 2018, I might have opted to try for the current committee size and hoped without resignations things would be manageable. However, I think the community is going through a very challenging time. Now more than ever, the benefits of having a larger committee seem justified. Mkdw talk 04:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. I support this, though I think some of the things said about this year are over the top. At least regarding public business, this has not been an especially busy year; compare to 2010 where there were twelve cases accepted and sixty-one (!) declined. I also had an off-wiki conversation with a former arb recently about the resignations; he pointed out that the past few years have been unusual for the few resignations; in former years, one to three resignations has been relatively normal. I don't see restoring the number to fifteen as necessary to carry on the normal business of the committee; I see it as necessary to provide spare capacity so that resignations or inactivity do not leave the remaining committee overwhelmed. I don't support a further increase this year. I may next year, but we are already electing a large enough group this year. GoldenRing (talk) 10:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Ammarpad (talk) 12:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. ArbCom needs to have enough members that are able to commit to hearing these difficult matters to do its job while still accounting for periods of inactivity (whether planned or unplanned). —A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 18:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. 15... at minimum. Though if you ever hope to solve this perennial problem at some point you're gonna have to address both the demand AND supply parts of the equation. Volunteer Marek 03:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. What Joe said. This year the combination of the reduced size, the happenstance of higher inactivity than usual, and the relatively higher workload (at least compared to the time I've been here), has resulted in just not having enough hands to do some of the work, plain and simple. I think the key point here is that it serves the committee well to have a little over-capacity at full strength as a buffer against ebbs in activity. Two years is a pretty long time for a volunteer commitment, and it can be hard in November to have a good sense of your likely availability a year and a half later - a lot of "real life" can happen in that time. So don't be too down on people who thought they'd have the time but turned out to have other competing commitments, but we do need to plan around that possibility. Opabinia regalis (talk) 07:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. Ok given the 'inisders' support this, then I think that is telling. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:53, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  30. filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 09:42, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  31. Doesn't look like last year's change helped things. Hut 8.5 18:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  32. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but we tried it and it didn't work. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  33. I don't object. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 20:11, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  34. Banedon (talk) 22:10, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  35. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  36. Endorse bringing back to the traditional size. Oppose increasing beyond that absent some mechanism for the Committee to subdivide itself with respect to particular cases or in response to workload. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:01, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  37. ~ Amory (utc) 00:23, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  38. The experiement to reduct the number might have worked in a more normal year. But as we cannot make assumptions about caseload and inactivity, the safest course is to restore the number to 15. My experience with committees of that zie was that it did not cause problems. As O.r. says above, much of the workload is very minor, and for those, not everyone was active on everything. (at one point there was a formal subcommittee to do the minor work of appeals, but it proved just as well to let it those dealing with them be self-selected as we went along). DGG ( talk ) 06:40, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  39. It was a reasonable experiment, but one which didn't work. Given the endorsement of serving arbs, supporting this seems obvious. Guettarda (talk) 11:57, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  40. shoy (reactions) 12:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  41. I just hope a good pool of candidates will present themself. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 16:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  42. Yes. I supported the reduction, but experience shows that was a mistake. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:16, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  43. I support this. Indeed, I would support having a larger pool of Committee members. I think it would be beneficial if the Committee were to operate like the Bureaucrats: have a decent amount of permanent members who get involved when they have the time and inclination. Instead of annual elections and two year terms, I would favour having a Request for ArbCom page, and those who become Arbs remain Arbs until they resign or are dismissed by the Committee. At the moment I am pretty sure I will resign as an Arb this year - probably after the Fram case has concluded, largely because I cannot commit to being available all the time. But if we had a system like the 'Crats I might put myself forward as an Arb as I feel motivated to want to help out, but I don't have the energy to be available all the time as under the current system. SilkTork (talk) 09:43, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  44. Makes sense, particularly as those with inside knowledge are recommending it. SilkTork makes a novel suggestion, but someone would have to be very brave to start the RfC. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:02, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  45. In retrospect, I do not think a reduction was as good of an idea as it seemed, especially with no practical solution (contingency) for a mid-stream change should the need arise. A need for an increase is certainly warranted now with likely expansion of duties. Otr500 (talk) 12:13, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  46. Masum Reza📞 07:20, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  47. My thoughts mirror Mkdw's WormTT(talk) 09:48, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  48. With another resignation today (and perhaps another on the way), I think the committee size needs to be increased in case this number of resignations per year happens again. Liz Read! Talk! 00:06, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  49. Really a good idea. More arbiters to handle the work load. It would also allow for flexibility as needed. ---Steve Quinn (talk) 00:23, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  50. Great idea. User:Steve Quinn gives one reason why, but it also can help solve the inactivity problem, as an arbitrator being inactive won't be as big of a blow to the committee as a whole. InvalidOS (talk) 11:49, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  51. Yes, last year's change made the committee less effective, and—as of today—unable to handle the workload that some 2 amendment requests, 1 clarification request, and 3 open cases demand, because of the lack of arbs that are able to handle them. | abequinnfourteen 22:14, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  52. -- Pawnkingthree (talk) 19:25, 24 September 2019 (UTC)
  53. I see it as a net positive. Atsme Talk 📧 00:24, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
  54. Endorse. -Philippe (talk) 08:57, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
  55. Endorse. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 00:13, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (number of arbitrators #1):[edit]

Input from current arbitrators on workload is critical here to determine what number we aim for. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:32, 31 August 2019 (UTC) ok done. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 07:54, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

  • @Rschen7754:, you start your Rationale apparentelly at the middçe of a discussion... "Well, that didn't work [...]"? What is 'that'? - Nabla (talk) 11:19, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Rschen7754[edit]

Leave the committee at a size of 13.

Users who endorse statement #2 (number of arbitrators):[edit]

  1. There is absolutely no evidence that more arbitrators increases throughput, and based on what I've heard of some former arbitrators it might actually decrease it as more people need to state their opinion for stuff to proceed. As-is it seems like the Committee is large enough to be representative. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 07:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Calidum[edit]

Seats vacated after the start of voting will not be filled in this election.

Users who endorse statement #3 (number of arbitrators):[edit]

  1. This is just a restatement of current protocol. Feel free to move if this should be in a different section Calidum 13:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Sensible. Changing the parameters of an election in the middle of that election is something tyrants do. If the election opens as an election for X number of seats, that many seats should be elected. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:04, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Agreed. If after the voting finishes we find we have too few arbs (for whatever reason) then we can have supplementary election to fill additional seats. Thryduulf (talk) 14:00, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. It should be obvious not to change rule is the middle of the game, but if it needs to be said, so say it. - Nabla (talk) 11:20, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. feminist (talk) 14:22, 22 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Reasonable. -Philippe (talk) 08:58, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Absolutely. If necessary, they can be filled with an interim election. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 00:52, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comment by Leaky[edit]

In view of statement 1 passing, someone might want to start thinking about the consequences of having 11? AC members elected this year. Given the likely paucity of suitable Admin candidates, low candidate numbers last year, a stronger possibility of a successful non-admin being voted to AC exits. Whether they can have the advanced permissions (OS and CU). I have memory of this being discussed, not sure if it has ever been required. Leaky caldron (talk) 19:01, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

@Leaky caldron: See Wikipedia:Non-administrator Arbitrators RfC. -- KTC (talk) 20:05, 23 September 2019 (UTC)
Non-surprisingly, lots of things that will need rehashing. Keep in mind also Leaky caldron that unlike say a municipal election - not all seats must be filled. — xaosflux Talk 22:25, 23 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Text of proposal ~~~~

Users who endorse statement #N (number of arbitrators):[edit]

  1. ~~~~

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Procedures for emergency elections[edit]

Statement #1 by TonyBallioni[edit]

There is very clear consensus to establish emergency protocols in the event new Arbitrators are needed on short notice. The following will be implemented:

In the case where the arbitration committee calls emergency or interim elections, the same rules as the past Arbitration Committee Election shall apply with the following modifications:

  • The time period for nominations shall be one week.
  • Voting shall commence as soon as possible upon the close of nominations.
  • The previous election commission will be reappointed. If they are unable or unwilling to perform their job, members of the current functionaries team who are not arbitrators or WMF staff will be asked to volunteer without the need for confirmation.
  • Arbitrators elected under this abbreviated process shall have their terms automatically expire on 31 December unless they are confirmed in the next general arbitration committee election.
  • No interim elections may expand the size of the committee beyond that authorized in the previous election RfC.
  • The Election Commission is empowered to resolve by majority vote situations unforeseen in the previous election RfC that may prevent emergency or interim elections from being held.
CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:11, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

In the case where the arbitration committee calls emergency or interim elections, the same rules as the past Arbitration Committee Election shall apply with the following modifications:

  • The time period for nominations shall be one week.
  • Voting shall commence as soon as possible upon the close of nominations.
  • The previous election commission will be reappointed. If they are unable or unwilling to perform their job, members of the current functionaries team who are not arbitrators or WMF staff will be asked to volunteer without the need for confirmation.
  • Arbitrators elected under this abbreviated process shall have their terms automatically expire on 31 December unless they are confirmed in the next general arbitration committee election.
  • No interim elections may expand the size of the committee beyond that authorized in the previous election RfC.
  • The Election Commission is empowered to resolve by majority vote situations unforeseen in the previous election RfC that may prevent emergency or interim elections from being held.

We saw this year that while the Arbitration Policy has a clause for emergency elections, it’s toothless because the elections take roughly 3 months to run, so by the time you have a new arbitrator, it’s time for the next general ACE. This despite this year being the only time in recent memory where emergency elections may have been helpful. This proposal solves that by creating an abbreviated procedure for snap elections when needed without the need for a new RfC, and limits the length of service because of the abbreviated procedures, so you don’t end up with someone serving a 21 month term without the traditional scrutiny. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:37, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (emergency elections):[edit]

  1. This was a real impediment to calling an election. This makes a snap election much easier to administer, which is as it should be. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:21, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  2. Nick (talk) 21:46, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  3. This is sensible as it avoids launching a three-month process to fill what would presumably be an immediate need in a snap election. Mz7 (talk) 22:03, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  4. Obviously as I proposed it. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:28, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  5. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:29, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  6. Definitely resolves an issue, with only minor negatives. Taken to mean replacing resigned ARBs or removed ARBs, not those who just happen to be inactive. I would however prefer Crats (those who have signed non-public info), not functionaries. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:29, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  7. El_C 22:40, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  8. * Pppery * it has begun... 22:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  9. Very sensible. Thryduulf (talk) 23:27, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  10. Umm...this seems sensible. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 23:28, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  11. StudiesWorld (talk) 23:59, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  12. OhKayeSierra (talk) 01:51, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. This is a sensible idea, and wouldn't require any changes to ARBPOL. – bradv🍁 02:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Support, though I would also support giving the community the ability to call for a special election if it deemed one necessary. Calidum 02:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 03:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. SQLQuery me! 04:52, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. This is a sensible provision. --TheSandDoctor Talk 06:12, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. Indeed a very sensible idea. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 11:08, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. --qedk (t c) 11:17, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. This proposal makes the committee more resilient against edge cases in resignations. — Newslinger talk 12:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:39, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. A reasonable response to a real issue. Lepricavark (talk) 01:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. If nothing else, this might reduce some of the pointless carping that occurs when an arb goes inactive for a while, though I wouldn't be opposed to implementing an automatic !vote, per Wehwalt. Vanamonde (Talk) 03:38, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Yes. The purpose of an interim election is to allow the committee to get back to doing its function as soon as possible with as little intermediate process/drama as is consistent with being an elected body. Jbh Talk 15:32, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. Yes, to keep things running in case arbs are lost. ComplexRational (talk) 16:59, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 18:54, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. --Cameron11598 (Talk) 20:46, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. Sounds good and quite in the spirit of WP:NOTBURO. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 02:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  30. pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  31. Reasonable solution to an actual problem we had this year. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:34, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  32. Sensible and well-proposed. As amply demonstrated this year, arbitrators are real people, they have lives, they get busy or burn out or just have other interests. It happened a lot more than we should expect it to in this term, but we need a better process for fast elections of temporary arbitrators to fill these gaps. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  33. Don't see why not, but am not convinced that we need "not arbitrators or WMF staff". Presumably, even any admin will do. Banedon (talk) 00:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  34. Definitely a good approach, which resolves current issues with snap elections. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  35. shoy (reactions) 12:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  36. I like Wehwalt's idea of automatic triggers, but I support this as well. Guettarda (talk) 12:53, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  37. Support as a very good idea. Otr500 (talk) 11:56, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  38. Support, I don't see a down side. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:21, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  39. Makes sense to have a clear set of rules for this eventuality. Regards SoWhy 07:25, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  40. I'm waiting to see the problem - but generally this seems sensible. WormTT(talk) 09:52, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  41. I'm commenting below, too. Atsme Talk 📧 00:32, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
  42. Support, but recommend appointing non-arb bureaucrats rather than functionaries to the commission in the event someone cannot/will not serve. Crats already have the trust of the community through the RFB process. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 00:50, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (emergency elections statement #1)[edit]

Would this replace inactive arbitrators or only resigned ones? If replacing inactive arbitrators as well, then the number of elected arbitrators should be allowed to exceed the number of arbitrators selected in the last elections RfC up to the number of inactive arbitrators. I would further stipulate that as an arbitrator returns to active duty, the interim arbitrator that received the fewest votes should be dismissed from the committee. isaacl (talk) 22:00, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

I endorsed it under the idea it would only replace resigned Arbs. I think dealing with inactive ones should be under a different statement. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:04, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
It’d be resigned or removed for inactivity. Having inactive arbitrators is not in itself a bad thing if they may return to activity. The committee has removed for inactivity before, so if they are at the stage or calling interim or emergency elections, that is something they could consider. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:08, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

For any proposed interim election format, I suggest including an emergency ripcord allowing the arbitration committee to define an emergency procedure, should circumstances warrant. By their very nature, it's hard to predict exactly what will be needed in emergencies, and I think some flexibility is desirable. isaacl (talk) 22:00, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

@Isaacl: What sorts of decisions and procedures do you imagine that the election commission could not handle but ArbCom could? Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:27, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
I’d very strongly oppose that. Elections, even emergency or interim, should be conducted as independently from the committee as possible. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:08, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
Right now the arbitration committee possesses the authority to trigger interim elections. This already vests the flexibility to deal with emergencies in its hands. Do you propose changing this? isaacl (talk) 22:24, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
@Isaacl: I agree with @TonyBallioni:. I'm debating to take it to the stage of adding an additional suggested change that if the number of active arbitrators drops below, say, 8, for more than a month, it would automatically trigger an emergency interim election. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:37, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
I believe that would require a change to the arbitration policy, as it currently vests the power to initiate an interim election entirely in ArbCom. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:39, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
The arbitration committee could choose to modify its own procedures to specify triggers for an interim election. However it wouldn't be bound to the triggers in theory, since the committee could retract them at will. Doing so would, of course, run the risk of losing community trust. isaacl (talk) 03:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
No. I don't suggest taking it away from them. I oppose giving them the power to regulate how the election they call is run. The existing committee should not be in the business of creating the rules for electing fellow members. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:48, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm considering the case where the number of arbitrators falls below a viable quorum, some urgent situation arises which the community wants to have handled by arbitrators, and there is a lack of time to follow the proscribed interim election process. The default way around, of course, is for the community to hold a request for comments discussion deciding on how to deal with the situation, but it can be hard to get a consensus agreement in a short time frame. To be honest, I think most people understand that establishing consensus requires patience, with the resulting consequence that action has to be delayed to let the consensus process play out. If that means waiting for interim elections to be completed, or if near the year's end, waiting for the regular election to be held, so be it. isaacl (talk) 03:20, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • How long will the voting period last? To be honest, I suspect if this were to happen then there would be a lot blow-back saying "there wasn't enough time", either for voting, or for vetting the candidates. — Ched (talk) 22:15, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
    • @Ched: I'm guessing that since the rules will remain the same except where changed above, two weeks will still be the voting period. And since (hopefully) there won't be more than three or four arbs being replaced, the arbitrators elected will receive a generally higher proportion of the vote than in our annual elections, where there could be eight or nine arbs being elected at once; perhaps that will dampen any objections on the basis that the candidates were insufficiently vetted. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:18, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      While some voters do strategically vote I don't think we know how frequently this is done to suggest fewer elections would lead to a higher overall candidate approval. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:20, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      I guess I'm presupposing that the same candidates run in an interim election as in an annual election; the top three or four candidates in our elections tend to have a higher level of support than the top seven or eight. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:22, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      I would hope the interim election would bring us a diferent variety of candidates. For instanace, a former arb might be willing to do six interim months of ArbCom but not a full 1/2 year term. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 22:37, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      (General reply to this thread) While I'm sure my proposal has issues, any method of holding interim or emergency elections would. The current issue is that it is next to impossible to hold them because by the time the need is identified, the process to set up elections would take too long for holding them to be practical (in any real world scenario, the need isn't going to be apparent until around 1 June at the earliest). A shortened process of some sort is needed, otherwise holding elections when needed is not an option.
      In my view, having a hard cap on the length of the terms that an interim election will produce is a check on the period for vetting being shorter. We aren't going to end up with someone serving for 21 months out of this. It would be 4-6 months until the next general ACE, and I think that's low enough of a risk for me to be comfortable. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:45, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      Uh, doesn't six months=1/2 year? Liz Read! Talk! 22:50, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
      I believe my friend was referring to "one or two years" as a term Face-smile.svg Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 22:58, 31 August 2019 (UTC)
  • @TonyBallioni: would you see this otherwise following the mechanisms of the general election? (e.g. The creation of an election commission, configuration of SecurePoll, etc?) — xaosflux Talk 00:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @Xaosflux: the election commission established in the previous ACE would be the effective election commission unless any members were not available/didn't want to. In which case, non-arb functionaries would volunteer (the third bullet point). Having functionaries serve as backup is mainly for convenience as they've already signed the NDA and typically have the trust of the community, as well as having more frequent interaction with stewards than most of
      Re: secure poll, yeah, that'd have to be configured, which is why I changed the start of voting from "immediately" after the close of nominations to "as soon as possible". My vision here isn't for a perfect framework for a frequent event, but for a workable framework for an infrequent one. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:09, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @TonyBallioni: Newbie question, but what does: The Election Commission is empowered to resolve by majority vote situations unforeseen in the previous election RfC that may prevent emergency or interim elections from being held. refer to? –MJLTalk 02:02, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @MJL: every arbitration committee election has an election commission made of three individuals elected by the community to oversee it. The commissioners are ineligible to run in the election themselves. The bullet point you quote basically means that if something comes up that couldn't have been predicted in September of the year before an interim election, the commissioners can decide how to move forward with holding a timely election.
      Having been around for a number of these, WikiLawyering over the exact rules of the election is pretty much par for the course, and this just says that the commission has the authority to make sure an election happens if things don't go perfectly, which given that it would be an interim/emergency election, is pretty likely. TonyBallioni (talk) 02:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I'd rather see an automatically-triggered election. I'm dubious that ArbCom would ever call them. They haven't yet.--Wehwalt (talk) 05:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Wehwalt: We discussed it after the resignations this summer and decided not primarily because of how much time and effort it takes (rendering it pointless, as Tony says). – Joe (talk) 12:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Joe Roe, Understandable. That's why I favor a trigger, if say Arbs are down five members by June 30, say. That way, the procedures are in place and it's less of a fuss all around. Wehwalt (talk) 15:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Joe Roe And I meant more in general than this particular ArbCom in particular. Wehwalt (talk) 16:48, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Vanamonde93 and Wehwalt: I think an automatic vote trigger would require an amendment of ARBPOL (one I would support, btw, and now that you bring it up, am likely to start a petition in a few minutes.) In such a case, this procedure would still be applicable. It’s only worded giving ArbCom power because of how the current ARBPOL is worded. TonyBallioni (talk) 04:06, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The timeframes here seem a little tight. If I read that correctly, emergency elections are called, nominations occur within a week of that and then everyone votes. On a practical note, can all the secure poll infrastructure be set up so that everyone can vote only with a weeks notice? Even if I've got the timescales wrong, are there any leadtimes associated with the voting mechanism? Scribolt (talk) 06:08, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    • The wording is so that the voting starts "as soon as possible". I changed it to that from immediately to allow for time to setup SecurePoll. In terms of timeframe, yeah, they're tight intentionally. The purpose of this procedure is to make interim elections feasible. Without a 1 monthish time frame (which this is) there's arguably little benefit to interim elections, assuming they are called at some point in the summer, which seems most likely. TonyBallioni (talk) 06:13, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Thanks @TonyBallioni:, I understand the approach. I was thinking more along the lines of, if we know that the securepoll set-up takes at least say 2 weeks, we can increase the nomination period (and associated discussion / scrutiny) which I personally prefer rather than an earlier cut-off just to guarantee something happens as soon as possible. This individual is still going to be a full-blown Arb, with all of the access that entails and I think casting a wider net to increase the chance of getting the right candidate (or at least not a bad one) is worth possibly having an empty seat for a few more days. Scribolt (talk) 06:26, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I support the concept here. My only quibble is that I'd much prefer the commission to be filled with bureaucrats rather than functionaries. I understand that the functionaries have signed the WMF's NDA while bureaucrats have not (necessarily); on the other hand, "functionaries" includes all current arbs, CUs and OSs and a number of former holders of those positions (45 former arbs, CUs and OSs compared to 32 current ones) as well as a couple of WMF staffers and Jimbo. Trusting someone with CU permissions or OS permissions is not the same as trusting them to make decisions about arb elections, and three of the current functionaries were not elected by the community at all. This is the type of function we elect the 'crats for and they should be doing it. GoldenRing (talk) 10:25, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @GoldenRing: I was thinking the same - 'Crats would be a very logical pool. I suspect a majority of them have also signed the non-disclosure as well (as there's an overlap with (former)Arb, OTRS, CU/OS etc). 3 of them would definitely be a better way to go.@TonyBallioni: what are your thoughts on that? We could start a separate statement to see if we could get a tweak on that. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:41, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I disagree. Crats as a whole aren’t connected to the community because most of them aren’t active, they haven’t already signed the NDA as a requirement of holding the flag, and basically never have to interface with stewards, which is an important part of the job. Also note that this is the backup option to members of the previously elected election commission declining their roles. There’s also the fact that we traditionally don’t hand off anything new to the crat group beyond what policy already has them do. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:24, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
      • @TonyBallioni: I get the NDA aspect (though I suspect in practice Nosebagbear is right that many will have signed it) but I'm not convinced on the "connected to the community" part. Looking through the functionaries list turns up a number of editors whose contributions are usually in the single-figures-per-month, or who have not edited in months or years. Not to mention an uncomfortable number of WMF staff. The 'crats at least held the trust of the community for making decisions related to advanced rights at some point; many functionaries have never held the trust of the community for that purpose, while others are completely unelected or are functionaries by virtue of having once held a time-limited post. It may be true that "traditionally we don't hand off anything new to the crat group" but it seems a much worse idea to retrospectively hand it to a group who were selected for entirely unrelated purposes. GoldenRing (talk) 13:46, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
        • I think the idea of asking for backups from a group that has specifically been appointed to deal with private information is the ideal, as many of the issues that come with ACE involve private information or require CU/OS access anyway to deal with. It’s better to just have people who are already trusted to deal with this in the commission than bureaucrats. As for activity, the gross number of active crats is significantly less than the gross number of active CU/OS. We have activity issues, sure, but they aren’t nearly as bad as the crat disconnect. Either way you’re ending up with people who weren’t elected to do this job serving as backups, and active CU/OS make a lot more sense to me than asking crats. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:58, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
          • @GoldenRing and TonyBallioni: I think there's an easy fix; amend this to "community-appointed functionaries will be asked...". I don't even know that that requires a separate proposal, you could make the amendment and ping those who have commented. Otherwise, I think Tony's points are quite valid; the 'crats dislike additional responsibilities not laid on in the policy pages; they are, on average, barely active; and they haven't signed the access to private information agreements. Vanamonde (Talk) 17:33, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
            • The easiest fix if desired is just, in Statement #1, after "are not arbitrators", add "or WMF staff". Newyorkbrad (talk) 20:27, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
              • Done per Newyorkbrad's suggestion. Vanamonde93, I don't think this change here needs a mass ping because I suspect it is relatively non-controversial and doesn't substantively change the meaning of the proposal (because, among other reasons, only one WMF staffer holds advanced permissions at this time. The rest are only functionaries because they're subscribed to the list...). I don't really see the need for the community appointed vs. former arb thing: I doubt anyone would object to Yunshui or Risker volunteering if either of them wanted to, and if enough people did, we have a large enough bench of functionaries to make replacing someone quickly fairly easy. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:34, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

─────────────────────────@TonyBallioni: I'm more comfortable with the tweaked version of this so I've removed my opposition, but I'm still thinking about supporting it. While doing the role involves a lot of access to personal information, that's not fundamentally what the role is about. It's about a very key aspect of how the community is governed and that governance role is not something that has traditionally been handled by functionaries, but by the crats. That is my reservation about supporting this. I do see the change that has been made as a substantive one, because the proposal doesn't say that the EC will be filled from holders of advanced permissions, but from "the current functionaries team" and this includes (apparently) everyone who is subscribed to the functionaries list, including several WMF staff. GoldenRing (talk) 12:16, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

  • Tony - why not just fill those seats with the runners-up of the Arb election? Atsme Talk 📧 00:32, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
    Atsme, I am not Tony but I would suggest Tony anticipated (and/or supported) the consensus against that proposal. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:36, 25 September 2019 (UTC)
    Thx, Barkeep - I just commented below on a similar suggestion to use runner-ups - didn't see it before I asked my question here. Atsme Talk 📧 00:41, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by TonyBallioni[edit]

Do not establish emergency election procedures. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:40, 31 August 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (emergency elections):[edit]

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Text of proposal ~~~~

Users who endorse statement #N (emergency elections):[edit]

  1. ~~~~


I don't oppose having emergency election procedures, or making them easier, but I'm very dubious that they are likely to be set in motion by arbcom, except in some real emergency well beyond, for example, the current situation. It would be interesting to hear from arbcom members on this. It seems to me that the usual situation is that arbcom members prefer a small group, and it is those involved in cases who don't. Johnbod (talk) 17:08, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Blocked candidates[edit]

The rules for blocked candidates will remain unchanged.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:21, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by TonyBallioni[edit]

Users that are indefinitely blocked or site banned at the start of the voting period shall be ineligible for election to the arbitration committee. Candidates who are only temporarily blocked at the time of the start of voting are still eligible for election. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Blocked candidates):[edit]

  1. Wasn't planning on making any additional proposals until I read the green box above. This has been how it was interpreted in the past (see the Dysk ArbCom run of two years ago), but since the big green box at the top of the screen tells me otherwise, sure, let's formalize this. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. SQLQuery me! 04:53, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. The problem of a "rogue administrator" (see below) is unlikely to occur and, if it did, would presumably result in emergency desysopping and restoration of the candidates affected to the ballot. See WP:IAR, WP:BURO, WP:COMMONSENSE Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:23, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Formalizing this makes sense in my view. As Beyond My Ken stated, the "rogue administrator" - while a valid concern, which the community rightfully is concerned about - presumably would be resolved rather quickly and the candidates affected restored, thus no longer making this clause applicable/causing an issue. --TheSandDoctor Talk 06:16, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. per BMK & SandDoc. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 11:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. I think the "rogue admins" situation is covered by IAR. I would trust any reasonable set of election commissioners to deal with this issue properly. Vanamonde (Talk) 03:36, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. This is common sense. Some people opposing this below allude to the fact the blocked user wouldn't be elected anyway. Then if that's the case why waste time on them? The electorate have the right to not waste their time on someone who has no chance whatsoever. – Ammarpad (talk) 12:16, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. A candidate who is blocked would not even be able to participate in the election properly, e.g. they would not be able to answer questions. If the provision really is unnecessary then it won't do any harm to add it. I'm sure a user with one edit would not be elected either but we won't let them stand. I don't think any admin is going to be stupid enough to indef someone just to keep them off ArbCom and I'm sure it would be handled correctly if someone tried. Hut 8.5 18:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Better to say it outright than not. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 20:14, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. I would deal with the rogue admin scenario by amending the first line to "Users who are indefinitely blocked throughout the entirety of the election process" or something like that. Beyond that, an indefinitely blocked candidate obviously cannot arbitrate even if they are elected, so might as well have this. Banedon (talk) 00:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by TonyBallioni[edit]

No changes should be made to the rules for blocked candidates. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Blocked candidates):[edit]

  1. I don't entirely oppose statement 1, but we need to make sure that a rogue admin can't just indef all the candidates and then disqualify everyone. --Rschen7754 00:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. No need for added red tape in this instance, IMHO. I'd like to think that the community is already fully capable of weeding out blocked users as unfit to serve on ArbCom through their vote. OhKayeSierra (talk) 02:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC) Editing to add that this is my first choice. OhKayeSierra (talk) 04:56, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Per OhKayeSierra. * Pppery * it has begun... 03:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Per OhKayeSierra. Unnecessary red tape and it's highly unlikely for a candidate so problematic to win a seat. feminist (talk) 09:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. I agree OhKaye, this just seems unnecessary. If effect, if a blocked candidate was somehow considered suitable as an Arbitrator, some really strange circumstance has arisen that we might want to consider. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:17, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. If the community has trust in a blocked user, they should be allowed to serve. StudiesWorld (talk) 12:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Agreed with OhKaySierra and StudiesWorld. I have trust in the community to take blocks properly into account with their voting. CThomas3 (talk) 16:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 01:28, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Indeffing a user is a decision that can be made by an individual administrator and that should not veto the possibility that the community will support that person's candidature. GoldenRing (talk) 10:26, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Being indeffed, in a lot of people's eyes, would be reason enough to not be trusted with rollback, let alone an ArbCom seat. This is a solution looking for a problem. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 19:00, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. Per GoldenRing; the community should be allowed to decide this on a case-by-case basis without having a rule about it. Levivich 00:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. I think the community can make this decision on a case-by-case basis. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:03, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. Per Jeske Couriano shoy (reactions) 12:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. I don't see the need for the red tape. WormTT(talk) 09:53, 9 September 2019 (UTC)


  • Yeah, Rschen7754, I thought of that too. I considered adding a clause like "if an appeal is ongoing and Election Commission may allow the candidates name to appear on the ballot" or something of that sort, but thought simpler was better. This isn't a proposal I feel particularly strong on, but I thought it worth bringing up at the least. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If an appeal is granted, restoration of the right to vote can be part of it. We don't need to go hog-wild and cover every possobility. Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:25, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Does this include Wikipedians banned by the Trust & Safety Team? May His Shadow Fall Upon You Talk 16:25, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @May His Shadow Fall Upon You: Neither the current rules nor any of the proposals make any distinction about reasons for a ban or who did the banning, so yes it applies to a user banned from the English Wikipedia by T&S in exactly the same way as someone banned by the community, by arbcom, by Jimbo or by WMF Legal. Thryduulf (talk) 19:57, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • What about temporarily blocked editors? Can they vote? Not very clear. Senegambianamestudy (talk) 22:06, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
    The current rules say that you must be unblocked at the time of your vote to vote. I don't expect this proposal to change that. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 01:10, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Ivanvector[edit]

Users who are banned from English Wikipedia shall be ineligible for election to the arbitration committee. Editors who are blocked at the time of the start of voting are still eligible for election. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (Blocked candidates):[edit]

  1. A small modification to Tony's statement #1, excluding only editors who are actually site banned, i.e. not welcome on the site (per WP:BANBLOCKDIFF). Indefinite blocks are used for a wide variety of situations other than "forever blocks"; we should not equate the two in policy. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Second choice to Statement #2. OhKayeSierra (talk) 04:57, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Second choice to Statement #1. – Ammarpad (talk) 10:23, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (blocked candidates, Statement #3)[edit]

  • @Ivanvector: I think I will end up supporting this, but I think it needs clarification; although it's been rare in recent times, in the past it has not been uncommon for the arbitration committee to temporarily site ban users (and of course we all know one editor who is currently subject to a one year site ban). Do we want to exclude temporarily site-banned users? And when is the cut-off? Could we changed to "Users who are banned from English Wikipedia at the close of the nominations period..."? GoldenRing (talk) 11:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Personally, I would say banned means banned. On a broadly separate note I don't think there is ever a situation warranting expulsion from the site (a site ban) without needing to demonstrate (through an appeal to Arbcom/the community) that the situation will not continue; that is, all site bans are indefinite. I'm not aware of the committee having issued a temporary site ban as you said but you'd know better than me, what I've seen is they issue temporary limited bans (t-bans, i-bans, civility parole, etc.) or a site ban which is under arbcom remit for some definite period and then automatically commutes to a (presumably indefinite) community ban. And as for the WMF, they're clearly operating under a different vision and different goals than we are; I might go so far as to say that users who are office-banned but not banned through an English Wikipedia community mechanism are exempt from this restriction, to prevent the WMF from interfering in the elections and excluding undesirable candidates on their own secret whims.
    But, in any case and blustery soapboxing aside, yes, I think your change is reasonable, or "upon the start of the voting period" to align with other proposals here. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:14, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Ivanvector: I guess I agree with this, but... how is a site banned editor even able to become a candidate? If they are site banned they can not edit any page, so they can not even fill a candidacy of any kind. - Nabla (talk) 11:31, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
@Nabla: I suppose if they were banned after having been nominated. If an editor is nominated and begins participating in the election process, and then is banned, they are also disqualified from the election. A rare scenario, probably, but by no means impossible. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:52, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: yes, off course, I missed that one. Thank you - Nabla (talk) 22:12, 19 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Text of proposal ~~~~

Users who endorse statement #N (Blocked candidates):[edit]

  1. ~~~~

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Voter activity requirements[edit]

Voter activity requirements have been amended. Eligible voters must have made 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and 10 live edits (in any namespace) within one year of 1 November, and have registered an account before 1 October.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:31, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by xaosflux[edit]

Historically: "A voter needs 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and registered an account before 28 October".
Problem to solve: We are maintaining voter rolls of users that have long left the project.
Proposal: Change to "Eligible voters must have made 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and one live edit (in any namespace) within two years of 1 November, and have registered an account before 28 October."
xaosflux Talk 00:37, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Voter activity requirements):[edit]

  1. Proposer, — xaosflux Talk 00:38, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Personally, I'm fine with 1 year or 2 years - since this was a new requirement I started it with a bit wider margin, but as far as the size of the rolls I don't think it will be a huge difference. — xaosflux Talk 15:13, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. This is very generous compared to the steward elections. Rschen7754 01:00, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. I'm generally a fan of having a significantly diverse pool of voters, but yeah, 1 edit in the last two years seems sensible enough. TonyBallioni (talk) 01:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. MJLTalk 01:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 01:25, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. SQLQuery me! 04:53, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. I would prefer 1 year to 2 years, but... Beyond My Ken (talk) 05:26, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Now third choice. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:22, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Two years is more than adequate. CThomas3 (talk) 06:16, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Yes, and one live edit is not even sufficient.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Reasonable as a start. Second choice after Statement #3. feminist (talk) 09:31, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. I too would prefer a year but 2 years is better than nothing at all. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 11:15, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Now third. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:03, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. --qedk (t c) 11:16, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. I'm not opposed to moving forward the date of required registration, but I don't think it is necessary. StudiesWorld (talk) 12:44, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Third choice (to statements #4 and #3). This is better than the status quo, but does not go far enough to prevent low information voters from skewing the results. One year would be a greater improvement, but I would prefer requiring a higher number of live edits (than one edit) within one year of 1 November. — Newslinger talk 13:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Third choice (behind my second choice of statement #3, and my first choice for statement #4, where I also briefly mention a possible more radical alternative).Tlhslobus (talk) 14:25, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Third choice to statement four and statement 3. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Prefer 1 year , but I'd go with 2. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 21:54, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. We shouldn't be make a large effort to maintain a roll for people who never edit and who will almost certainly never vote to be able to. If someone desperately wants to vote, making a single edit before a deadline is not a large burden. To be clear, I don't see this as an attempt to restrict the franchise and prevent "legacy" editors from voting (as some proposals below appear to do and which I would not support) but as an attempt to lighten the administrative burden of the elections and I support that. GoldenRing (talk) 10:31, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. Third choice, behind #4 (first choice) and #3 (second choice). Levivich 00:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. first choice. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 09:44, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. Third choice. Hut 8.5 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. 3rd choice. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:48, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. Second choice. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:40, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. Helpful ~ Amory (utc) 00:26, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Would prefer an even more recent requirement than 1 year but 2 is better than longer. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:29, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. 3rd choice (1st is #4, 2nd is #3). Thryduulf (talk) 14:07, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. Nabla (talk) 11:32, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. Reasonable. scope_creepTalk 23:00, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. Second choice after #3. IffyChat -- 15:11, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (statement #1, voter activity requirements)[edit]

  • Suggested copyedit for grammar and style: "Eligible voters must have made 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and one live edit (in any namespace) within two years of 1 November, and have registered an account before 28 October." Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 00:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @L235: OK, replaced above. — xaosflux Talk 00:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @Xaosflux: In the proposal above you state the rationale as: "Problem to solve: We are maintaining voter rolls of users that have long left the project." Could you explain, in as much detail as possible, how the voter rolls list is generated and maintained, and, in practical terms, what the overhead in maintaining this list actually consists of? And, again in practical terms, how much this proposal would reduce this overhead? Thanks, Nsk92 (talk) 16:54, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by xaosflux[edit]

No changes should be made to this qualification for voters. — xaosflux Talk 00:37, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Voter activity requirements):[edit]

  1. Users who have been inactive for two years are unlikely to show up to vote. This change is pointless. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Pppery: this is primarily to reduce the overhead in managing the eligible voters list for securepoll and the subsequent step-1 filtering for the mass-messaging exercise, I don't expect it to have any outcome on the results of the election. — xaosflux Talk 02:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Third choice, in preference to the "10 edits" proposal below. GoldenRing (talk) 10:33, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. First and only choice. The correct way of reducing the overhead in managing the eligible voters list is to get rid of the list altogether and instead to devise a script which will verify eligibility of those users who do show up to vote. The optics and the symbolism of purging thousands of users from the list of eligible voters are terrible. Such an action would be aggressively unwelcoming. There are many inactive users who might be thinking of coming back to Wikipedia. Purging them from the voter rolls basically gives them the finger and tells them to get lost. Disenfranchising voters and performing mass purges of the voter rolls is what various nefarious politicians have been doing lately in the U.S.[2][3]. We don't want to be seen doing the same, even if our motivation is completely benign. Nsk92 (talk) 18:32, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Nsk92: how is using a script functionally any different? In practice we actually do build a new "valid voters" list for each election, we don't "purge the old list" - this change is about what parameters the script that builds the valid voters list will use. — xaosflux Talk 15:40, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Xaosflux: I don't see why it is necessary to actually "build" a list of valid voters for each election. I believe that it should be possible to write a script which will only verify eligibility of those voters who do show up and vote in the Arbcom election. In that case the entire "reducing overhead" rationale for this proposal would go away, and it would be unnecessary to disenfranchise formerly active editors who might be thinking of coming back. Nsk92 (talk) 15:53, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    This is transparent to those that show up, the only real difference seen online for potential voters is that we won't bother trying to directly advertise (via mass-messaging) to those that have long left the project (see also the proposal to not message inactive users below). — xaosflux Talk 16:59, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Third choice after #3 and #1. IffyChat -- 15:11, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (statement #2, voter activity requirements)[edit]

  • Question: How much of a burden will adding another qualification be in the preparation of the voter rolls? Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:16, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Calidum[edit]

Proposal: Change to "Eligible voters must have made 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and one live edit (in any namespace) within two years of 1 November, and have registered an account before 1 October."

Users who endorse statement #3 (Voter activity requirements):[edit]

  1. As proposer. Limiting suffrage to accounts created before 1 October decreases the likelihood of sock puppetry. As far as I can tell, the current 28 October deadline was arbitrarily decided. Calidum 03:33, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. OhKayeSierra (talk) 04:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. First choice. A user who has made 150 edits will have had reasonably substantial experience with Wikipedia at some point; this should be enough for her to be eligible as a voter. feminist (talk) 09:32, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. I even say you should make it 1 September, the date of this RFC. 4nn1l2 (talk) 10:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Second choice (to statement #4) This seems better, I'd still be happier for 1 edit within the previous 12 months, but that's a minor issue. But it's still something Nosebagbear (talk) 12:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Second choice (to statement #4). Once again, I would prefer requiring a higher number of live edits (than one edit) within one year of 1 November. — Newslinger talk 13:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Second choice (to my support for statement #4, where I also briefly mention a possible more radical alternative).Tlhslobus (talk) 14:20, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Second choice Barkeep49 (talk) 16:10, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Second choice, without a strong preference between this and the first proposal above. GoldenRing (talk) 10:33, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Second choice Levivich 00:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. Second choice. Hut 8.5 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. Second choice. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. Now second choice. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:21, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Second choice after #4. ComplexRational (talk) 21:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Second choice (1st is #4, 3rd is #1). Thryduulf (talk) 14:06, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Second choice. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:02, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Nabla (talk) 11:33, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. First choice. I oppose increasing the recent edit requirement above the token amount here, but support the other requirements. IffyChat -- 15:11, 17 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #4 by Newslinger[edit]


Eligible voters must have made 150 mainspace edits by 1 November and 10 live edits (in any namespace) within one year of 1 November, and have registered an account before 1 October. — Newslinger talk 13:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)


10 is the number of edits required to attain autoconfirmed status, and ensures that voters are at least nominally active in the community within the past year. It also serves as a defense against sockpuppetry and compromised accounts, as some bogus editing patterns can be detected within 10 edits. This is a stricter version of Calidum's statement #3, which is in itself a stricter version of Xaosflux's statement #1.

Users who endorse statement #4 (Voter activity requirements):[edit]

  1. First choice, as proposer. — Newslinger talk 15:03, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    For the avoidance of doubt, this statement does mean "within 1 year prior to 1 November", as phrased by Ivanvector below. Alternative wording suggestions are welcome. — Newslinger talk 16:10, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. My preferred choice under the current system (tho in theory I might prefer a system like the Church of England's Synods of bishops, priests and laity, or in our case Admins, Editors, and Readers, but that's another day's work, which I won't go into here anytime soon as I'm too busy with other stuff, but I'm briefly mentioning it here in case others might wish to think about it). Tlhslobus (talk) 14:14, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. First choice, I think a degree of activity is worthwhile, though I can't imagine we have too many individuals who'd fall afoul of it. Nosebagbear (talk) 15:06, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. First choice. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:09, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. First choice for me as well. Lepricavark (talk) 01:21, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. First choice but I'm OK with any of the proposals which closes the activity to one (preferably) or two years, with a preference to higher activity vs shorter time ie 10 edits in 2 years in preference to 1 edit in 1 year. Jbh Talk 02:44, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Third choice. feminist (talk) 03:15, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. 4nn1l2 (talk) 11:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. First choice. – Ammarpad (talk) 11:57, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Definitely. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 19:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. First choice. Levivich 00:42, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. Firt choice. –MJLTalk 01:21, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. First choice. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 02:37, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. I'd make it even more strict, but a step in the right direction. Volunteer Marek 03:46, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Second choice behind no. 1. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 09:44, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. First choice. People who are voting should have some degree of activity here. Hut 8.5 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. First choice. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. First choice (second is #3; third is #1). For better or worse, participating meaningfully in the Arbcom elections requires a significant deal of knowledge about the way Wikipedia operates, before the user can even get to the point of understanding how to research a candidate. Even this strictest activity requirement proposed is still a little generous in setting a date for account creation in the future—I agree with 4nn1l2 above that 1 September could be a good cut-off, as it prevents giving any socks or trolls advanced notice of how to manipulate our rules. — Bilorv (talk) 20:07, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. First choice. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:23, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. First choice. ComplexRational (talk) 21:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. First choice. But like Jbh above I'm fine with any proposal that limits voting to those active within the last year or two. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. Assuming you mean "within 1 year prior to 1 November". Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:27, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. Banedon (talk) 00:37, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. This is my first preference. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Ten is a good number. I would prefer more, but let's start here. Glennfcowan (talk) 04:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. Per Nosebagbear. Gog the Mild (talk) 11:08, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. The committee should be formed from the active community with the support of the active community, so this is my preference. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. This proposal makes most sense to me (though 5 would probably do the trick as well). One edit in two years is, in my mind, "inactive", but several in a year suggests something more of a connection to what's going on in the community. Guettarda (talk) 12:58, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. Support, though the wording is not very clear (on any of them). Johnbod (talk) 17:13, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  30. Support as first choice. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:20, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  31. Support. Jonathunder (talk) 20:41, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  32. Support, perfectly reasonable requirement ϢereSpielChequers 22:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  33. Support as current first choice. The requirement is not even slightly onerous. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 07:45, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  34. Support. First and only choice. SilkTork (talk) 09:55, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  35. Support. First choice (2nd is #3, 3rd is #1). Thryduulf (talk) 14:05, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  36. Support. Only choice. Abequinn14 (talk) 23:28, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  37. Support First choice.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 02:02, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  38. Support. First choice. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:01, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  39. First and only choice. WormTT(talk) 09:54, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  40. Support as first choice, but I would be fine #3 (second choice) or #1 (third choice). CThomas3 (talk) 17:58, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  41. Nabla (talk) 11:34, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  42. I'm fine with this one as well. — xaosflux Talk 15:41, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  43. I'm fine with either this or my own proposal above. Calidum 00:22, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  44. Support. First choice. Ajpolino (talk) 16:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Text of proposal ~~~~

Users who endorse statement #N (Voter activity requirements):[edit]

  1. ~~~~

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Voting system[edit]

The voting system for the 2019 elections will be the same as in the 2018 elections.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:05, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by SoWhy[edit]


Instead of supporting / opposing individual candidates, voters should be able to assign preferences to each candidates using a ranked voting system.


Ranked voting allows voters to support multiple candidates more flexibly and allows them to specify which candidate they want to get the spot if two or more are tied. As determined when this was raised in the context of the 2018 election, mw:Extension:SecurePoll allows ranked voting as well as straight support/oppose voting to be used, so it's not a technical problem (discussion on talk page from last year). Which ranked voting system to use is a matter for another discussion, this proposal is only to gauge whether there is support for a ranked voting system at all. Regards SoWhy 09:32, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Voting system):[edit]

  1. fawiki is already using Schulze method (available on SecurePoll) for three years (2016, 2017, and 2018) and will use this method again in 2019. WMF is also using a preferential voting system for their elections. See m:Affiliate-selected Board seats/Resolution 2019 (#9). 4nn1l2 (talk) 10:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @4nn1l2: Minor correction - it was the Wikimedia community and not the WMF which chose and implemented the voting system. I was one of the facilitators of the election you mentioned. The Wikimedia affiliates organizations, which are the chapters, selected the voting system, and in this election the user groups as newer less developed voting organizations went along with this. The choice came from the organized Wikimedia community and highly active users who endorsed this system, and the decision did not come from a WMF decision. The Wikimedia community has the autonomy and expertise to chose what works best. The board resolution was by community request. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. --qedk (t c) 11:13, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Ranked voting allows voters to convey their preferences more precisely. — Newslinger talk 13:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Definitely support receiving more nuanced feedback from voters. CThomas3 (talk) 16:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. I think Tony makes a valid point, but I think the opposition is perhaps missing a subtlety here. Ranked choice voting isn't, in and of itself, confusing. Regardless of your real-world background, it's highly unlikely that you've cast a vote outside Wikipedia that uses a "support-neutral-oppose" method; and ranking your choices instead is actually quite intuitive. The question is whether we use a simple transferable vote system, or the Schulze method(s); and SoWhy's proposal is agnostic in that respect. Vanamonde (Talk) 03:35, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. While there are variables (neutral voters, neutral candidates), the current voting system enables the possibility of a complete tyranny of the majority. If presented with a hypothetically polarized situation as an example: there would 7 blue candidates, 5 red candidates and 2 grey candidates. As for voters, there would be 450 blue voters, 300 red voters and 100 grey voters. Those 450 blue voters could make the end result such that 5 out of 5 selected members would be blue candidates because they could vote for blue while downvoting red and grey. Well, obviously ArbCom elections have never been this factionalized, but there's a reason why this kind of election method in not used in any real elections. --Pudeo (talk) 14:46, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. This would allow differentiation between strong support, marginal support, and no support. I have no doubt that the community does not view every candidate for whom they would vote support/oppose/neutral equally; some clear preferences probably exist within each category. It also provides a more meaningful alternative to discounted neutral votes. ComplexRational (talk) 17:20, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Hrodvarsson (talk) 03:22, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. I prefer a ranked voting system, and would accept any conventional one, but have not compared the various options for this use case. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:32, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Statement #1 by SoWhy)[edit]

  • I do not have a strong opinion on whether a preferential system is better than a direct vote, but we as a community have very little experience with preferential voting, and most users come from real life from countries not using preferential voting. If we just replace a direct voting by a preferential voting it will be extremely confusing for many voters. My suggestion would be to run a trial in parallel with a direct vote and see how it goes. (The results will not be affected by the trial). When I was still active in the Russian Wikipedia, the Schulze method for ArbCom elections was run in parallel with the actuall vote (which is there just onwiki) for quite some time, sometimes it gave different results (may be it still running now), but in the end of the day it was decided that the Schulze method is not a good alternative, and it has never been adopted as the main voting method. Without a trial, nobody would guess how it worked.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    If you are not okay with Schulze method, there are other alternatives. My suggestion is Meek STV (phab:T117127) which is currently not supported by the SecurePoll. Regarding the community experience, it's just a simple ordering. Many online communities hold their elections using more sophisticated methods, such as Stack Overflow [4] [5] or RationalWiki [6]. 4nn1l2 (talk) 12:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    My point is not that I am happy or not happy with any form of ranked voting, which is up to discussion, but that most of them are confusing for the first-time voter, and the result might be unexpected. My conclusion is all of them are too risky to run as the main method without a prior trial.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:27, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • So, at the risk of sounding anglocentric, this is not something most English speakers will be familiar with as, generally speaking, it’s not how elections are conducted in most English-speaking regions (Yes, I’m aware Australia and New Zealand don’t use FPP.) I think the potential for people not knowing what’s going on is something that seriously needs to be considered here. TonyBallioni (talk) 12:20, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • It get that it's unfamiliar. But I disagree with the idea that it would be confusing. I am confident that voters are smart enough to rank things in order of preference. While this might not be common in elections, it's not uncommon in other areas, especially on the web. After all, you don't have to be an expert on the different ranked voting system to know how to assign preferences to candidates. And
  1. Bob
  2. Alice
  3. Daniel
  4. Chad
does not seem more complicated to me than
  • Bob: Support
  • Alice: Support
  • Daniel: Neutral
  • Chad: Oppose
Regards SoWhy 12:35, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Well, this is not so easy. Imagine that I oppose Chad and also another candidate, Eve. I think Chad is just not up to the job, for example he is just coming off a one-week incivility block. He has no chances to be elected. Eve is possibly up to the job, I see some issues with her and do not want her elected, but others may think the issues are not serious enough and she might be elected anyway. This means in the ranked vote, to have better chances of my outcome achieved, I must rank Chad above Eve, even though I normally think Eve would be a better arbitrator than Chad. And there multiple issues like this, which are not obvious to first-time voters.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Ymblanter: It seems that the Duggan–Schwartz theorem says any fair method to choose a limited set of winners is going to be vulnerable to some sort of tactical voting. Thus all the debates over different voting methods, as people try to decide whether one method's vulnerability to different kinds of tactical voting is "worse" than another's. Anomie 13:54, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I would prefer a system that allows voters to specify their true preferences more granularly over a system in which tactical voting strategies are more obvious. — Newslinger talk 14:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I mean, I agree with you that if you think about it, it will make sense. I guess my concern is I think that a significant number of people will go “This isn’t what I’m familiar with. Close window.” I’ve always been very big on expanding the voter base for ACE, and I’m afraid this would have the opposite effect. TonyBallioni (talk) 12:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure I agree with you here, Tony. I think anyone going to the trouble of voting in the ArbCom elections will at least spend a few minutes trying to figure how out they are supposed to participate. As long as we make the ballot straightforward and easy to use I don't think we'll have a problem with chasing people away just because it's different. The ballot was new to everyone the first time.
As a first-time voter last year I actually felt somewhat constrained in my ability to provide useful feedback beyond "yes, no, and my opinion won't count." Having some kind of order preference provides another level of feedback regarding strength of support or oppose. I do share Barkeep's concerns that force-ranking of all candidates suppresses our ability to require a minimum of support and potentially leave a slot empty if needed, but I think we can work through that issue. CThomas3 (talk) 16:19, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
Can secure poll allow you to only rank as many candidates as you choose? If so any candidates omitted could be in effect "oppose". But I don't know the practical implications of doing that - does it impose problems for closing the election. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:22, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Barkeep49: Yes, it is possible to rank only some candidates when voting with SecurePoll. And I'm telling you that as someone who has administered several elections on Votewiki [7]. 4nn1l2 (talk) 16:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
That's the sort of thing I am hoping we can do, yes. But I also don't know the practical implications, so I fell short of proposing a solution. CThomas3 (talk) 16:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
@Barkeep49: The current code for the ranked choice ballot accepts rankings from 1–999, and (if "Require that all options be ranked." is not set on the election) interprets any unranked options as being assigned rank 1000 (i.e. tied for last place). Also it allows tie rankings and doesn't require that numbers used are sequential. Anomie 18:04, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • What about using a combination where we still have support/neutral/oppose for each candidate and one must meet specific minima, but the actual ordering of candidates is by some form of preferential voting? StudiesWorld (talk) 12:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • We probably shouldn't try to invent our own voting method, there are a lot of different concerns that go into "fairness" that take some pretty rigorous study/mathematical proofs to determine. Anomie 13:00, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      I'm not saying invent anything complicated, just a sanity check to avoid anything caused by unfamiliarity, such as the situation Tony described. My thought would be: Each candidate is voted on as support/oppose/neutral and ranked. Any candidate who did not meet certain percentages for S/O/N is thrown out and the remaining candidates are selected from according to rank. I've done enough with voting systems to know that this could have some unforeseen consequences, but it seems better than running two independent votes. StudiesWorld (talk) 13:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      Rather than having separate ballots with an arbitrary percentage cutoff for approval then ignoring the number of appoves in favor of ranked votes to fill the seats, we might get similar results by just including "None of the above" as an option on the ranked ballot. If the rankings end up as Carol, Alice, None of the above, Dave, Eve, Bob, then only Carol and Alice would be elected and the rest of the seats would remain vacant. I think that'd be equivalent to everyone voting "support" for people they rank above "None of the above", neutral for anyone they rank as a tie with "None of the above", and oppose for the rest. Anomie 14:45, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      Anomie, I like that solution. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:27, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • One item of potential concern here would be the ability to hold a second RFC to determine the specific method to be used and then to have code for that method written and deployed in time for the election. After investigating, I note it's possible to configure SecurePoll for an election using the Schulze method but then ignore the Schulze method results in favor of an analysis of the pairwise victory matrix (for methods using that concept) or a dump of the ballot rankings themselves using the chosen method's procedures instead. Anomie 15:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • In general I'm a fan of ranked voting systems. However, I'm a bit nervous of the practical implications here. It seems better, for instance, to have an arb slot empty than to fill it with someone who would have, under the current system, only received 49.9% or less net support. This is especially true because it's likely we'll be electing a large number of arbs this year. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:07, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Noting that a form of preferred voting (a modified STV) was used for the recent Affiliate-selected WMF board seats. There was significant confusion about the system to the point that several affiliates had to "re-vote"; it was also not nearly as conclusive as one might have hoped, in that it would have taken only one single change in order on a single ballot to have rendered a different result. The Schulze method is included on SecurePoll as an historical artifact; it was used for some BoT elections in the 2000s, but a review of the system when I joined the Election Committee identified that the "wrong" Schulze method was linked to SecurePoll (it is the one designed to give a single winner rather than multiple winners), and it has a very significant weakness in that leaving a candidate unranked entirely has a different impact than ranking a candidate with a number far, far below the number of candidates. As well, do take a look at the history of the article; it's "maintained" by Schulze himself as one of the most obvious COIs I've ever seen on Wikipedia. While I could be convinced that some sort of STV might be a reasonable choice, this is NOT the system I would choose, and I think it would be wrong to select a system where the most obvious source of information is a COI article on our own project. If we want to consider some for of STV or other ranking voting system, it will take at least a year to investigate systems, come up with a decision, and arrange for the software to be written/tested and ready to go. I'd go so far as to say that this is something that should be done in concert with a number of other projects to come to a joint decision. Risker (talk) 16:25, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    This is all really helpful and presents good reasons for not changing our method. However, I would like to point out that the proposed process for actually doing so isn't practical - you're talking about a huge investment of time from some number of editors, across multiple projects, for maybe the chance of implementing. If that is the only way it could happen, then it won't happen. The best I've come up with for addressing this is a non-binding commitment this year to implement ranked choice next year as at least that would show some community support and provide some momentum behind the efforts. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:35, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Risker, I do share your concerns with selecting a voting method, and your timing concerns. I am treating my "support" vote above as more of "if practical for 2019, but for sure in future elections." My concern is if we vote this down solely because we don't think we can do it in time, we'll just have the same timing problem next year when the same issue arises. Perhaps we do need to set this aside for now, but I'd like to at least formally set the process in motion here somehow. CThomas3 (talk) 16:39, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Well, it is specifically the 2019 RFC. I cannot see how you can secure endorsement for this for 2020 in the 2019 RFC. I suggest a full, considered, thought through RFC in January. That gives you 9 months. Leaky caldron (talk) 16:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Yes, but what we decide here is clearly not only for the 2019 elections. Our decisions here set how we conduct all future elections until such time as we change them again. CThomas3 (talk) 16:51, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Except in January everyone is tired of ArbCom elections. In essence because rules carry over from year to year it would be possible to enact the language now and absent a consensus to change it, it would go in effect in 2020. It would be no guarantee but would also provide some impetus for the work to be done to actually getting done. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 17:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    What Leaky caldron said. Risker (talk) 16:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Please note that there were only 122 voters in m:Affiliate-selected Board seats/2019/Results, so it is not strange that only one vote could have changed the results. For English Wikipedia ArbCom Election, there will be many more voters (2,118 last year). Please note that any single-winner voting method can be used for a multi-winner election; you only need to identify the first winner, then remove him/her, and tally the results again to determine the second winner, and so on. Yes, the results may not be proportional, but this is also the case for the current system. "It has a very significant weakness in that leaving a candidate unranked entirely has a different impact than ranking a candidate with a number far, far below the number of candidates". The cardinal numbers are not important at all; the only important factor is ordinal numbers. The candidates who are not included in the voter's list will be placed at the lowest rank possible. I do not call it a weakness. 4nn1l2 (talk) 17:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Risker: I agree that it implements the single-winner Schulze method rather than something like Schulze STV designed for proportional representation in multi-winner elections. I'm curious about it has a very significant weakness in that leaving a candidate unranked entirely has a different impact than ranking a candidate with a number far, far below the number of candidates. Looking at the code, I see nothing in the code that would treat leaving options unranked any differently from giving them all a rank of 999. The code seems to do almost exactly that (it uses 1000 instead of 999, while only 1–999 are available to the ballot itself). I'm also curious what a potential COI with respect to the Wikipedia article has to do with the validity of the voting method, particularly when the COI does not seem to be at all hidden. Anomie 18:33, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    It has to do with the Condorcet pairings. First off, only someone who carefully researches the system would know that it accepts rankings up to 999, and treats no ranking as 1000. Any *ranked* candidate gets compared to any other *ranked* candidate, so what ranking a voter uses has an impact. Many of our users who have experienced some sort of STV/ranking electoral system are used to being required to rank either ALL candidates or at minimum a certain number of candidates; it's how the most frequently-used systems work. In the Schulze system, the best way to "oppose" a candidate is to leave them entirely unranked (= a ranking of 1000/1000 candidates); however, most people will tend to "rank" their most unwanted candidate with a number that shows some sort of disdain. We saw this in at least one past board election using Schulze, where candidates who should have been at the very bottom were artificially elevated because people assigned them a rank instead of leaving them unranked. Incidentally, one of the reasons that the board election committee abandoned Schulze was that there were complaints that voters had no way of saying "this person is entirely inappropriate for the role" (i.e., opposing a candidate). I'm not sure this community is ready to give up that opportunity, given that our only other "voting" process (RFA/B) is completely designed around S/N/O. Risker (talk) 18:49, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Are you saying that people somehow assumed that ranking someone at 999 would put them below unranked candidates? Probably despite actual documentation to the contrary? And that's a fundamental failing in the polling method rather than the people voting? I have to disagree. If someone really wants to vote 999 to indicate disdain despite that no one will ever see the vote, they should be sure to rank everyone else above 999. Anomie 19:00, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    I don't want to pollute this RfC with a bunch of mathematical theory, but the reality is that the methodology and its impacts have never been well described, not even by the creator of the system. Previous board election committees have variously stated things like "if you rank a bunch of candidates as 1,2,3,16, the system will interpret that as 1,2,3,4", which is true if there are only 4 candidates, but should be false if there are more than 4 candidates; the problem is, the people responsible for the system do not seem to know whether or not it's true or false. A non-mathematician, non-psephologist should be able to easily understand what different permutations can do to the vote; it's not possible for this system. It's also very unclear what really happens if one ranks two candidates at the same number, because the "success" point is winning the matched pair, not tying it. There are other, better systems if one absolutely *has* to have something other than S/N/O. In order to keep this to a single post, I'll reply to the "none of the above" point below. Keep in mind that voters today can oppose every candidate, or only some candidates; "none of the above" isn't quite where we would want to go, unless there are going to be as many "none of the above" slots as there are candidates. They could probably be labeled "Not Candidate A", "Not Candidate B" etc and then allowed to be ranked the same as other votes. Oh wait. "Not Candidate A" could potentially "win" the election, so that isn't going to be optimal either. Risker (talk) 21:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    In this case, a mere programmer can answer those questions: (1) It doesn't actually care about the specific numbers, just whether one is ranked better than the other. 1,2,3,16 and 1,2,3,4 are equivalent as far as the code is concerned. If there are more than four candidates, then presumably the others are unranked so it's 1,2,3,16,1000,1000,1000... as mentioned above, which is equivalent to 1,2,3,4,5,5,5.... (2) You're right, the algorithm only cares about wins, so if A and B are ranked the same it won't count it as a win for A-over-B or for B-over-A. As for the rest, I'll leave debating whether particular methods are "better" than others to other people. I find too much rests on making tradeoffs between different properties.
    I purposefully wrote it as two comments to not have discussion on the two points confusingly mixed together, I wish you had respected that. I'm not really interested in bikeshedding over the the exact wording, but there's no need for there to be "as many as there are candidates" since it's humans rather than machines interpreting the results. Nor am I going to debate silly straw arguments like "Not Candidate A". Anomie 01:19, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    I think we've come to the end of the debate on this; we have points of agreement and disagreement that don't need to be resolved here. I will simply close by quoting myself, writing an email to my colleagues on the Election Commission in 2015: One of the things that really becomes obvious using the S/N/O system is the number of *non-votes* or neutral votes: almost all of the candidates had more neutral votes than support and oppose votes combined. The effect of not requiring voters to decide how to classify each candidate (in Schulze, to rank the candidate; in S/N/O, to support or oppose) has radically different effects in the two systems. In S/N/O, the neutral votes have no effect at all on the outcome. In the Schulze system, not ranking a candidate is the equivalent of an oppose vote; every candidate who is ranked (even if they are ranked at a level well below the number of candidates) is ranked higher than a candidate who is not ranked at all. This is counter-intuitive and gives no effective way for people to differentiate between candidates that they really really do not think should be on the board and candidates about whom they have not formulated an opinion, or even candidates about whom they are indifferent. It is a serious weakness in the Schulze system. Nonetheless, the S/N/O system has significant weaknesses as well, as others have pointed out. This observation received significant support from the other members of the committee at the time, and I still think it is the right position. There are a lot of other systems out there, but there aren't a lot that are designed to produce multiple "winners" when the candidates do not run on some kind of ticket (e.g., as one of several candidates of Party A or B). The Board Election Commission was supposed to investigate other systems and make recommendations following the 2015 election, but that did not happen. There is very poor documentation of whatever STV system was used by the people who ran the recent Affiliates election, and I don't think it was done via SecurePoll since they had to ask for a "new" ballot when they needed to make a correction. I don't think SNO is the best system, I don't think Schulze should even get a second thought, and I don't know who is going to do the research to find the better system and propose it for this community or the global community. I just know that I moved on from the Election Commission because I didn't want it to be me. I'm sorry that I gave the impression of disrespecting your desire to keep discussion points separate; that was not my intent. Risker (talk) 03:10, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    I am basically a fan of ranked voting. I am not, however, a mathematician. However, I know from long, hard experience that Risker is smarter than I am, and I depended on her research and summary of voting systems for many years. I continue to do so. Therefore, I endorse what she's said above, for whatever good it does. -Philippe (talk) 09:08, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
    One option for being able to indicate an actual "oppose" would be to include "None of the above" as an option to be ranked. If the results end up as Carol, Alice, None of the above, Dave, Eve, Bob, then only Carol and Alice would be elected and the rest of the seats would remain vacant. Anomie 19:00, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    RfA/Bs are not elections; they are evaluations. An election is a competition in which multiple candidates vie for a limited number of seats. I have never seen a "real" election with oppose votes. 4nn1l2 (talk) 19:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Well then, this isn't really an election, either. While there would be a limited number of seats available, only candidates that meet certain support criteria would be seated, so it's not about the top-8 candidates filling 8 empty seats. It's the top-8 candidates who obtain a minimum level of support filling those seats; in that way, it's a lot closer to RFA/B (which also requires a minimum level of support) than most run of the mill elections. Under the current system, it is entirely possible to have Arbcom start off the year with empty seats because an insufficient number of candidates achieved 50% community support. I think this is a good thing, because I don't want someone that only 30% of the community thought would be a good arb filling the seat. They're not political posts, they're work assignments - just like RFA/B. Risker (talk) 00:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Risker: The issue with confusion about unranked candidates could be fairly easily solved by just having the text boxes start with a number filled in, and not accept a blank input. Blank inputs aren't an actual part of the voting method, defaulting them to the highest number is just for convenience. --Yair rand (talk) 04:43, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    Yair rand, this is exactly why these kinds of ballots are problematic and controversial. Forced ranking of all candidates assumes that each voter has assessed every candidate and has made a conscious decision as to the rank of said candidate. It's requiring everyone to express a level of support for each candidate. It's an unnecessary and excessive demand on the time of volunteers participating in the selection of arbitrators. I'd rather have public voting (even affirmative-only public voting) than this. Risker (talk) 06:11, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Risker: I'm not sure how that's more applicable for the Schulze method than any other method. If you rank one candidate "1" and all other candidates the same higher number, you've only pushed a preference for that candidate over the other candidates. Similarly in approval voting, if you support one candidate and are neutral (or opposing) all other candidates, you are making a judgement that you prefer the one candidate over all the other candidates. If you support or oppose any candidates in any voting method, you can't really be "neutral" on any candidate, given how you influence the election in the comparison between the candidates. The technical details of the voting system don't particularly prevent skipping evaluating candidates, although I do admit that the appearance of the vote page alone might put additional pressure on voters to evaluate all candidates. --Yair rand (talk) 06:22, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Yair rand: With the current system you are not expressing any sort of ranked preference and you are not electing a group or anything like that. You are simply being asked "should this candidate be an arbitrator?" With possible answers yes (support), no (oppose) and don't know/no preference (neutral). There is no way In other words it's not a single election with N candidates, but N separate elections - only if there are more people who individually exceed the threshold of percentage support than there are seats available is the level of support relative to other candidates relevant. This is qualitatively different to any system with multiple preferences, ranks, etc. such that it's not just changing the voting system it's changing the fundamental nature of the election. I don't support that change. Thryduulf (talk) 09:54, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Thryduulf: There usually are more candidates who exceed the threshold than there are seats available, IIRC, but if we don't take it as a given that this will happen, then you are correct that there's a real difference. --Yair rand (talk) 21:13, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    The past few years there's been 1-2 more than seats, but it is an important part of the election that there can be fewer and that everyone who is elected must be over the threshold. So the difference is very meaningful, especially when you take Risker's points into consideration as well about the different meanings of "oppose", "unranked" and "ranked lower". Ranked voting is not a good fit with electing a committee of individuals. Thryduulf (talk) 23:21, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
    I count 11 open seats this year, and an average of 12 candidates per year for the past 3 years... I certainly have concerns. WormTT(talk) 23:26, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Nosebagbear[edit]

No changes should be made to the style of voting system used. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Voting System):[edit]

  1. Due to the confusion/lack of need (see comments for details) Nosebagbear (talk) 12:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Per my comments above. Giving the cultural/national backgrounds of most editors, this would result in confusion. TonyBallioni (talk) 12:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Calidum 14:16, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. There is not sufficient time between the close of this RFC and the start of the election to investigate, select, and develop/test the software for a new voting system. See my comments above with respect to the serious deficiencies of the Schulze method that is currently available on SecurePoll. Risker (talk) 16:30, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. This, of all years, is not the time to be messing around with voting methods. We have had issues with the mechanics of the election at least once in the last few years and I think the important thing for 2019 is to keep selection simple. Leaky caldron (talk) 16:37, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Per Risker and Leaky caldron. Newyorkbrad (talk) 19:05, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 23:41, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. If there is a preference for using another system then we should explore it for next year. Also; per Risker. Jbh Talk 02:49, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Much more study on this would be needed, at first pass it appears this change would allow for the election and installment of committee members that lack even the most basic level of consensus in support (esp when the number of candidates is <= the number of open positions.) Such a voting system change should only be made in support of a change to the purpose of the election, for example if the purpose was to install the "n most preferred candidates" instead of the current purpose of installing the "n most preferred candidates, who also show a minimum % of support". — xaosflux Talk 03:12, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Per above. --Rschen7754 04:32, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. SQLQuery me! 09:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. This is clearly not going to happen this year anyway due to the improbable timing. But my problem with this is that it changes the question our ACE is asking. Currently we ask, "Which of these candidates do you trust?" and those that reach a particular percentage are then considered eligible for the committee; if those then considered eligible are more than the available positions, we take those with the highest support, but we don't take those ineligible just to fill the positions. If we adopt a preferential system, that changes the question to, "Which of these candidates do you trust most?" and the natural outcome of that is that those topping the poll fill the positions, no matter what their absolute level of support is. Arbs are elected with the trust of the community to resolve disputes; we should not settle for a committee of the least-worst. GoldenRing (talk) 10:47, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. As GoldenRing. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 19:04, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Per Arrow's Impossibility Theorem. Also what others have said. Volunteer Marek 03:48, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. I think any changes to the voting system would be overkill. Surely only a minority care enough to actually rank all the candidates in order. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 09:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Per GoldenRing. I would add that a ranked system doesn't fit that well with how I usually end up thinking about candidates. There are usually some I'd like to see on ArbCom, some I don't want to see on ArbCom and some where I don't really have an opinion. I'd be hard pressed to rank them in order. Hut 8.5 18:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. While I'd like to see ranked voting introduced in the real world in the US, I'm generally satisfied with the current system in use here. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:28, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. Not broke, don't fix. Carrite (talk) 22:24, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. Per xaosflux. I generally support some sort of RCV wherever possible, but here I think it better to not fill a position (temporarily?) than fill it with someone unqualified/without consensus/etc. ~ Amory (utc) 00:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. Per Arrow's Impossibility Theorem. Banedon (talk) 00:38, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. Keep it like it is, simple and easy to understand. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:11, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. Per Xaosflux. I'm not opposed to a change in the voting system, but I'm skeptical of ranked choice when we're voting multiple candidates for multiple positions like this one. Guettarda (talk) 13:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. I prefer option 1 or 3, a ranked voting system, but given the precedent, lack of time, and lack of discussion, and cost of change, the status quo is acceptable. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. Xaosflux is right, and without the kind of care that we just don't have time for, with a low candidate count it could end up with all candidates elected, even obviously destructive ones. A ranked approval system does not provide something that I think we need, which is a way to actively oppose candidates. Putting someone in 10th place (or whatever last place is) is not the same as opposing - it's saying I support them if not enough of my first nine makes the cut. And simply not ranking them is not opposing either, it's neutral. We regularly get candidates who need to be actively opposed with a "not even if nobody else turns up" vote. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:22, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Concur with Boing! said Zebedee. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 08:42, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. No change. There isn't time to develop and roll out any changes for this year's election. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:30, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. Per Boing! said Zebedee. Thryduulf (talk) 14:09, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. I generally like transferable vote systems, but I'm also happy with our current system. B!sZ explains the issues well. WormTT(talk) 09:55, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. I like ranked systems, but I think this one works fine here. Also it is a kind of change that needs more time to be thought, tested and explaind IF it is to be implemented. Nabla (talk) 11:39, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Statement #2 by Nosebagbear)[edit]

  • I get the reasoning used, but while non-FPP systems are fairly understandable for 1 candidate elections, they can get very confusing for multi-candidate (electing multiple individuals) setups. I feel there'd be significant confusion and I'm not sure how accurate a trial run would be for giving a consideration on how it would be - I suspect only those comfortable with it would use it. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    I don't get it. Ranked voting only makes sense with multi-candidate setups. If you only have two candidates, you cannot use ranked voting. Regards SoWhy 12:36, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    I believe Nosebagbear is distinguishing between elections to select a single candidate versus more than one. Newyorkbrad (talk) 13:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    I was, yes, thank you Nosebagbear (talk) 14:00, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    The current system (support/oppose/neutral) already deviates significantly from the voting systems used in most political elections, and the suggested voting strategy in Wikipedia:5-minute guide to ArbCom elections § Voting process ("The influence your ballot has on the results of the elections is maximized when you select Support or Oppose for every candidate, and Support approximately the same number of candidates as there are vacancies.") is unintuitive. I am unconvinced by the argument that ranked voting would be even more confusing. — Newslinger talk 14:39, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    The ballot itself is pretty simple: "Rank each candidate in order of your preference, with 1 being the most preferred." The current preferential ballot code in SecurePoll allows tied rankings, allows omitting rankings (treating them as ties for last place), and doesn't care if any values are skipped.
    The complication is all in explaining how it's determined who wins, as the procedures and formulas can get pretty complex. But I wonder how many people even care about the current S/(S+O) formula, rather than just trusting that the votes will be counted in some fair manner. Anomie 15:09, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Anomie[edit]

No change to the voting method for 2019, as there's not time to implement a change. An RFC should be held in February 2020 to choose a new method, giving time to ask the developers to implement and test the new method in time for the December 2020 election. Anomie 19:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (Voting system):[edit]

  1. The current system is not even an electoral system. Where have you seen an election where you can cast oppose votes? 4nn1l2 (talk) 19:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. A change is beneficial, but not at this time. feminist (talk) 03:13, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Support, with the provisos in my comment below. In particular it is important to identify a minimum number of participants in the discussion; perhaps equal to the number of people who participate in this RFC? Risker (talk) 03:40, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Support as well, and I agree that status quo ante should be a viable choice. CThomas3 (talk) 06:39, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. We need this discussion as the current system is clearly flawed but the usual inertia is keeping us from moving forward. So the discussion needs to be away from election time. – Ammarpad (talk) 11:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. I have no objection to an RfC for 2020. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:28, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. I would like to see some kind of ranked choice voting system, but there are a lot of issues to consider and we don't have much time to address them. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:45, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. First choice. I'm not dissatisfied with the current combined approval voting system (more or less) but I welcome any discussion about electoral systems, especially alternatives to common Western systems, increasing electoral turnout, addressing problems with applying single-winner voting systems to elections with multiple winners, and improving Condorcet efficiency. There is not time to have any kind of effective conversation on the matter, and implement any desired change, before this year's election, and maybe not before next year's either. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:30, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. shoy (reactions) 12:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Yes, I think we need a conversation about the election system, but one that has more lead time. Guettarda (talk) 13:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. If option 1, implementing now, is too costly, and we go with option 2, the status quo, then I hope also we can consider a reform before the next election. I like preferred ranking. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. A discussion with more specific proposals would be useful. — Newslinger talk 16:14, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. SilkTork (talk) 10:01, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. I have no objections to an RFC on this in 2020. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:06, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Better late than never. Regards SoWhy 07:22, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. Without any regard to the ranked voting system proposal above, and without regard to my personal opinion, I think enough people think that the voting system should be changed in some sort, which warrants a separate RFC. | abequinnfourteen 19:21, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Statement #3 by Anomie)[edit]

  • Proposing this since some people above seem to say they'd support the change if there were more time for implementation. Picking February since it has been said "in January everyone is tired of ArbCom elections". Anomie 19:18, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I do not think it is within the scope of this RfC to bind us to having a future RfC. If someone wants to propose it in February, go for it, but right now it’s just extra noise. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:24, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I don't necessarily agree that it's out of scope for this RfC to decide to hold another RfC, but there are much more concrete actions that can be taken to make the February RfC more useful: workshopping proposals to be better explained and justified, doing (or finding and linking) analyses of the pros/cons, setting up a list of people who want to be notified when the RfC comes, etc. I'd be happy to work with anyone on setup for any February proposal on this. Best, Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 19:28, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I certainly would be willing to help in any way I can as well. CThomas3 (talk) 06:37, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's necessary to have an RfC reaching consensus to have an RfC in February. Let's just have the RfC in February. (Incidentally, it's what I proposed last year: having a discussion about electoral methods in the new year after the election.) isaacl (talk) 19:38, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @TonyBallioni and Isaacl: I'd like to avoid people trying to claim in February that there wasn't support for changing the voting method because Statement #2 here had consensus for the "no time" reason. Whether this statement is actually binding or just advisory doesn't make much difference IMO. Anomie 19:47, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm in favour of having a proper discussion about the topic (provided there is the option that the community could just say "we like it as it is now" rather than being expected to choose between alternatives that most of them don't want). Having said that, even on Meta when there has been an effort to have these discussions, it's wound up with extremely low participation, and I'd be surprised if the same isn't true on this project. This may be a question of "how much effort does the community want to invest in redesigning a process that is unlikely to result in a significant difference in outcome" - I'd lay odds most of the people participating on this page could have successfully identified 80-90% of the successful candidates during the "fallow" period before voting began going back to when SecurePoll was first used in 2009 or 2010. I don't think it's a good idea to plan an RFC of this type so far in advance, unless there is a dedicated group of interested users who will do the research and prepare excellent, reader-friendly summaries of various voting systems as part of the development of the RFC. I'd suggest adding a "minimum number of participants in the RfC" proviso to ensure that any change truly has broad support. Risker (talk) 21:57, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  • This seems to presuppose that there is something wrong with the current election method; per my comments above I am opposed to any change to preferential voting. Pretty much any preferential voting system presupposes that we need to fill all the vacancies and leads to a committee of the least-worst, not a committee of those the community trusts. GoldenRing (talk) 10:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
    As stated above, I support including an option to retain the existing voting system. That said, however, I don't think that we should make the assumption at this stage that all preferential voting systems necessarily force us to fill all vacancies regardless of their absolute level of support (or lack thereof). In my opinion, the point of the exercise is to explore options that allow voters to better express their preference while still retaining the ability to fill only as many positions as the electorate is comfortable with. CThomas3 (talk) 21:30, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I would like to see any change in the voting system RfC first state (or additionally establish) what the purpose of the election is, so that the method can be evaluated to see if it supports the purpose. — xaosflux Talk 13:39, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I suppose we could have an RfC on it, but given Arrow's Impossibility Theorem, what could be the new system? Banedon (talk) 00:40, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Some ranked choice systems are less vulnerable to real-world strategic voting than others. As Arrow himself said, "Most systems are not going to work badly all of the time. All I proved is that all can work badly at times." Approval voting has its own shortcomings, so its advantages and disadvantages would have to be weighed against moving to a different electoral system. isaacl (talk) 01:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • In political elections where a party system dominates, the nomination process serves to ensure candidates have a baseline level of qualifications, or at least a degree of broad support within the nominating party. For the arbitration committee, where the eligibility requirements for candidates are extremely low, the approval vote has essentially served both as an evaluation of qualifications as well as a vote of support. Given this, I think approval voting is a better fit for the needs of the arbitration committee election versus ranked choice methods. Nonetheless, the topic can certainly be explored further in the new year. isaacl (talk) 15:26, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • What is this proposal about? To assess if it is a good idea to discuss voting systems with time and care? That I agree with, but... anyone can start that at any time (and there is no option to forbid it here, obviously as that would make no sense). Does this imply that the system *must* change? And the discussion is to what. That I disagree with. - Nabla (talk) 11:48, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Text of proposal ~~~~

Users who endorse statement #N (Voting system):[edit]

  1. ~~~~

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Scope of Election Commission[edit]

There is unanimous support to repeal the mandate the electoral commission should only intervene when there is a problem that needs resolving, and either discussion isn't working, the rules are unclear, or there isn't time. This will give the electoral commission greater flexibility at deciding when appropriate to intervene in given situations.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:22, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Barkeep49[edit]


Repeal "Commission should only intervene when there is a problem that needs resolving, and either discussion isn't working, the rules are unclear, or there isn't time" from the 2013 RfC


This was enacted by only three users, so it never had a large mandate. When issues arose last year the commission had to decide if it was appropriate for them to intervene for one of the three allowed reasons. This would give them slightly more lattitude to decide when and why to intervene without changing the commission's charge to "solve disputes and problems during the election"

Users who endorse Statement #1 (Election Commission)[edit]

  1. As proposer. Barkeep49 (talk) 16:55, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. There are a lot of other reasons that the commission may need to intervene, such as (just an example) some sort of software problem. Risker (talk) 17:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:33, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. sometimes a bit of ambiguity is necessary. - Frood (talk!) 21:06, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Existing wording is too restrictive, particularly if/when applied pedantically. The EC is presumed to know what is needed to keep the election on track so let them do it. I'm sure if they overstep they will be pilloried per tradition. Jbh Talk 02:35, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Jbhunley puts it well. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 03:00, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Per JBH. Vanamonde (Talk) 03:18, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. SQLQuery me! 09:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Per Jbh. GoldenRing (talk) 10:52, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. But not because of the "three users" argument. Consensus is consensus. But I agree we need to move forward now. – Ammarpad (talk) 11:41, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. Poorly written rule. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:56, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. per JBH. OhKayeSierra (talk) 22:44, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. bradv🍁 14:11, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Per Barkeep. –MJLTalk 14:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Per Jbh. — Bilorv (talk) 20:13, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Yes. A repeat of last year's problems would be unfortunate. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:29, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. CThomas3 (talk) 21:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. Makes sense to give them a broad mandate in light of what has happened previously. Hut 8.5 21:54, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. Indeed, although I think it would be helpful to replace it with something delineating some guidance. ~ Amory (utc) 00:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. I think we should in general trust people more. Banedon (talk) 00:41, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  21. We should trust the commission to intervene when necessary. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 02:12, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  22. Per nom. Gog the Mild (talk) 11:10, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  23. The commission can't be effective if it ties itself up in knots trying to decide if it is allowed to act. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:12, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  24. If the committee needs more power to act then it should have it, especially if it can make commitments after the election to disclose and debrief on the situation. In general it is nice if the committee can publicly document use of power or intervention even during the election. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:36, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  25. Mz7 (talk) 23:08, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  26. The restriction was unnecessary and made the commission less effective. — Newslinger talk 16:16, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  27. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:33, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  28. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  29. Given previous experience this is needed. Thryduulf (talk) 14:12, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  30. Per Jbh. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:07, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  31. Per Jbh. | abequinnfourteen 22:08, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  32. Support. We trust the commission to make decisions, so we should trust them to decide when they need to intervene. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 01:03, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (scope of electoral commission)[edit]

In the original 2012 request for comments, the mandate of the commission was defined as to deal with unforeseen problems, adjudicate disputes, and as Jimbo continues to shift his role, to ceremonially announce the final results. While I agree the commission should have flexibility to step in as seems best, I think it would also be desirable for the commission to avoid curtailing community decision-making unnecessarily. isaacl (talk) 18:04, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Clearly more intervention was needed last year, although that can largely be blamed on nobody actually reaching out to the EC t ask them to do so. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:57, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

Would be good to replace it with something affirmative, though. ~ Amory (utc) 00:33, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 Barkeep49[edit]

No change be made to the scope of the Election Commission

Users who endorse Statement #2 (Election Commission)[edit]

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Mass message[edit]

Mass messages will not be sent to users that have been inactive for 1 year, blocked users where the block duration extends past the the elections, globally b/locked accounts, bots, and accounts in the following categories: CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:45, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by KTC[edit]

In additional to current rule of eligible voters who have edited within the last 12 months before nominations, mass message not to go out to accounts with blocks that extend beyond the end of the election, globally locked accounts, bot flagged accounts, accounts in Category:All Wikipedia bots, Category:Wikipedia alternative accounts, Category:Wikipedia doppelganger accounts, and Category:Deceased Wikipedians. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Mass message):[edit]

  1. This is a good change. I don't feel super strongly about time-limited blocks or not, so I'd also support statement #2 as my second choice, but I figure that it's fairly confusing for users who aren't able to vote (and won't be unless unblocked) to get the invitation to vote. Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 19:32, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. * Pppery * it has begun... 23:29, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Dave | Davey2010Talk 23:43, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. If technically easy to do. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:11, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support. I am not worried about including people who manage to appeal a block during the course of the election; there will be watchlist and other notices that are sufficient. Risker (talk) 03:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. SQLQuery me! 09:51, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Ammarpad (talk) 11:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Seems harmless enough. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 🐱 09:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Second choice. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:54, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:31, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. I would guess this is less than 1 in 1000 eligible voters and yes, it seems fine to exclude these. These categories are likely to have high accuracy. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:39, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. Better restricts invitations to eligible voters. — Newslinger talk 16:19, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. Per above. It might be helpful to create a list of users who would receive the mass message if they were not blocked, it would then be easy for anyone who desires to cross-reference this against the log of unblocks and individually invite them to participate. Thryduulf (talk) 14:16, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Abequinn14 (talk) 23:32, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. I supported this when it first came out, but I wanted to wait to just pile on a vote. Per Kevin. –MJLTalk 19:00, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (mass message, statement #1)[edit]

@KTC: I'm a little concerned about excluding users based on categories. It's fairly trivial to add a user to a category and I don't get the impression that those categories are very rigorously curated. Do you get a notification when someone edits your user page? I'm not sure. GoldenRing (talk) 14:01, 2 September 2019 (UTC)

@GoldenRing: No, there's no user notification on 3rd party edits to user page. Would be relying on user noticing via watchlist etc. -- KTC (talk) 19:22, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
I would imagine an edit filter rule could be created around election time to log edits to user page that add those categories to an user page that's not the editor's own, but that seems.... excessive. -- KTC (talk) 19:29, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@KTC: Yeah, I'm not really sure how much of a concern this is - it's only the mass message, after all. GoldenRing (talk) 12:20, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by KTC[edit]

Per statement #1 but DO send mass message to those with time limited blocks that extend beyond the end of the election. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Mass message):[edit]

  1. First choice per Isaacl. —pythoncoder (talk | contribs) 19:53, 3 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (mass message, statement #2)[edit]

As blocks can be appealed and lifted, it may be preferable to continue to deliver notifications to blocked users who are not site banned. isaacl (talk) 18:40, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by KTC[edit]

No change to current rule. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (Mass message):[edit]

  1. Don’t mind the first proposal, but I’m not a fan of adding complications to the list generation. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:01, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. As long as the delivery system respects {{Nobots}} and Category:Wikipedians who opt out of message delivery I don't think we should restrict who gets the message any more stringently. Talk page messages can always be removed so I see the harm in not getting a message as outweighing the benefit in not spamming ineligible voters. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. This seems to add complication with little overall benefit. CThomas3 (talk) 01:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Benefits don't outweigh costs to me. And multiple messages aren't that confusing. Guettarda (talk) 13:19, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:34, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #4 by KTC[edit]

Send message out to every accounts that are technically eligible. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #4 (Mass message):[edit]

  1. There should not exist classes of voters, if one is a voter, one has the same rights, as a voter, as any other voter. Including all available information. (Off course, user's opt-outs from messaging should be respcted) - Nabla (talk) 11:56, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Election start date[edit]

Elections will start as scheduled.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:48, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by KTC[edit]

Extend nominations period by one day so election don't start on a weekend (US time) in case of technical problems. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Election timetable):[edit]

  1. Equal support with #2. This seems a very sensible change with no downsides. Thryduulf (talk) 14:20, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Second Choice (to #2)Nabla (talk) 11:59, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by KTC[edit]

Extend fallow period by one day so election don't start on a weekend (US time) in case of technical problems. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Election timetable):[edit]

  1. Equal support with #1. This seems a very sensible change with no downsides. Thryduulf (talk) 14:20, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. First choice Nabla (talk) 11:59, 10 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by KTC[edit]

No change to current rule. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (Election timetable):[edit]

  1. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:59, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:09, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. SQLQuery me! 09:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Jbh Talk 03:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:32, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Per Anomie. Every start time is going to be inconvenient for someone. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:31, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. per Ivanvector - The start date is always going to be a problem for someone around the world. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:09, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Election start date)[edit]

  • The current schedule has the nominations running November 10–19, the fallow period being November 20–24, and the election beginning Monday, November 25. That's not a weekend. Anomie 18:42, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Anomie: 00:01 GMT Monday is still weekend in the USA where most of the technical people + many WMF staffs are. The schedule you're quoting is the same as last year, where the election was delayed due to technical problems and fixes took longer than it could had done because the day of week the start of the election was on. -- KTC (talk) 18:46, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    Do you have a link to discussion last year, e.g. the Phabricator tasks? Anomie 19:08, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    phab:T209802. The election was postponed by the EC at about 01:00 GMT. -- KTC (talk) 19:15, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
    I suppose having the election start at 00:00 UTC on a Tuesday would give more time if the issue and its urgency were communicated only a day or two before the election. But in that case it looks like phab:T209656 was filed three days before (22:49 on Thursday, leaving all Friday for work), but the urgency was not communicated, while phab:T209802 communicating the urgency wasn't filed until after the election was supposed to have started. I see no way that having that happen at 00:06 UTC on a Tuesday rather than a Monday would have made a difference there. Anomie 20:03, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Withdrawn/disqualified candidates[edit]

Withdrawn/disqualified candidates will be listed in their own section on the candidates page.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:00, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by KTC[edit]

List withdrawn or disqualified candidates in an appropriate section on the candidates page. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (Withdrawn or disqualified candidates):[edit]

  1. Perhaps on their own page, with a link for "former candidates" or something. Reason why - if you were voting for a candidate or asking them questions, etc - and they just disappeared you'd wonder why. — xaosflux Talk 13:41, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. We should keep a record of all candidates. Calidum 13:43, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. I can understand reasons not to, but I find it helpful not to have fluctuations not immediately clear - better to have someone in a separate list vs just disappearing. Nosebagbear (talk) 14:07, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. For the sake of both transparency and avoiding confusion. The section can be collapsed or whatever but it should exist. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:02, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Per Beeblebrox. OhKayeSierra (talk) 22:42, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Transparency never hurt. Per Beeblebrox. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 20:22, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Per xaosflux. Banedon (talk) 00:43, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Support per supporters. Johnbod (talk) 17:15, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Reduces voter confusion. The section doesn't need to be prominent. — Newslinger talk 16:21, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:36, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. This will reduce the chance of confusion and transparency doesn't hurt. Thryduulf (talk) 14:21, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. Per Beeblebrox. A list of some sort should certainly exist. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:10, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. WormTT(talk) 09:57, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. I don't think this will create confusion—the statement says that they will be listed in their appropriate section. I also don't think that a subpage exclusive for them is needed, because the number of withdrawn candidates is low anyway. Really, if someone requests for them to be removed from the list for personal reasons, I think we would remove them. | abequinnfourteen 19:13, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Second choice to #3. It is useful to election transparency to record all candidates who accept a nomination, including separately cataloguing those who later withdraw. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:40, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by KTC[edit]

Do not show withdrawn or disqualified candidates on the candidates page. KTC (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (Withdrawn or disqualified candidates):[edit]

  1. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:58, 1 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Jbh Talk 02:37, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. SQLQuery me! 09:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Listing them just adds clutter since they are out of calculations anyway.– Ammarpad (talk) 11:32, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Just remove them entirely. —A little blue Bori v^_^v Fram was railroaded! 19:07, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. I see no value in this; it's more likely to creat confusion than anything else. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. I'm not necessarily opposed to maintaining such a list, but I'm generally not in favor of users being involuntarily included on a list per the first couple paragraphs of meatball:RightToVanish. Presumably those who withdrew have some personal reason to have done so. The information will be available in the edit history, but for those who decide to withdraw and/or eventually leave our community not maintaining such a list protects their right to leave through practical obscurity. Wug·a·po·des​ 16:45, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Ivanvector[edit]

Show withdrawn or disqualified candidates on the candidates page, only if they withdrew or were disqualified after the close of nominations. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (Withdrawn or disqualified candidates):[edit]

  1. Lines up with how I expect elections to work in the real world, and from experience. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 12:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Concur. If nominations are still open, there is no need to state that a candidate withdrew. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 01:10, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (withdrawn/disqualified candidates)[edit]

  • I'm curious what the thinking is for those who are choosing statement two. BMK's explanation of potential confusion makes sense. I could guess not wanting to embarass candidates as another potential reason. Ivan's alternative, or even one where candidates who withdraw or are disqualified before voting begins (the joys of being digital) could be a nice balance. However, I want to make sure my thinking reflects all the considerations. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 21:06, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Dealing with possibly inappropriate questions[edit]

Any candidate that feels a question should be removed/reviewed should contact the electoral commission to review the question, and not take action themselves. This does not include obvious vandalism.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:15, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Beeblebrox[edit]

If a question is not outright vandalism (which any user can deal with) but a candidate still feels it is inappropriate or would like it removed for other reasons, they must contact the election commission and ask them to review it, rather than taking action themselves.

Users who endorse statement #1 (Dealing with possibly inappropriate questions)[edit]

  1. This shouldn't have to be spelled out, but last year's election proved fairly conclusively that it it does have to be. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:08, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Yes. Having some reasonable, in process, recourse when a candidate feels a question is inappropriate will help cut down drama and stress. Placing the responsibility for determining whether a question is inappropriate on the EC should cut down public drama. I would like to see the EC proactively deal with obviously inappropriate material without an initial complaint but this is far better than nothing. Jbh Talk 03:49, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Ammarpad (talk) 16:27, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Absolutely. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:34, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 22:39, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. Per Beeblebrox. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Absolutely. OhKayeSierra (talk) 23:52, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Seems wise. Guettarda (talk) 13:23, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Logically. Debresser (talk) 21:16, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. per Beeblebrox. Thryduulf (talk) 14:23, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. per Beeblebrox. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:11, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. yes. would have thought obvious. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 00:49, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. Yes, and including allowing the EC to actually DO something about it (i.e. remove the question). — xaosflux Talk 11:16, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. Yes. Leave this up to the commission to decide rather than relying on someone who clearly isn't objective. Hut 8.5 21:07, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Volunteer Marek 21:20, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Yes, indeedy. Sounds like a man or woman with a plan! ---Steve Quinn (talk) 22:47, 16 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. Absolutely! The question could be replaced with test similar to "Question reviewed and struck by the Election Commission." A candidate should not unilaterally remove a question. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 01:12, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Beeblebrox[edit]

Candidate question pages are located in project space, and are therefore not owned by the candidate to do with as they please.

Users who endorse statement #2 (Dealing with possibly inappropriate questions)[edit]

  1. This is the underlying principle behind statement #1. This isn't going on in user space and it is entirely inappropriate for a candidate to behave as though it is "their page" and not the community's page for questioning their fitness to serve on the committee. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:24, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Doesn't harm to spell this out. Thryduulf (talk) 14:23, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Shouldn't need to be said, but last year showed it needs to be said. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 02:11, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Dealing with possibly inappropriate questions)[edit]

@Beeblebrox: I'd rather see this broader to any clerking of the Q&A page, not just the "question" component. Also, this puts a lot of responsibility on the small election commission - where perhaps other uninvolved election coordinators could be involved - only needing to require a commissioner ruling for appeals or impasses; thoughts? — xaosflux Talk 17:03, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
That's one method, or perhaps a compromise - any single election commissioner can remove an unsuitable question, with appeals held "en banc"? Nosebagbear (talk) 18:50, 2 September 2019 (UTC)
@Beeblebrox: but we need scenario B also that if a candidate removes a question only an election commission member can restore it.Actually there was a discussion on this Can Arbitation candidates remove optional questions when a candidate When a candidate removed questions ,As noted in the linked discussion it would most likely sink a canddiate if he/she removed a question.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 19:27, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Those links aren't working, but yeah, it sure didn't go well for one particular candidate when he he did that last year. It was noted at the time that at no point in the whole debacle did anyone try contacting the EC. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:30, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Ah, good ol' Kurt. He sure was... special. I think the Bauder situation last year is probably more relevant. But the basic idea should be that WP:BRD applies to article space, not ACE. Candidates are perfectly free to ignore questions or give non-answers, but I think in almost all cases removing questions just because the candidate doesn't like them is not ok. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:37, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
I fully agree with you but if like last year some candidate like Bauder does remove it ,it should be restored only EC members and not anybody else and I fully agree with you that a candidate should not remove questions.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 22:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't see how this helps. Candidate should be able to just ignore the question. By requiring the candidate to contact the EC that just makes it harder for them. Banedon (talk) 00:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow your logic. A candidate is perfectly free to ignore any and all questions they are asked, and this wouldn't change that. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:01, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Currently the statement says if "... a candidate ... feels it is inappropriate ... they must contact the election commission and ask them to review it, rather than taking action themselves". Ignoring the question is taking action. Or did you mean something else by "taking action"? Banedon (talk) 02:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Greetings, Banedon, I could use some clarification here. Under this definition, how would someone take no action at all? CThomas3 (talk) 04:13, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
By doing nothing, including respond to any other question asked. It seems pretty like semantics though. I would still oppose this proposal as written, preferring something more specific than "take action themselves". Banedon (talk) 04:55, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I think i get what you are saying now but it seems more like nitpicking over the language than the idea. I think the way it si phrased makes it pretty clear that the action they should not take is summarily removing questions they don't like. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:16, 4 September 2019 (UTC) I've now added a second statement detailing the underlying policy-based reasoning behind statement #1. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:24, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Electoral commission's scope of purview/access[edit]

The status quo of the purview/access of the Electoral Commission is retained. They will not be allowed to assess private matters and/or have access to voter data, and/or related permissions, and will instead defer private matters to the current ArbCom and/or the WMF as needed. The members of the commission will still be required to have signed a NDA to serve.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:18, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Cyberpower678[edit]

Members of the Electoral Commission are elected by the community and required to sign an NDA. The commission should be allowed to view voter data if needed during the voting process to assess/deal with issues that the commission may need to handle. They should also be allowed to deal with private matters related to the nomination/voting process.

Users who endorse statement #1 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. This seems within a legitimate remit of the EC. I would hope that they define it fairly tightly, but I think it avoids potentials concerns that use of the current ARBCOM might (given the number of those who stand for re-election). Nosebagbear (talk) 18:18, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Third choice. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Per Nosebagbear. Thryduulf (talk) 14:25, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Third choice. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 02:17, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Cyberpower678[edit]

Members of the Electoral Commission are elected by the community and required to sign an NDA. Members of the commission may gain temporary CheckUser access during the ArbCom nomination and voting process.

Users who endorse statement #2 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. Voting related issues are particularly likely to trigger CU issues. I think it's reasonable for a very short-term CU access to be granted. I would advise that any use of CU by a EC member be reviewed by the other two members for probity. I think it is more legitimate than EC having OS rights. Nosebagbear (talk) 18:19, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. First choice. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Endorse, but not sure what is to be done if one of the commission members is not an admin - I don;t thinkk that th WMF would allow a non-admin to have advanced privileges, even after an EC elections. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:37, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    @Beyond My Ken: My understanding is that CU and OS holders must have passed an RFA or similar process. ArbCom elections have been explicitly agreed as fulfilling that requirement. If it is made explicit in the EC elections that the candidate will gain CU access then I'm almost certain that this will be sufficient for the WMF, but we can always ask. Thryduulf (talk) 14:31, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. per Nosebagbear. Thryduulf (talk) 14:31, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Second choice. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 02:17, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Cyberpower678[edit]

Members of the Electoral Commission are elected by the community and required to sign an NDA. Members of the commission may gain temporary Oversight access during the ArbCom nomination and voting process.

Users who endorse statement #3 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. Second choice. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 18:43, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Endorse, but less important than CU. Again, I'm not sure what is to be done if one of the commission members is not an admin - I don;t thinkk that th WMF would allow a non-admin to have advanced privileges, even after an EC elections. Beyond My Ken (talk) 21:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. I imagine the circumstances in which it will be needed are very few, but it may be necessary for the commission to review oversighted material posted by a candidate, on a candidate's page and/or about a candidate to determine if action within their scope needs to be taken. Thryduulf (talk) 14:34, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who oppose statement #3 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. As the statements can overlap (e.g. supporting both CU & OS, supporting 1 or supporting none, an oppose section seemed reasonable) - I feel that the occasions an EC member might benefit from OS are fairly limited compared to CU. As such, given the mild negatives/risks, I feel I oppose this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nosebagbear (talkcontribs)

Statement #4 by Cyberpower678[edit]

The status quo of the purview/access of the Electoral Commission is retained. They will not be allowed to assess private matters and/or have access to voter data, and/or related permissions, and will instead defer private matters to the current ArbCom and/or the WMF as needed. The members of the commission will still be required to have signed a NDA to serve.

Users who endorse statement #4 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. This is the only option that works. The community does not have the authority to adopt any of the other options. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:42, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni, the WMF Legal department has responded that the only option that is not acceptable is my 5th statement. As such that statement has been collapsed. WMF Legal has no objections to granting temporary CU/OS access to EC members. To quote a snippet from the email I got, if the overall system were changed such that the EC members were tasked with work that required temporary CU or OS rights, it would be possible for members to have those rights. —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:15, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
    No. Existing community policy is clear: only ArbCom can assign CUOS. The community cannot force them to in this RfC, and I am confident ArbCom would not grant regardless of its outcome. The community could amend the local CheckUser or Oversight policy, but that’s very unlikely to happen. Every single proposal here is far outside of the scope of this RfC. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:21, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni, No comments regarding the scope of this particular proposal about the scope of the Electoral Commission, but this is something I just wanted to pass from the WMF. Technically statement 1 can still fly under your logic as that doesn't deal with CU/OS at all. Like I said in the first comment, I just want to set in stone, very clearly, how the community sees what the scope of the electoral commission should be. :-) —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:33, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Per TonyBallioni. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 23:38, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. First choice per TonyBallioni. OhKayeSierra (talk) 23:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. I think this is best, in that an EC could potentially get limited CU like-data, from votewiki, during the test phase if doing certain troubleshooting - where the data would be limited to that of the other testers. In which case this really would be "because of votewiki things" not because of anything here. I don't think the EC should need to run their own CU's or directly access OS information here, though they may need to be privy to certain results that a CU/OSer has performed if necessary to make an election related decision - perhaps redacted but still in excess of what may be publicly posted. — xaosflux Talk 03:41, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Notable, if the EC members are shown to not need access to CU information here on the English Wikipedia, the Appointments to the Commission should be confirmed by the Arbitration Committee per the CheckUser policy. component should be found voided - not to mention that it ultimately makes the sitting ArbCom in control of the EC's. — xaosflux Talk 02:36, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Support this as allowing confidential discussions to include the EC without restricting membership of the EC to those with current CU / OS rights and / or the technical ability to perform their own CU / OS actions if temporarily given the rights. QuiteUnusual (talk) 11:15, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. * Pppery * it has begun... 11:32, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. Per Tony. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:14, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. My understanding is that the Electoral Commission is a separate role from scrutiny or vote counting. There should be nothing in that role that requires access to private data, they should not need to hold CU or see the data or anything of that sort. I want the Commission to be open to the broadest section of the community possible - I do not want the concerns to be raised about private information being shared with EC members because of the increased scope. The NDA is there in case they are sent private data or if there's some sort of problem meaning they get access to Secure Poll private data (Secure Poll is not nearly as tried and tested as many of Wikipedia's features), so it needs to remain in force - however, I would consider it a fall back option. WormTT(talk) 10:02, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. If we need to change the checkuser/oversight policies this is not the venue. I am not convinced that there is any reason for the election commission to need temporary access. – bradv🍁 14:29, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. I prefer 5 but that seems unworkable per WMF legal below (thanks to Cyberpower for your work on that). This is acceptable given their rationale. Wug·a·po·des​ 20:58, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. First choice. I understand the need for the NDA, but I don't see any need for the EC to need CU/OS rights if they don't already have them. — Jkudlick ⚓ t ⚓ c ⚓ s 02:16, 28 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #5 by Cyberpower678[edit]

Rejected by the WMF as the NDA is supposed to be a safety measure should commissioners be exposed to private data.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The status quo of the purview/access of the Electoral Commission is retained. They will not be allowed to assess private matters and/or have access to voter data, and/or related permissions, and will instead defer private matters to the current ArbCom and/or the WMF as needed. The members of the commission will not be required to have signed a NDA to serve.

Users who endorse statement #5 (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  1. The scrutineers handle the private data and checking, and it's probably best to keep the group with access to that data as small as possible. After an editor was inappropriately allowed access to this data in 2017 without signing the ANIP, we should probably limit it to scrutineers. Confirmation from a WMF employee at the time. SQLQuery me! 23:51, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. These situations should be handled by our existing oversight and checkuser teams when time sensitive, or handled by scrutineers selected to handle private matters. These tools allow the users to view a lot of redacted content beyond that related to voting and I do not think we should complicate the selection by worrying about if the commission will misuse advanced permissions. Wug·a·po·des​ 22:57, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Second choice. OhKayeSierra (talk) 23:47, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. I agree with SQL and Wugapodes here. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:04, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. This seems best. There should not be a requirement that election facilitation require other advanced userrights or understand how they work. Private matters can go to the expert specialists on these matters. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:42, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:38, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. If and only if none of statements 1-3 pass. Thryduulf (talk) 14:35, 6 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Electoral commission scope)[edit]

  • I have no personal opinion on the matter, but having served last year, some confusion as to why EC members need a signed NDA came up when the EC have no real access to private/sensitive data/info. I feel it important that this be made clear for serving members of the commission.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:35, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    Did anyone ask? What was the answer? It's not clear to me that signing an NDA is something we as a community can require/un-require anyway. ~ Amory (utc) 00:39, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Can I ask if there's a particular viewed need for EC members to need Oversight (either to oversight or to view oversighted info)? This is going to require a whole bunch of "1st choice, 4th choice etc" so trying to get some more reasoning down Nosebagbear (talk) 14:09, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
    IIRC, the incident regarding Fred Bauder required OSing which effectively made it impossible for EC to assess what went down. Unfortunately, I don't recall where the OSing took place. CU for not-so-obvious socking that may need immediate attention of EC given how slow SPI can be at times.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:32, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
That was an incident in which a member of the oversight team removed something that appeared at the time to be outing. It wasn't as the exact material in question had been publicly discussed on-wiki by the subject before. It was simply a matter of whoever reported and the oversighter that responded both being unaware of the history of that specific material, which you really can't blame either of them for. I don't see how the EC needed to see any of that. We don't just get handed OS, there's a process and a number of policies you need to be up to speed on it before you use it to remove anything or to look at anything another team member removed, it's not as simple as "you signed an NDA and are now therefore qualified". Beeblebrox (talk) 01:08, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Beeblebrox, absolutely I’m not saying that simply signing an NDA qualifies for access. But the commission is still elected by the community every year. It’s still very easy to say that EC didn’t need to see that since at the time we didn’t even know what we couldn’t see. Either way, I’m impartial how this closes. I simply asked this for more clarity, which actually might need to get the WMF involved to see if this RFC carries any weight or not. —CYBERPOWER (Message) 04:49, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If statements #2 or #3 are adopted, is the Arbitration Committee prepared to grant CU/OS access to the EC members? Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 19:25, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
Why does the Electroal commission need CU ? When the 3 scrutineers have them as usual.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 19:33, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
They don’t. Stewards just contact local CUs if needed and there are questions about specific results. People untrained on CU who aren’t familiar with the technical details of local sockmasters would do more harm than good in this situation. It’s easier if a CU/OS is on EC as stewards don’t have to deal with multiple people locally, but the solution is to elect people who already know local norms. Not to give it out to EC’s who don’t already have it. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
C.f. User:-revi/ACE scrutineering. — regards, Revi 00:56, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  • All of the proposals about the NDA and advanced permissions access are outside the scope of this RfC. We cannot bind ArbCom to hand out CU/OS and we shouldn’t try to. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:41, 3 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I can't see why the EC would need oversight. It doesn't have any role in the election process the way CU does. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:03, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    When asking this, I completely forgot to consider if the NDA requirement is even enforceable. I will be reaching out to the WMF to get their input on this. If it isn't then I don't want the community to waste their time on moot discussions.—CYBERPOWER (Message) 05:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    I have sent out an email to them. I should hear back soon.—CYBERPOWER (Message) 05:43, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Cyberpower678, Any reply yet? SQLQuery me! 01:41, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
    SQL, nope. I did talk to Joe Sutherland (WMF) and he asked me to email them, and since then nothing. :-( —CYBERPOWER (Message) 05:34, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
    SQL, Trying again. Pinging Fox or JSutherland (WMF). —CYBERPOWER (Chat) 18:05, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Absolutely no reason whatsoever for the EC to have oversight or checkuser permissions. (No, the EC did not need to see the stuff that got suppressed last year, and the fact that people made it a big deal actively delayed the unsuppression on review because people sucked Arbcom into it, and oversighters couldn't follow normal procedure.) They should sign the same confidentiality agreement that functionaries sign because their responsibilities may require them to examine the interface that includes checkuser-like data, and they should be required to agree not to disclose the information that they found there. Risker (talk) 21:54, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    Risker, I would say that the EC should be removed from the poll before the checkuser-like data is shown - but in case that doesn't happen, they should sign the agreement. WormTT(talk) 10:04, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • The WMF Legal department have responded to my request for comment and have stated that EC members should sign the NDA in the event EC is ever exposed to sensitive data. However the legal department has no issues with granting of temporary CU/OS if the community wishes to adopt additional roles for the EC.

Our view in WMF Legal is that while the election commission does not typically get access to non-public information, the current structure of the system creates a chance that individual EC members could gain access to such information unintentionally, so the NDA serves as an extra protection in the process. We do therefore think that the NDA requirement should remain in place. From WMF Legal:

On the CU/OS question, as we understand the process, election results are reviewed by the stewards, so we don't see a reason that the EC members would need CU/OS rights. That said, if the overall system were changed such that the EC members were tasked with work that required temporary CU or OS rights, it would be possible for members to have those rights.

Pinging @SQL, Wugapodes, OhKayeSierra, Pppery, Bluerasberry, StudiesWorld, and Thryduulf: who have endorsed, the now defunct, statement #5.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:27, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

@Cyberpower678: Where did you get this information? Can you point to the published statement? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:33, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, It was a direct email to me from the legal team, with ca and privacy, CC'd in.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:39, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: Do you want to publish it here or do you want me to ask them to do so? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:41, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, Didn't I just publish the statement? It's in a block quote above. Or is there something else I should do?—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:44, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: What does this mean? The proposal is to not give election officials private information. Is WMF legal's response is that the community has to have this private information? I fail to recognize how this makes sense. If the WMF with all its money and staff cannot separate secure from insecure data, then why does it expect volunteers to be able to do this, and why put the burden of doing so on volunteers? Someone has to hold the burden of responsibility. This proposal communicates that the WMF should have responsibility for securing data, and the counterproposal from the WMF is that instead the community should use its resources to take responsibility. Is this really what they are communicating and why they are vetoing this proposal? Surely they misunderstand, right? I do not expect you to talk this through, but I am just wondering why they are communicating indirectly with a strange conclusion with a weird veto process.
I can understand why the WMF would not want this responsibility, but when there is a challenge, the default cannot always be "no risk to the WMF" and "all responsibility to the community regardless of risk or burden". Whose idea is this and can they come to this message board to respond? Blue Rasberry (talk) 14:53, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, I don't know what you want me to say here. I simply asked if the WMF can, from a legal aspect, allow these proposals to pass, such as eliminating the NDA, or allowing CU/OS appointments. Their answer was no to eliminating the NDA requirement, and yes to allowing CU/OS, if the community/ArbCom allow. That is how I interpreted it.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:47, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: Thanks, you have done more than enough. You are awesome and thanks for negotiating this. My confusion here has nothing to do with you.
I just wish the WMF would not pass weird instructions on complicated topics through volunteers, especially on matters where the Wikimedia community is trying to make circumstances safer and less burdensome for volunteers. I wish in general that the WMF would never pass orders through volunteers, and they would make a rule that when they had an order to give they would say it themselves. This is a matter where the WMF cares about an issue which the Wikimedia community might not want to take responsibility, and the WMF is veto'ing community discussion about leaving a complicated task in the care of the WMF and instead insisting that volunteers who engage in an activity also must necessarily accept whatever future responsibility WMF staff assign to them. If something goes wrong with this difficult task, then there is no assurance of WMF support or sharing responsibility. If anyone at WMF actually feels so strongly about this I wish they would talk on the talk page like a normal human. This is not an easy issue and having indirect communication does not seem like the most reasonable way to advance collaboration. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:07, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Runners-up to step up to fill vacancies[edit]

Vacancies will not be filled by the next runner up ArbCom candidate.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:25, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Johnbod[edit]

Proposal When a resignation causes a vacancy, the highest runner-up in the most recent election steps up for the remainder of the resigner's term, provided the runner-up has achieved support above the standard threshold for arbitrator election.

Rationale The purpose of this is not just to keep the committee fully-staffed, but to encourage more suitable candidates to run. The pattern of candidacy announcements in recent years, most at the last minute, suggests that many are carefully weighing their chances before announcing. At the moment a runner-up is left with nothing, except perhaps a certain loss of face, and I believe this is putting good candidates off. If this were adopted, and the recent level of resignations continues, they would have a good chance of reaching the committee. I think this would be an effective way of getting new faces on the committee, which is needed.

Users who endorse statement #1 (Runners-up to step up):[edit]

  1. Johnbod (talk) 15:20, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. Nabla (talk) 12:06, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. I suggested it above before getting down here, but yes, it makes perfect sense. Atsme Talk 📧 00:37, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Johnbod[edit]

Nah, don't do this.

Users who endorse statement #2 (Runners-up to step up):[edit]

  1. People make the decision to run for ARBCOM during the election, and voters decide whether or not to vote for them based on their record at the time. A lot may change between the election and the time at which a runner-up is asked to step into ARBCOM; they may no longer be able or willing, and they may have done something in the interim which, in the community's eyes, would make them unsuitable for ARBCOM. As such I prefer the emergency election option that's being explored above and at VPP. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:46, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  2. I'm not going to name names, but we've had multiple years where the first runner up would have been an absolute disaster. —Cryptic 15:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  3. Between the end of the elections and time of any resignation can be a long time, possibly several months. In turn, many things can happen in-between. – Ammarpad (talk) 16:20, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  4. Aside from the above, it creates an opportunity to game the system. Plus I really don't think it is healthy to have someone step into this role for a very short period (anything less than 6 months), as it would create problems with onboarding and the effectiveness of the rest of the committee. Risker (talk) 22:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  5. Horrible idea. Any admin with a pulse can get over 50%, we have a hard enough time filling the actual spots, and this would functionally cause people to gain CU/OS who would have no chance in their wildest dreams of getting appointed or elected in their own right. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:05, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  6. I think this has more potential problems than emergency elections as an option. We're specifically going back to 15 in order to let us tolerate individual resignations. Because of a tranche increase, and covering the string of resignations we're going to be electing a large number of Arbs this December. That means those not elected could be on a fairly minimal mandate if bought in. Nosebagbear (talk) 22:44, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  7. MJLTalk 01:01, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  8. Awful idea, especially if (as looks likely) they're going to raise the number of slots so there will be nine or ten elected this year. Since the introduction of the mass message, a lot of voters just support everyone. As things stand, it's already easier to be elected to Arbcom than it is to pass RFA; if anything we should be making it harder for candidates to be elected and not be afraid to leave gaps if there are insufficient candidates with the requisite level of support, not handing out the CU/OS permissions to virtually anyone who happens to turn up. ‑ Iridescent 20:42, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
  9. Too many problems to be feasible. --Rschen7754 01:14, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  10. StudiesWorld (talk) 11:40, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  11. Not a good idea, particularly as it looks as if there will be more seats on the committee this time. Based on the last three elections however, it is to be hoped that there will be enough candidates. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 13:44, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  12. If there are vacanies that need to be filled then an election needs to be held to fill them. Thryduulf (talk) 14:37, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
  13. Nah. Other things exist (a corollary to WP:OSE), and folks might not be able to serve. The removal of a repeat of an electoral process is a bad idea, too. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 14:02, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  14. A lot can change between the end of the elections and a resignation..... Bad idea imho. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:22, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  15. WormTT(talk) 10:04, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  16. Unintended consequences in the wings... Carrite (talk) 06:31, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  17. Nah, losing a committee member shouldn't be that big of a deal that they must be immediately replaced. — xaosflux Talk 11:41, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  18. too dangerous. Lepricavark (talk) 22:06, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
  19. Per my comments below. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:41, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  20. I considered proposing two compromises: the first to allow the editor to choose whether to step up or not, the second to have all runner-ups above the threshold participate in an emergency election to fill in the vacant seat. My first proposal would not solve the problem of the editor becoming unsuitable to be an Arb, while my second does not appear to be enough of an improvement over currently proposed emergency elections. So, let's not. Well-intentioned, but no. feminist (talk) 14:39, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Comments (Runners-up to step up to fill vacancies)[edit]

  • I don't like this idea, per the implications of the results of the 1974 mayoral election in Toronto which put a darkhorse violent white supremacist second-in-line for the mayor's chair. Filling vacancies should be done through new elections, not based on the locked-in results of an election which could have been months in the past by the time the need arises. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:34, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
I'd certainly oppose having new elections, and I very much doubt there is much support for this. It's in the nature of any election that a) the wrong people can be elected (but at least we have minimum support %s), and b) those elected are "locked-in" for their term, in our case for up to two years. This applies to the first three comments in the "no" section above. All this stuff applies to the winners just as much as the runners-up; either you believe in an elective process, or you don't. Obviously, if runners-up no longer want to serve, they can decline to do so - I didn't think the proposal needed to be cluttered up with this. It's a pity no one has addressed the potential of this proposal to encourage more and better candidates coming forward. Johnbod (talk) 16:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
@Ivanvector: these are different kinds of voting systems. Your example is of "first past the post" voting, and the 2nd candidate only had some 5% of the votes. In such a system, promoting the 2nd voted is probably a very bad idea, in the Arbitration system you may support more candidates than there are places, so a not elected candidate still may have a large approval rating, thus the problem is of a much lesser degree. - Nabla (talk) 12:12, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
You're right about the Toronto election, and Toronto's laws at the time were likely written years earlier by some group of legislators who never foresaw that the second-place finisher would be obviously unfit. My point is that for any elected body, regardless of the electoral system in use, we should not presume that the electorate supports any candidate who is not elected, no matter how "close" they were to election. They were not elected. Any future vacancy of an elected seat should only be filled by a newly-elected candidate. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:57, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I am not yet ready to support or to oppose, but unless it is clearly stated that the first runner-up received support which is above the threshold for ordinary ArbCom members, this is a non-starter. If the first runner-up got 10% support, they must not be an arbitrator.--Ymblanter (talk) 16:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
"subject to the usual limits based on the runner-up's support %" seems entirely clear to me, but if you can suggest improvements, please do so. Johnbod (talk) 16:47, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
"provided the runner(s)-up has/ve achieved support above the standard threshold for arbitrator election" (we could as well put a number here).--Ymblanter (talk) 16:51, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
That doesn't really seem significantly clearer (what does the existing text mean if not that?), and I don't think specific numbers should go here, unless people want different ones, which I'm not currently proposing, and don't see a need for. Johnbod (talk) 16:59, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
Oh well, I've changed it anyway, since it presumably won't affect any views expressed so far. Johnbod (talk) 17:02, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
  • @TonyBallioni and @Risker - note that these objections make just as much, or as little, sense with regard to scondary "emergency" elections. Johnbod (talk) 22:21, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Not really. It’s significantly harder to come in top 3/6 viable candidates than it is to come in 9/9 viable candidates. These are the likely figures we’re looking at. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:26, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Sorry, don't understand. Johnbod (talk) 01:58, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm not supporting "emergency" elections, either. Vote once a year. It's a dispute resolution body, not the grand poobahs of Wikipedia. I know, I sat on Arbcom for 5 years. The job can be done with less than a full slate, and it always has been. Risker (talk) 02:24, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
      • Well the arbcom always think so, which is why I think emergency elections will never happen. But I think you were complaining elsewhere, very persuasively, that the committee badly needs fresh faces, and getting more suitable people to stand is possibly the main reason for this proposal. Johnbod (talk) 02:35, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
        • Yes, we need new faces. That doesn't mean filling seats just to have them filled. In fact, it more or less means the opposite; we don't scramble around trying to fill any other role this way, and there's no good reason to do it for Arbcom. I know there are complaints that Arbcom is overloaded now. Perhaps some historical perspective would be useful. Changes in process would be useful, but that will best come from new blood entering at the start of the term, not from people parachuting in after midterm. Risker (talk) 03:00, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Excess vacancies to require an interim election[edit]

Withdrawn: out of scope, but please see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Petition to Amend the Arbitration Policy: Interim Elections. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:22, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Statement #1 by Ivanvector[edit]

If at any time preceding the formal request for comment at the start of the regular annual election cycle, the number of vacancies due to resignations or dismissals of members exceeds 40% of the total size of the Committee, an interim election will be held to fill the vacant positions, per the procedures for interim or emergency elections. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (excess vacancies):[edit]

  1. Corollary to and contingent on TonyBallioni's statement #1 (emergency elections) really. If the committee's active membership is reduced too much, it becomes ineffective, and when it becomes seriously deficient the community should not have to wait for the remaining committee members to have time to decide to call an election. There should be an automatic trigger, at a reasonably high bar as it's an emergency provision. 40% would currently be 6 vacancies (5.2 but you can't have one-fifth of an arbitrator) leaving 7 active arbs, so even with the unusual number of vacancies in this term an election would not have been automatically triggered (we're at 5 by my count per WP:ACMEM). 40% at 15 arbs would also be 6 vacancies because math is cool. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Ivanvector (excess vacancies):[edit]

Do not establish procedures for maximum vacancies on the Committee. (The provision for interim elections at the Committee's discretion is unchanged). Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:09, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (excess vacancies):[edit]

Comments (Excess vacancies to require an interim election)[edit]

@Ivanvector: It is Tony's contention (I agree, though I'm still learning the intricacies of ARBPOL) that this requires an amendement to ARBPOL, and is therefore outside the scope of this RfC, which is about the current election. Which led to this petition at VPP. I support your statement, but I don't know that it can have any effect here. Vanamonde (Talk) 16:18, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Yes I just saw that, and have commented. I think you're right that it's out of scope, but it's certainly redundant. I will strike. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:21, 4 September 2019 (UTC)

Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally[edit]

The electoral commission has no authority to reword questions to the candidate. There is however no mention about the authority to remove the question, which appears to be within the scope of the electoral commission per the section above.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 19:56, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Thryduulf[edit]

Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally so as to avoid leading questions and/or otherwise presuming or prejudicing the answer. Questions that do not meet this requirement may be removed or reworded by the electoral commission at their discretion.


Last year saw several examples of leading questions, including some in the style of "When did you stop beating your wife?". This is unfair to the candidate and does not help determine whether a candidate is suitable for the position. Thryduulf (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #1 (phrasing of questions)[edit]

  • First choice, as proposer Thryduulf (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
    • Now second choice to #4. Thryduulf (talk) 20:05, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Second choice to #4. StudiesWorld (talk) 10:46, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #2 by Thryduulf[edit]

Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally so as to avoid leading questions and/or otherwise presuming or prejudicing the answer. Questions that do not meet this requirement may be removed by the electoral commission at their discretion.


This is the same as statement 1 but doesn't allow the EC to reword a question, only to remove it. Thryduulf (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #2 (phrasing of questions)[edit]

  • Second Third choice to #4 and #1. Thryduulf (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I support the ability to remove inappropriate questions, but I do not support the ability to reword them. People can always post a reworded question if they like. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:15, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #3 by Thryduulf[edit]

There should be no requirement for questions to candidates to be phrased neutrally (i.e. no change). Thryduulf (talk) 10:39, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #3 (phrasing of questions)[edit]

  • Third choice to #4, #1. StudiesWorld (talk) 10:46, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • First choice. Can't control differences in perception of neutrality; moreover, candidates can ignore questions they don't like. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 13:54, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If you don't like a question, ignore it, or comment out as to why it is a bad question. This is without prejudice for other options that may allow the EC to remove inappropriate questions, but without putting a subjective requirement on the question asker. — xaosflux Talk 20:37, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Per my comments on Boing!'s proposals below. EC are not appointed to judge "neutrality" of questions. Anythings else can be handled with existing policies. – Ammarpad (talk) 23:14, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Only choice. If you can't handle leading questions, you can't handle ArbCom, where people will go to your user talk page and just about every major discussion page on Wikipedia and ask you leading questions. --Rschen7754 06:18, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Non-neutral questions are not necessarily bad questions, and an adroit and intelligent person (which Arbitrators should be!) can easily get around them: "Have you stopped beating your wife?" "I have never beaten my wife." The question is only a problem if only the responses are deliberately limited to "Yes" or "No", which is not the case here, where a response of "Your question is not neutral, so I will refrain from answering it" is a perfectly legitimate response. Arbitrator candidates who fall into the trap of responding to such questions may also be giving away something interesting and valuable about themselves. Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:54, 10 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Per Beyond My Ken. * Pppery * it has begun... 19:51, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If someone wants to pose a question clearly framed as a disagreement of opinion, or even an outright attack on a candidate's position (minding WP:NPA), then so be it. This is an election, maybe someone thinks it's important that everyone knows when the candidate stopped beating their wife (as inappropriate as that question would actually be). Clearly inappropriate questions can be removed, and the candidates can answer the rest (or not) at their discretion. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:50, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
  • While I initially thought that some form of neutrality was a good requirement I have since come to the view espoused about by Ivan. A candidate can ignore the question or point out that it's not neutral and so they won't be answering. Or any other number of options. These candidates should be skilled in dispute resolution and cool heads when tempers are hot; a non-neutral question is (regrettably and I wish it weren't so) far from the worse on-wiki event an arb will experience if elected. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 00:53, 25 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #4 by StudiesWorld[edit]

Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally so as to avoid leading questions and/or otherwise presuming or prejudicing the answer. Questions that do not meet this requirement may be reworded by the electoral commission at their discretion. Questions that can not be reworded to be neutral may be removed by the electoral commission at their discretion.


This is the same as #1, but it doesn't permit the Electoral Commission to remove a question, unless it is impossible to reword it.

Users who endorse statement #4 (phrasing of questions)[edit]

Statement #5 by Boing![edit]

The electoral commission should not be allowed to change the wording of questions.


I'm in two minds over mandating neutrality - on one hand yes, I'd support it, but on the other is the way candidates handle leading questions a useful indicator of how they'd cope as an Arb? Either way, I definitely think our standard prohibition on editing other people's comments should extend to Arb election questions too, and commissioners should not amend them. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:48, 7 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse statement #5 (no editing of questions)[edit]

  • Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:48, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Second choice, if, say, #3 fails to gain support. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 13:55, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • EC should not "edit" a question (this comment is not an endorsement or opposition to the question on if EC may "remove" a question). — xaosflux Talk 20:29, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • While noting that I support allowing them to remove. TonyBallioni (talk) 20:30, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • EC is not arbiter of "neutrality." Removal of trollish, nonsensical or attack questions is already covered by common sense. Anything else, no. – Ammarpad (talk) 23:11, 7 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 01:33, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If the community wishes to declare that talk pages posts shouldn't be edited by users other than the user who wrote them, then that rule should apply across all contexts, not be littered with special places where some sort of users in power can break it. * Pppery * it has begun... 02:01, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I would firmly oppose EC members editing for neutrality. They may well not have the competence and I can see a whole load of disruption arising when certain members of the so-called EC begin to edit certain questions. Candidates are likely to be very experienced editors - or should be. They should be equipped to deal with any questions without being cosseted by less experienced editors framing their questions. Leaky caldron (talk) 16:40, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • EC should not edit anyones comments, I have no objections to removals tho. –Dave | Davey2010Talk 18:26, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • SQLQuery me! 18:46, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. OhKayeSierra (talk) 00:30, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Questions should not be modified. Any that are inappropriate or otherwise nonsense can be removed. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:33, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Opposed to external tampering with questions. Carrite (talk) 06:33, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Only choice. | abequinnfourteen 14:29, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, leave the question as posed (as the asker intended) or remove it in its entirety. EC should not change the wording (i.e. the meaning) of any questions asked, only remove those that are deemed inappropriate. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:45, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #6 by Nosebagbear[edit]

Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally so as to avoid leading questions and/or otherwise presuming or prejudicing the answer. Questions that do not meet this requirement may tagged by the Electoral Commission as needing rewording by the question poser. Tagged questions should not be answered by candidates. Questions not sufficiently rephrased within 48 hours can be removed by the EC.


I think there's concerns about the EC rephrasing a question and running the risk of having a different (shade of) meaning to that intended by the question poser. This gives the chance of rephrasing to the poser and makes it very clear in doing so. If not removed then striking it seems reasonable.

I felt this was preferable to Statement #2, because this actually seems more likely to cause less loss of questions than removing and hoping a tidied up version would be submitted. It also makes it clear to the community what is and isn't acceptable, as opposed to straight removals which wouldn't be noticed by most.

Users who endorse statement #6 (phrasing of questions)[edit]

Statement #7 by InvalidOS[edit]

Questions must be phrased neutrally to prevent the questions from being used as weapons, and to prevent people from assuming the answer to a given question. Anyone may tag a question as non-neutral. The tag will be reviewed by the EC. If the EC deems the question non-neutral, the question will be removed. Else, the question will be tagged as neutral.

Users who endorse Statement #7 (Tag and review)[edit]

  • As the one who made the proposal, InvalidOS (talk) 14:57, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Statement #N by USERNAME[edit]

Comments (Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally)[edit]

  • I don't want to start yet another proposal at the moment, but so far as I can see the common-sense option isn't actually available. The EC shouldn't be in the business of editing questions, but as far as I can see we are giving them a wide remit, above; this includes clerking the questions process. It wouldn't hurt to explicitly allow them to remove questions, since this has previously been contentious. As such, I'm in support of #5, but it needs to allow removal; I'm also in support of the principal of #6, but that's too restrictive in its detail. Vanamonde (Talk) 15:42, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
This closely represents my thoughts as well. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 15:53, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
@Vanamonde93 and Barkeep49: How does this differ from proposal 2? Thryduulf (talk) 09:33, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
@Thryduulf: I guess the same question could be posed to those supporting 5; but my point is that the EC should be allowed any clerking activity as we would normally see it. This might include removal, but also other things (such as asking an editor to rephrase), some of which we cannot foresee. Vanamonde (Talk) 14:33, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
The principles of flexibility is what I was hoping for. 2 requires prescriptiveness in one way while 5 is proscriptive in a different way. A principle of "The electoral commission may not modify a question to a candidate but may otherwise have discretion about how to address non-neutral or otherwise inappropriate questions" is what I'd have hoped for. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 14:47, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
  • Why are the "users who endorse" sections bullet lists for this section but numeric lists for the others? Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:46, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
    • @Ivanvector: I haven't checked, but it's quite possible that I got it wrong when adding the initial options and everybody else followed suit. Thryduulf (talk) 15:29, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
      • I suppose if anyone really feels strongly about it, or there's some benefit to counting heads under the options, someone will correct it. I'm not going to. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:37, 18 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Start date for 2020 terms[edit]

Newly elected arbs in the 2019 election will begin service on January 1, 2020 - 00:00 GMT.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 20:05, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Statement #1 by Rschen7754[edit]


For the arbitrators elected in 2019 only: their individual terms will start upon the following, whichever comes later:

Their terms will still end on December 31, 2020 or 2021 (as appropriate).

This will help take care of some of the backlog caused by the shortage of arbitrators this year. However, they must sign the confidentiality agreement to be given access to private data. Rschen7754 02:18, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse Statement #1[edit]

Statement #2 by Rschen7754[edit]

The start date for the newly elected arbitrators will remain January 1, 2020 - 00:00 GMT.

Potential reasons for choosing this: longer time for arbitrators-elect to get situated, or a 19-person ArbCom (for the 2-3 weeks at the end of the year - provided that no current Arbs are re-elected) might be too much to handle. Or the holiday period might not make this worthwhile after all. Rschen7754 02:18, 12 September 2019 (UTC)

Users who endorse Statement #2[edit]

  • Nah, I'm not seeing a call from the current committee that they are in some sort of emergency situation right now. Rschen7754 you said this is to fix the backlog caused by the shortage of arbitrators. Can you point to how this is being measured, and the current variance in the measurement against routine backlog peaks historically? — xaosflux Talk 02:22, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
    • I don't know that I've ever seen ArbCom suspend a case before solely because of lack of manpower. I also don't know that I've ever seen ArbCom get down to 8 people, either. --Rschen7754 02:25, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
      • "down to 8" isn't a measure of a backlog, citing the example would be useful - is the entire backlog argument that one time one case was suspended? — xaosflux Talk 02:54, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • We could end up in a flux position of both too many ARBs and a trickling in effect if the scrutineers finish before everyone's got their NDAs done. That would make any case happening at that time a bit of a nightmare to handle. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:22, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • If the gap between election results and the new year was a couple of months then this would be worth considering, but as it's only a couple of weeks it would be more hassle than it's worth. During the transition period incoming arbitrators already use the time to start getting familiar with the behind the scenes stuff, getting access set up to OTRS, arbwiki, the arbcom mailing list archives, etc. (the last was a bit of a hassel in itself back in 2015, I don't know if it still is), reading anything relevant in the archives and getting acquainted with the current work, so it's not like this would gain much. Thryduulf (talk) 19:22, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  • I was tempted to suggest early elections, but I'm just not feeling the need. It takes a biy of time to get everyone to sign the Foundation form, find out emails, add people to a list, get them up to speed, request user rights, and that's assuming we don't have any major dramas over elections (which given the number of seats I think we may well do). Factor in holidays and the amount of extra time we get is negligible. WormTT(talk) 20:06, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Question for the Commission candidates[edit]

IIRC, and I do, there were issues with both voting server availability and the vote template formatting. [8] This delayed the start of the election. What measures have you undertaken / plan to undertake to prevent a repetition this year? Leaky caldron (talk) 17:57, 14 September 2019 (UTC)

@Leaky caldron: I don't think this has anything to do with this section: Questions to candidates must be phrased neutrally? Also, the commission hasn't been commissioned yet so there isn't a commission to respond to you. These are good points, and should probably go the the election talk once the process begins. Obvious answers are additional testing (which doesn't need an RfC) and the problem with WMF paid staff availability which is part of the "don't start on a weekend" question being discussed in another section. — xaosflux Talk 19:15, 14 September 2019 (UTC)
Yes. Sorry about the misplaced section. If I don't get (satisfactory) answers to my question I might well oppose Commission candidates next month. Cyberpower was on the commission last year - he was involved, he will know. I would like to hear candidate's plans for preventing a recurrence. They currently seem more preoccupied in whether they should have oversight authority or not. My issue is more important. I have modified the title of this section. Leaky caldron (talk) 08:10, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
I do not exactly know what happened last year, but my impression from two years ago when I was on the EC before I had to resign is that both secure poll and the compillation of the lists are in the hands of WMF, and there is very little the Commission can do. For example, I remember that two years ago we communicated the election dates to them relatively early, and the answer was that this is not acceptable for them because they already agreed to run the secure poll in the Persion Wikipedia, and they are not going to run it in parallel, and we had to move the election. If they do not do anything (which does happen) the Commission is just screwed.--Ymblanter (talk) 08:31, 15 September 2019 (UTC)
@Leaky caldron: as above these questions you should be asking the WMF, not the (not-exit existent) electoral commission, but you should be supporting KTC's proposal to move the start date of elections to a weekday (San Francisco time) to mitigate the impact of any failings on the WMF's part - which is exactly the sort of plan you seem to be asking for. Thryduulf (talk) 15:41, 18 September 2019 (UTC)
Leaky caldron, I just noticed your question, I would have responded if you pinged me. If I recall correctly, the vote wiki server experienced an unexpected breakage as it was quickly switched from a previous election on a different wiki to the ArbCom Elections on enwiki. This was beyond the control of the electoral commission, but a way to work around that is to doing a quick voting test to ensure all systems are working before the actual vote. Last year it was assumed it was working since it literally worked a few days before the vote. See T209802. Some things just break when you least expect them to sadly.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 20:16, 30 September 2019 (UTC)