This week, the Signpost takes a look at the process for, and other information on this year's ArbCom elections.
This year's elections to the Arbitration Committee will be held from 4 December through 17 December. At press time, 26 users had presented themselves as candidates; the deadline for submitting oneself is 1 December. Candidates for the Arbitration Committee must have made at least 1,000 edits by 1 October.
It is anticipated that the election will be conducted in a similar manner to that of last year's elections (which itself was based on the requests for adminship process). All votes are public, and users can either support or oppose a user. Prior elections had used approval voting, but Jimbo Wales had expressed interest in using an open method. In response to questions over which method would be used this year, Jimbo replied:
- I have no objection in principle to a secret ballot, but the standard wiki voting system is much more in line with our traditions and appears to produce better results. When we used [private voting], we saw a significant amount of trolling and negative campaigning. ... Additionally, even though [private voting] is theoretically "approval voting", the fact of the matter is that people have tended to use it incorrectly (in my opinion) leading to very low rates of approval. Wiki voting tends to produce high levels of support, and this is important for the confidence and credibility of the committee.
After the public has voted, Jimbo will select users with at least 50% support. In practice, Jimbo has generally appointed by percentage of support, with minor exceptions. Last year, with eight open seats, Jimbo appointed the top eight users by percentage, while also adding three new seats. To these new seats, he appointed three incumbent arbitrators (James Forrester, Fred Bauder, and Jayjg), all of whom had received at least two-thirds support in the elections. According to Jimbo, the choices were made "in the interests of expanding the committee and maintaining continuity".
As in last year's election, voters must have registered before 1 October, and made at least 150 edits by 4 December, in order to be eligible to vote. Some users suggested a higher limit, while others suggested a lower limit; discussion on changing the limit was eventually dropped.
In other election-related news, arbitrator Sam Korn announced that he would not be running for re-election this year, leaving at least four seats with no running incumbent. The Epopt and Theresa Knott had previously announced their intention not to run, and one seat up for re-election is vacant. Jayjg has not publicly announced whether he intends to run again.