I apologize for complaining, but I'm rather taken aback by how the site has decided to run the 2018 election.

I don't check the main site on a daily basis, and I visit Meta even more infrequently---while I know the site's most active users are more aware of what's going in, I'm equally sure there's a long tail of us who don't stay as tightly in the loop, especially during the slow summer months.

So I was surprised to see that there's an election on, and that nominations close in two days, since I didn't receive any notification of any kind (via email, popup on the main site, red icon in the "recent inbox messages", etc). I'm not inclined to nominate anybody or craft campaign questions this year, but if I had been, two day's notice is inadequate, as is the one short week allocated to reading the candidate's responses to the campaign questions, and to voting itself.

I imagine there are many users who haven't happened to wander into Meta and who are oblivious that there's an election on at all.

If the intent if for only the most highly-vested Math.SE contributors to participate in, or even be aware of, the 2018 election, then perhaps all is as it should be; but given community concerns in 2017 about the low election turnout, I assume that's not the intent.

I propose a more relaxed timeline for the elections (two weeks for each step in the election process seems to me more reasonable) and that each step and deadline be prominently advertised on the main site (at least for reasonably-active users, say, those with 1000+ reputation.)

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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I raised some complaints about this on the Moderators chatroom. As far as official notifications, those are coming up when the nomination phase begins, so in two days. I do agree that it would be preferable if this was more visible, and more time before the nominations is given for people to even learn about this fact. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila Jul 14 '18 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ Wait... nominations close in two days? I don't think that is quite right. While I agree that things are going too fast, my understanding is that official nominations open in two days. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jul 14 '18 at 18:14
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    $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson is right; official nominations start on the 16th. "Until the nomination phase," means until the nomination phase starts. That said, I do not disagree completely. But the situation is not as bad as you think it might be, as for now this is merely preparation for an election we are seeing right now. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 14 '18 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ "in 2017 about the low election turnout," that was more a myth though, and if not a myth then unreasonable expectations. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 14 '18 at 18:39
  • $\begingroup$ @quid I’m sorry, you’re right: I misinterpreted the deadline as the end rather than start of nominations. Nevertheless the heart of my concern—-that the election process is going by too quickly with insufficient community notification—-remains. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jul 14 '18 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ Personally I am against an election right now too, so... But, let's see how it goes. For now the part that most people care about did not really start. I am not sure extending the deadline for nomination would help all that much. In practice it's often that users wait and see. And then it depends on the dynamic of the situation. Some complained that in the last election there were few candidates for example, but then there were several competitive candidate in since early on which likely discouraged some nominations. In contrast in some other elections the 'strong' ones joined late. $\endgroup$ – quid Jul 14 '18 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ AFAIK, a certain situation that could "extend the deadline" is when there are not enough candidates applying, but this might be seen as more problematic because it could mean lack of interest in moderation... unless this community doesn't really want new mods. $\endgroup$ – Andrew T. Jul 14 '18 at 20:00
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    $\begingroup$ Should we be thinking about how to boost election numbers? I was thinking about asking game theory questions that had to do specifically with elections. Then link them to relevant meta questions. I think this simply must be the tradition on the day before elections on a math site. Game theory is precisely the tool mathematicians use to argue that democracy is a terrible idea that never works (Err... I may be simplifying). Anyway I wasn't sure where we suppose to go to nominate @AsafKaragila for the job of improving the election turn out... $\endgroup$ – Mason Jul 15 '18 at 18:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Mason "Game theory is precisely the tool mathematicians use to argue that democracy is a terrible idea that never works" I mean, it's clearly optimal for the 51% to vote to kill the 49% and take their stuff... ;) $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jul 16 '18 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ I'll just say that your behavior July 16th, was inconsistent with the "spirit" of this post. I'll delete the rest. $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jul 17 '18 at 17:17
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy I’ve deleted my comments and am not interested in engaging with you here further. If you wish to have a constructive conversation, I’m happy to reply on chat. $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jul 17 '18 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson It is my intention to nominate you for moderator post. May I add your name to the following post : math.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/28686/… ? Please decline if you are not free enough. $\endgroup$ – Teresa Lisbon Jul 19 '18 at 7:27
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    $\begingroup$ @астонвіллаолофмэллбэрг No, thank you. I don't feel that I have the seniority or experience on MSE to be qualified, I lack the time, and, frankly, there are already two candidates on the ballot that are far better qualified. But thank you. $\endgroup$ – Xander Henderson Jul 19 '18 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ @XanderHenderson You are welcome! $\endgroup$ – Teresa Lisbon Jul 19 '18 at 14:47

As noted in the comments, the election process hasn't actually started yet; what's happening now is more like a prelude: collecting information that'll be helpful once the process actually does start.

Once the process does start, there'll be an inbox notification for everyone on the site who is eligible to nominate themselves, directing them to the nomination page. They'll then have a full week to post nominations, answer questions, etc. before the voting starts.

When voting begins, there'll be another inbox notification - this one sent to everyone who can vote. If there are enough candidates to trigger a "primary phase" to the election (a pre-voting vote to reduce the number of candidates before the full voting starts), there'll be a notification for that too.

In short... You don't really have to monitor meta if you don't want to be part of the... well, the meta-discussion; there'll be ample notice prior to any stage where you might want to participate in the election proper.

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    $\begingroup$ Has there been a change in the schedule? I just looked at the elections page and it says nominations will begin on July 30? $\endgroup$ – user7530 Jul 16 '18 at 19:49
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    $\begingroup$ Yup - see note here @user7530 $\endgroup$ – Shog9 Jul 16 '18 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ "Eenie meenie miney mo...switch the time line as we go!" $\endgroup$ – amWhy Jul 31 '18 at 21:05

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