In 2021 Moderator Election the participation at the recent election is reported as

52,685 voters were eligible, 12,611 visited the site during the election, 5,834 visited the election page, and 1,905 voted

whereas Mathematics Stack Exchange Moderator Election 2021 Results states that

The number of ballots is 1882 and there were 1882 valid ballots and 0 empty ballots.

I wonder where the difference between the numbers “1,905 voted” and “The number of ballots is 1882” comes from.

In the preceeding three elections, the reported number of voters on the election result page is identical to number of ballots on the corresponding OpaVote page. Why is there a difference in the 2021 election?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just re-posting a response from the SE staff to a comment under the election results Meta post where OP had previously brought this up: "Investigating, @MartinR — well spotted. – JNat [Staff] [Mod] Nov 24 at 15:42". Thanks for writing this up into its own bug report, though. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2021 at 9:29
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    $\begingroup$ Just for general information, OP had also brought this up in the election chatroom shortly after the results were declared. $\endgroup$ Dec 6, 2021 at 9:31
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    $\begingroup$ @TheAmplitwist: Yes, after three weeks without further feedback I decide to post this as a formal report. $\endgroup$
    – Martin R
    Dec 6, 2021 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


The correct number of voters/valid ballots is the one OpaVote is showing — so for the case of Math's 2021 election, that's 1882.

It looks like the count presented on site was counting all the users who cast a vote at some point, including votes that were ultimately retracted and didn’t count. The OpaVote number is the number of users who had an active vote at the time the election ended.

We've fixed the underlying issue, so going forward, there shouldn't be any more discrepancies. Old elections might still show differences such as the one you identified, and the OpaVote count is the accurate one as with this case.

  • $\begingroup$ What are some of the reasons why a vote would be retracted? $\endgroup$
    – user400188
    Dec 10, 2021 at 5:36
  • $\begingroup$ That would be something for the users who retracted their votes to answer, @user400188 $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Dec 13, 2021 at 11:04
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, I wasn’t sure if it was a user's own action, or if some of the accounts were removed as bots / banned for another reason, or they simply lost enough reputation to no longer have the ability to vote. $\endgroup$
    – user400188
    Dec 13, 2021 at 21:20
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    $\begingroup$ I suppose removed profiles could also contribute, actually, @user400188. $\endgroup$
    – JNat StaffMod
    Dec 14, 2021 at 10:49

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