As was proposed in this question on meta a new badge for active voting would be good for MSE. I can hide my real intension under beautiful words that we must congratulate people for active voting but the main reason of this request is small voting activity of community. It is often seen that a particular question have a valuble answer but none of them are upvoted.

Hence my suggestion: Introduce new badge (call it Senator) for significant voting activity.

Larger voting activity will encourage people to answer often and answer better. This badge may lead us to big amount of unfair upvotes, but who cares if this trick can give us a bunch of good answers?

Will there be good answers or not I don't know, hence I don't insist to take this action. Just wondering...

Edit. It was pointed out in comments that we already have such badge (Electorate). So we have another opportunity - increase necessary vote count for this badge and not introduce new badges.

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    $\begingroup$ What class of badge would you want this as? $\endgroup$ – Thomas May 3 '13 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ It was suggested as gold badge $\endgroup$ – Norbert May 3 '13 at 21:00
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    $\begingroup$ Agreed. With this minor inconvenient that there already exists a gold vote badge (electorate). I think it is time to enter the platinum badges era. $\endgroup$ – Julien May 3 '13 at 21:34
  • $\begingroup$ Oh I forgot about that badge. Well wee could increase vote count for Electorate badge, but this will only discourage people... $\endgroup$ – Norbert May 3 '13 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think the Electorate badge is "easy" to get. And some badges are just like that, easier to get than others. I don't agree that the badge should be modified in any way too. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 3 '13 at 22:33
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    $\begingroup$ Interestingly, this question is likely to be downvoted by people who don't vote much in general. $\endgroup$ – Julien May 4 '13 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I got the electorate badge. So it's easy to get. $\endgroup$ – Julien May 4 '13 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ @julien: Every user with +15 can vote. Counting just registered users with >1000 reputations we have over a 1000 users (you need to travel all the way to page 29 to get to the end of that list). If the badge is so easy to get how come there are only 164 (at time of commenting) users with the badge? And that's being generous and saying that you are likely to accumulate the reputation along with voting. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 4 '13 at 0:53
  • $\begingroup$ @julien I'm not sure what exactly you found discouraging about that incident. IMO, the question should not have been closed, but this is what tends to happen when answerers turn it into an amateur night at comedy club. If you'd like to have less such "virality" on Math.SE, consider my proposal to change the sorting of questions on the main page. If it were in effect, that question would not rise to the top of the page with each and every answer, attracting more and more attention. $\endgroup$ – 75064 May 4 '13 at 2:28
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    $\begingroup$ @julien Well, 20000 reputation and two dollars can get you a cup of coffee. (Actually, I'm not sure about Canadian dollars). There are even more extreme examples of this kind. $\endgroup$ – 75064 May 4 '13 at 3:20

I think the better course of action would be to make the Electorate badge harder to get. The count of gold badges shows that Fanatic and Electorate are much more common than other gold badges. They are also more common than many silver badges.

These two badges dilute the value of xffd800-colored pixels. It was already proposed to redefine Electorate as "$\ge 600$ question votes and $\ge 1800$ answer votes". Actually, I'd rather align it with the world's favorite number base: at least $1000$ question votes and at least $1000$ answer votes.

In present form, Electorate actually discourages voting on answers:

  • If you vote on $600$ questions and never vote on answers, you get the badge.
  • If you vote on $3000$ questions and $10000$ answers, you don't get it ($3000/13000<0.25$).

But, at least in math, voting on answers takes more effort than voting on questions. It's easy to see if the question is thoughtfully written or is a word/symbol soup. It's not as easy to see whether a posted answer is correct.


I agree with the sentiment that increasing voting activity is good for the site. However, if applied carelessly this suggestion will likely just widen the gulf between voting activity on elementary tags (calculus, elementary-number-theory, algebra-precalculus, high school topic tags...) and the more advanced ones. How about reusing the idea from generalist badge? You would need to have significant voting activity on at least $n$ different tags?

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    $\begingroup$ Encouraging users to vote on posts they don't understand? Hmm, I wonder where that could go wrong... $\endgroup$ – 75064 May 17 '13 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ @75064: I see the danger, but the idea is to encourage informed users to use their right to vote more extensively. $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen May 17 '13 at 6:22
  • $\begingroup$ ...and to encourage users to occasionally peek at tags other than their favorites $\endgroup$ – Jyrki Lahtonen May 17 '13 at 9:58

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