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I have a question on how the top $10$ primary candidates will proceed to the election phase. The election page says

After 4 days, the top 10 candidates based on primary vote score proceed onward to the election phase

Let us consider two candidates:

  • The first candidate has $200$ upvotes and $190$ downvotes (hence his total score is $10$).

  • The second candidate has $20$ upvotes and $5$ downvotes (his total score is $15$).

Who gets the nod to proceed to the election phase? Where can I find more information on the details of the election procedure, in general?

I am posting this as a question as per Lord_Farin's suggestion here.


Question by Asaf:

I want to add a question to this one: do the top ten candidate pass to the next stage, or is there are requirement that the overall score is positive?, i.e., if there are $11$ candidates at the time, and when the primaries end there are only six or seven whose vote balance is positive. Do the top ten pass on, or just those six or seven?

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    $\begingroup$ I want to add a question to this one: do the top ten candidate pass to the next stage, or is there are requirement that the overall score is positive? I.e. if there are 11 candidates at the time, and when the primaries end there are only six or seven whose vote balance is positive. Do the top ten pass on, or just those six or seven? $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 14 '13 at 0:30
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I think it would be better if you add your comment to the question itself. $\endgroup$ – user17762 May 14 '13 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ I just didn't want to edit it without permission from you. $\endgroup$ – Asaf Karagila May 14 '13 at 0:33
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila When I asked that question in the election chat room, Shog9 answered that top 10 move on. $\endgroup$ – 75064 May 14 '13 at 1:08
  • $\begingroup$ Before someone goes and looks at the vote counts for every candidate (which I just did): these are fictitious examples. :) $\endgroup$ – apnorton May 15 '13 at 13:55
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    $\begingroup$ Repeated editing for no purpose other than to bump the question to the top is rather annoying. $\endgroup$ – Isaac May 16 '13 at 2:58
  • $\begingroup$ @Isaac The primary is going to get over in a couple of days, so this question needs to be answered before that. $\endgroup$ – user17762 May 16 '13 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ @user17762 You can post a link to the question in the Election chat, with a ping to Shog9. $\endgroup$ – 75064 May 16 '13 at 3:05
  • $\begingroup$ @75064 Done. ${}$ $\endgroup$ – user17762 May 16 '13 at 3:07
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After the primary phase is complete, each candidate will have a score:

$$\text{score} = \text{upvotes} - \text{downvotes}$$

Note that this is not necessarily the number displayed next to them during the primary, as negative scores are hidden by default. Candidates are ranked in descending order according to this score. The top 10 move on to the final election phase. In the case of a tie for candidate #10, the system will decide who moves on.

Note that this score is only used to sort and trim the list of candidates at the end of the primary phase - it has no bearing on the final election, and the actual numbers themselves are irrelevant. You could in theory have an election where everyone in the primary ended up with a negative score, the top 10 moved on, and the lowest-scoring candidate went on to win. This has never happened, but hey...

You can read more about this here: Stack Exchange Moderator Elections Begin

...and here: There's an election going on. What's happening and how does it work?

...and here: How are moderator election votes counted, in plain English?

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  • $\begingroup$ So, to make it clear in the context of my example, the candidate who has received a total score of $15$ will proceed, even though the other candidate has $200$ up-votes compared to his $20$ up-votes. $\endgroup$ – user17762 May 16 '13 at 3:41
  • $\begingroup$ That is correct, @user17762. Inspiring large amounts of devotion and hatred doesn't necessarily bode well anyway. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 16 '13 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ Well but in the real election you can't downvote, so doesn't the primaries maybe change the result of the election? $\endgroup$ – Dominic Michaelis May 16 '13 at 3:55
  • $\begingroup$ Voting - and vote-counting - in the real elections is completely different, @DominicMichaelis. See the last link I posted for more info on that. The intent of the primaries is mostly to weed out folks that no one cares about / most folks actively dislike so as to get the number of choices down to something reasonable - most folks have a hard enough time with 10 options. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 16 '13 at 3:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Shog9 I just wanted to say that there is (theoretically) a possibility of that someone who would win the election don't pass through the primaries. Not that it would happen here right now, but did something like that happen before? $\endgroup$ – Dominic Michaelis May 16 '13 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ Hard to know for sure, @Dominic. We've certainly seen the opposite - folks "winning" the primary (highest score) but losing the election. $\endgroup$ – Shog9 May 16 '13 at 4:02

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