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Regarding What do our "low" 2012 election numbers mean?. (I posted it as an answer, but I then deleted it and post it now as a question)

297/5874, yes, that's really a very low percentage.

I think Pierre303 is right in that people don't care enough about the votes and that it's certainly the main reason. I thought about it a little and maybe there could be some incentive to vote (that is more incentive than just having some new people we believe in for moderating the website we like), a "carrot" of some sort. I thought about this:

Why not - next time - offer a badge for those that voted ?

Next year, on the main page, it could be written:

The 2013 Community Moderator Election is now underway! Elect your representatives and earn a "Voter" badge!

I know some people don't care, but I'm pretty sure we could attract a significant number of voters next time. I don't know if it's done in other countries in the world, but in France, you have what could be called an "Electorate Card" that you keep with you, and that you bring with you to all elections. When you vote you get a stamp which effectively shows that you have voted. I've seen older people happily show their card to indicate they voted for the 1980's elections...

What do you think ?

10

Voting is, and it should be, anonymous. That includes the fact that you voted, not just who you voted for.

Think of all the snarky comments after the election: "But you didn't even voted, what makes you think your opinion matters in random Meta issue".

People should vote because they care for the site, not the election process itself.


Update

Stack Exchange just introduced two election participation badges:

  • The Caucus Badge is awarded for visiting the election page. This is important at every stage of the process, as even during the nomination phase comment discussions helps to flesh out the nominations. If you can’t vote, you can at least make your voice heard. This is a bronze badge.

  • The Constituent Badge is awarded for voting - at least once - in the final phase of the election. Recognizing the importance of the action it rewards, this is a silver badge.

Can't say I like it much, but I just got 7 new shiny badges, so I won't complain ;)

  • (but I did thought of exactly the same when I first saw the results) – yannis Feb 13 '12 at 8:14
  • Didn't think about that. I guess you are right. – Jalayn Feb 13 '12 at 8:14
  • 1
    Combine that with what Mark said, do you really want 200 rep users who never actually contributed a question or an answer, going around sites having elections and collecting badges? – yannis Feb 13 '12 at 8:16
  • I guess you are both right, I've got answers to my "why not". – Jalayn Feb 13 '12 at 8:17
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Because the apathetic majority of the people would almost certainly vote blindly for the sake of getting a badge instead of ignoring the election because they couldn't care less who won.

Not voting is, I would think, clearly better than voting randomly.

  • Sadly, your answer (although right) reminds me of our national election cycle and all of the "get out the votes" campaigns (in the U.S.). Are they really worth it? Sigh – Eric King Feb 13 '12 at 22:08
  • +1: Excellent points. You've changed my mind on this one. – Jim G. Feb 16 '12 at 10:29
  • @MarkTrapp Check out Belgium's turnout data. I was reminded today by my Belgian colleagues that if they don't show up to vote (for all elections, not just "national" elections) they have to pay some sort of "fine". That's the "punishing" way, but it works :-) Still, your point is valid regardless of the way – Jalayn Feb 17 '12 at 15:10

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