Local elections

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Local elections


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A local election is a process on a wiki where a user self-nominates/is nominated to hold specific permissions, such as administrator and/or bureaucrat. They are governed by local policies (if they exist) and typically overseen by local bureaucrats. If neither applies, a Steward is brought in to oversee the election and assess its results based on global policy, conventions/best practices and case-by-case discretion.

Wikis are recommended to develop their own election process and related policies, and have them ratified by the community.

Restricted local groups such as CheckUser, local Interwiki administrator and Oversight require filling specific requirements, outlined on their respective pages and covered below on this page.

This policy only applies to the election of users in specific roles (i.e. it does not apply to voting on policies).

Elections on wikis with inactive bureaucrats

If a wiki's bureaucrats have been absent for some time and there is nobody to assess local decisions, provide direction and/or use ManageWiki and no policies are developed locally to cover this scenario, the community will need to set up a local election. The following sections assume there is no local governance to supervise and that the election will be 'called' by a Steward.

For best results, the following conditions should apply:

  • If the wiki is private, see the below section on private wikis.
  • The nominee should be an existing contributor, locally active or at least have an edit history, even if it is built after the election starts.
  • The nominee should have a clear and specific idea of what they wish to do with the rights. A general or vague will to 'improve the wiki' will not suffice.
  • If present, the existing community should be supportive. In accordance with the weighing of outside votes rule, votes by users who are not genuinely connected to the wiki's community will be weighed less. Third parties (such as an existing linked discord server) may also be considered, but on-wiki accounts with edit history will be given more weight.
  • The proceedings should be as transparent as possible - further details are in the process section.

Temporary appointments

If there is no existing community or an extremely small one, a user may be temporarily appointed by a Steward to a position provided that they demonstrate a need and clearly indicate their intentions. An 'appointment' is not to be equivalent to an 'election'.

Process

Elections should take place on a very prominent page. This could be the wiki's community portal, a designated place, or if nothing like this exists, on the talk page of the main page or a page specifically made for the job. It cannot be 'hidden' on an obscure or unknown page. If these criteria are not met, an election may be deemed to be invalid. If a Steward is going to close, leave a topic on the Stewards' noticeboard.

The layout can be bare-bones. The nominee should at the minimum present themselves, what rights they want, and their intentions. There should be at least a discussion section below that where people can ask questions and leave their input. The conventional model consists of sections for support, oppose, neutral and comments.

The community should be informed of the process (for example, if deemed appropriate, with a sitenotice or a message on the Main Page). Feel free to contact a Steward (perhaps with the step above) if no one has access to these things. Active contributors and existing bureaucrats active on the wiki must be made aware of the election if there are any. You can check if a bureaucrat is present somewhere else on Miraheze through the CentralAuth feature. Just a sitenotice will do if a community is not present and has not been present for some time.

It is recommended that local elections for advanced permissions (administrator, bureaucrat, etc.) stay open for at least 5-7 days to avoid appeal of results as an improper/premature closure.

When there is no local bureaucrat to officiate the election, the result should be taken back to the Stewards' noticeboard - in the original section if it's been brought up before, or a new one if it has not.

A discussion may be closed at steward discretion before the recommended 5-7 days in cases where there is:

  • overwhelming support/opposition from established members of the community
  • no possibility of reversal if the election were to be left open
  • a clear and urgent need for the role to be filled

However, early closure of elections for advanced roles should only be undertaken by Stewards sparingly, with all criteria above strictly followed. Local leadership is encouraged to follow the above steward criteria for early closures to avoid disputed outcomes.

Once complete, the result should be taken back to the Stewards' noticeboard - in the original section if it's been brought up before, or a new one if it has not. Clear supports or no opposition (the latter if there is little/no community) are acceptable. A Steward will check again to see that everything is in order, or otherwise use discretion to finish the process.

Private wikis

Private wikis follow this process in a modified manner. Only users who can have view permissions on a private wiki may run for a position on that wiki. External users who cannot view the wiki cannot run for any position within the wiki.

No users may run for a position on private wikis as defined here.

In lieu of a local election, an active wiki community falling under the auspices of personal/private/niche/tightly-knit community status may opt for local leadership to appoint individuals to advanced roles, following the same procedure as Steward appointment of roles on inactive wikis. Roles gained by appointment are understood to be less-durable and assume a weaker standard for removal by community vote.

Please consult a Steward by the Stewards' noticeboard or if sensitive by email (stewards@miraheze.org) to see what options are possible for the specific wiki.

Niche wikis

This section is guidelines only and does not constitute global policy Niche (tight-knit communities) wikis may also follow this process in a modified manner.

Minor local rights

On wikis with inactive bureaucrats, Stewards may grant small local rights to users upon request and proper need without a local election. This includes and is not limited to: Autopatrolled, Confirmed, and Rollbacker. To request these, please make a request on the Stewards' noticeboard and make sure to state why you need the rights.

Elections for restricted local groups

This section is guidelines only and does not constitute global policy

Some local groups can only be granted to users by following a successful election. These include CheckUser, Interwiki administrator and Oversight. Each has their own requirements and minimum vote/support ratio, outlined on each linked page and summarized below. These must be just as prominent as the process for bureaucrat outlined above (sitenotice, prominent location).

CheckUser and Oversight:The user must undergo a local election that satisfies the requirements for Stewardship. This includes a minimum of 20 unique votes, an 80% support ratio, and a signed NDA with Miraheze. Steward convention requires a minimum of 2 local Checkusers or Oversighters to balance each other. Both the election and following use will be subject to high supervision from Stewards to ensure compliance with global policy.

Local interwiki administrator: The user must meet the requirements set on the Interwiki administrators policy page. By convention, if users are sole contributors or operating a personal wiki, an election is not required. Otherwise, a standard election should be held.

When the requirements are met, please provide the results and link to the process on the Stewards' noticeboard. If there are any questions in the meantime, feel free to ask.

Removing bureaucrats

Miraheze wikis are configured by default to only permit Stewards to remove bureaucrats. Personal wikis, private wikis or community discussions may result in different circumstances. The same rules as described above apply for removal of bureaucrats.

In order for a bureaucrat to be removed, at least 50% of users must support the removal and a valid reason must exist for the removal (for example, a bureaucrat may be removed if they are acting against the community's interests).

By default, this arrangement is made to prevent takeovers. If a vote is held to remove a bureaucrat, please link it and the results on the Steward's noticeboard. Like elections, this process should be well-advertised locally, include a supporting majority of active community members and specify strong and valid reasons for removal. Established wiki communities have the right to remove a bureaucrat who is acting against the community's interests. If the bureaucrat is suppressing the community, please immediately contact the Stewards for resolution.

Removing a bureaucrat without community consensus or very strong/emergency reasons is highly frowned upon; Stewards have the ability to intervene if necessary.

Removing a major contributor

If a user has contributed to the vast majority of content on a wiki, they may only be removed as administrator or bureaucrat if there is a very good and genuine reason for doing so. A major contributor may not be removed from advanced permissions simply because they have different views or ideas about the wiki's direction. A major contributor may only be removed following a vote, unless there are compelling/emergency reasons.

Wikis with conflicting groups/management

In a situation where there are two equally represented conflicting groups with different visions or ideas for the wiki who are unable to reach an agreement among themselves, they may contact Stewards who will mediate.

In extreme circumstances where there is clearly no prospect of agreement or reconciliation between the two groups, Stewards may, in accordance with the Content Policy, allow for a fork of the wiki to be created and the two groups to separate. Otherwise, the wiki should be closed.

To note

Anything on this page that cannot be found in an RfC constitutes guidelines only.

See also

Background