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 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.

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 idea of what they wish to do with the rights, preferably more specific than 'I want to improve it'.
  • If present, the existing community should be supportive. Third parties (such as an existing linked discord server) may be considered, but on-wiki accounts with edit history have the best impact. Uninvolved editors may vote, but will not necessarily be considered part of the existing community.
  • The proceedings should be as transparent as possible - further details are in the process section.

Process

The election 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 a Steward is going to close, leave a topic on the Stewards' noticeboard.

The layout can be barebones. At minimum you should present yourself, what rights you want and what you intend to do in the opening section. There should be at least a discussion section below that where people can ask questions and leave their input. You can also make the conventional model of sections for support, oppose, neutral and comments.

The community must be informed of the process. Per above, a sitenotice would do the job, or leaving a message on the main page if possible. Feel free to contact a Steward (perhaps with the step above) if you do not have access. Active contributors and existing bureaucrats active on the wiki must be aware of it. 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.

The election should preferably run at least 7 days, longer if discussion is ongoing. If the above has been observed and the case is simple, you can request a review and possibly finish the process in 4 days minimum. 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/niche wikis

Private or niche (personal, tight-knit community) wikis follow this process in a modified manner. Only users who can view a private wiki can run for a position. External users who cannot view the wiki cannot run for any position within the wiki. Wikis that focus on niche topics, including personal wikis, generally do not follow this process and a local election is only ratified by Stewards in very limited circumstances. Please consult a Steward by the Stewards' noticeboard or if sensitive by email (stewards(at)miraheze.org) to see what options are possible for the specific wiki.

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

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. 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 requested.

Regarding community ownership

Miraheze holds the attitude that wikis are not owned by any user, but by their community. Where there is no community or the wiki is private, personal or highly specialized from the start, the founder/current management takes precedent by default as long as global policy is observed. Bureaucrats and/or administrators are expected to decide by what is best for the community that edits and operates the wiki, and what its purpose is (outlined by local policy, content and fundamentally, the request that the wiki was approved upon). Therefore no user with advanced rights should consider themselves a dictator or the sole arbiter in all things. If there are issues or confusion, a Steward may be solicited to try and resolve the matter.

Stewards are also expected to act in the community's interests, after researching what the community is and how it works - they are not sole arbiters or dictators either. If there is an issue with how a Steward has assessed or interpreted an issue, please bring it to public attention on the Stewards' noticeboard. Individual Steward actions are superseded by a consensus of Stewards, and even the consensus of Stewards must be informed by the will of the global Miraheze community and the policies that the platform has agreed to have.

See also