2021 Arbitration Committee Elections
Before the election
- Election Request for Comment (from 00:00, 01 September 2021 (UTC) until 23:59, 30 September 2021 (UTC)) → the pre-election RfC ran for 30 days in September.
- Electoral Commission Request for Comment → the Electoral Commission was selected across three weeks in October:
- (i) 7-day self-nomination period (from Saturday 00:00, 02 October 2021 (UTC) until Friday 23:59, 08 October 2021 (UTC)) → open to users who: a) are at least 18 years old, b) satisfy the access to nonpublic personal data policy, and c) are otherwise eligible to vote.
- (ii) 7-day evaluation period (from Saturday 00:00, 09 October 2021 (UTC) until Friday 23:59, 15 October 2021 (UTC)) (Note: Community input is restricted to the evaluation period).
- (iii) 7-day selection deadline (must be completed by Friday 00:00, 22 October 2021 (UTC))
- Self-nomination period (from Sunday 00:00, 07 November 2021 (UTC) until Tuesday 23:59, 16 November 2021 (UTC) → interested editors were invited to submit a candidate statement. An editor is eligible to stand as a candidate who:
- (i) has a registered account and has made at least 500 mainspace edits before 1 November 2021,
- (ii) is not subject to active blocks or site-bans,
- (iii) meets the Wikimedia Foundation's criteria for access to non-public data, is willing to sign the Foundation's non-public information confidentiality agreement, and
- (iv) has disclosed any previous or alternate accounts in their election statements (legitimate accounts which have been declared to the Arbitration Committee before the close of nominations do not need to be publicly disclosed).
- Voting period (from Tuesday 00:00, 23 November 2021 (UTC) until Monday 23:59, 06 December 2021 (UTC) → eligible voters voted on the candidates, using the SecurePoll system. An editor is eligible to vote who:
- (i) has registered an account before Friday 00:00, 1 October 2021
- (ii) has made at least 150 mainspace edits before Monday 00:00, 1 November 2021
- (iii) has made at least 10 live edits (in any namespace) in the one year prior to Monday 00:00, 1 November 2021 and,
- (iv) is not blocked from the English Wikipedia at the time of their vote.
- Scrutineering period (immediately following the voting period) → scrutineers, consisting of stewards whose main wikis are not the English Wikipedia, are checking the votes (e.g. for duplicate, missing, and ineligible votes), and compile a tally of the results. For more details, see the instructions for scrutineers.
When voting started, a mass message was sent out to all eligible voters that had been active within the last 12 months and meet other criteria. If this could not be done within 72 hours of the voting starting, the Electoral Commission could have elected to notify all eligible voters.
Following the voting period, the scrutineers examined the votes and released a tally of the results. The tally ranked candidates by their performance according to the criteria for success in this election, defined as the number of votes cast in support of the candidate divided by the total number of votes cast both for and against (commonly described as "support over support plus oppose" or "S/(S+O)"). "Neutral" preferences were not counted in this metric. A total of 1633 ballots were cast including 63 duplicates, leaving 1572 votes. 2 votes were further invalidated, thereby resulting in 1570 votes which are tallied below.
|Candidate||Support||Neutral[note 1]||Oppose||Net[note 2]||Percentage[note 3]||Result|
|Worm That Turned (talk · contribs)||906||421||243||663||78.85%||Two-year term|
|Opabinia regalis (talk · contribs)||794||536||240||554||76.79%||Two-year term|
|Wugapodes (talk · contribs)||679||617||274||405||71.25%||Two-year term|
|Enterprisey (talk · contribs)||658||639||273||385||70.68%||Two-year term|
|Donald Albury (talk · contribs)||610||703||257||353||70.36%||Two-year term|
|Izno (talk · contribs)||573||709||288||285||66.55%||Two-year term|
|Cabayi (talk · contribs)||554||725||291||263||65.56%||Two-year term|
|Beeblebrox (talk · contribs)||679||534||357||322||65.54%||Two-year term|
|Guerillero (talk · contribs)||551||688||331||220||62.47%|
|Thryduulf (talk · contribs)||569||623||378||191||60.08%|
|Banedon (talk · contribs)||321||554||695||-374||31.59%|
- All voters were required to register a preference of either "Support", "Neutral", or "Oppose" for each candidate. The "Neutral" column is simply the total votes for which voters did not select the Support or Oppose option.
- Net = Support − Oppose
- Percentage = (Support / (Support + Oppose)) * 100 (rounded to 2 decimal places)
- Results certified by
- --Martin Urbanec (talk) 22:39, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
- —Thanks for the fish! talk•contribs 22:45, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
- --Sotiale (talk) 22:55, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
The rules for the election were determined by successive community Requests for Comment. Prior rules continued to be in force unless they had specific expiration dates or had been subsequently repealed or amended. A referenced summary of the election rules is available at ACERFC decisions to date.
For the 2021 election, seven current arbitrators were to remain on the committee. This left eight (8) vacant seats to be filled in this election for either a two-year term (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023) or a one-year term (January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022), depending on the candidate's level of support. Candidates were appointed in decreasing order of their percentage of support, as calculated by support/(support + oppose), until all seats were filled or no more candidates met the required support percentage. There was a neutral option; choosing this option would not affect the support percentage for the candidate, and was treated as though you did not vote with respect to that candidate.
The minimum percentage of support that is required is 60% for a two-year term, and 50% for a one-year term. If any of the seven current arbitrators in midterm resigned or otherwise left the committee before the start of voting, the additional vacated seat would be filled for a one-year term in this election, after the original eight vacant seats are filled. If there were more vacant seats than candidates with the required minimum support, those seats would have remained vacant until the next election.
The Arbitration Committee elections are organized entirely by community volunteers, independent of the Arbitration Committee itself. Before every election, an RfC is held so that the community may propose and implement any changes to the format of the election. Any rules or practices that were not specifically changed by the RfC are carried over from the previous election.
Ordinary editors who help run the day-to-day operations of the election are known as coordinators. Election coordinators have no special authority or abilities, but facilitate the smooth running of the election in any way that is needed. Editors interested in helping run the election can add their names to the list of coordinators.
The three-member Electoral Commission is appointed by the community in a separate RfC before the election. Commissioners are responsible for addressing any unforeseen problems that may arise in the election process, and for adjudicating any disputes relating to the election. The Election Commission has the full mandate and authority to decisively settle any issues that arise. In addition, while the Electoral Commission itself is not inherently responsible for logistics of the election, Commissioners should ensure that preparations for the election move forward in a timely fashion. As such, Commissioners are de facto coordinators and usually have an active role in running the election.
The last group of volunteers are the scrutineers. Three scrutineers are drawn from stewards who primarily work at other projects. Scrutineers are responsible for providing oversight for the voting process itself. Scrutineers' responsibilities include guarding against abuse and technical errors, ensuring that valid votes are counted while invalid ones are discarded, and confirming that the final tally of votes is correct and certifying the official results. Scrutineers work behind the scenes and are not otherwise involved in coordinating the more minor areas of the election. The Electoral Commission is the liaison between the scrutineers and the rest of the community.
Nominations for candidates opened at 00:00 UTC, 07 November 2021 and closed at 23:59 UTC, 16 November 2021. During this time, any editor in good standing who met the criteria stated in the "Election timeline" section above could nominate themselves by following the instructions to create a candidate statement on the candidates page. Once a candidate made their statement, they could proceed to answer individual questions as they wished (see the questions page for details and instructions). Candidates could continue to answer questions until the end of the voting period (23:59 UTC, 06 December 2021).
Once candidates nominated themselves, voters were invited to review and discuss them. Voters could ask questions throughout the election.
To facilitate their discussions and judgements, voters were encouraged to familiarize themselves with the candidates. This could be done through reading the candidate statements, the answers to the questions put to each candidate (linked from their candidate statements), and the discussion of each candidate (a centralized collection of which was made available at the discussion page). In addition, a summary guide to candidates was made available, and augmented by a set of personal guides by individual voters.
Voting ran for 14 days, from 00:00 UTC, 23 November 2021 to 23:59 UTC, 06 December 2021. The process was conducted using the SecurePoll extension which ensured that individual voters' decisions were not publicly viewable (although technical information about voters, such as their IP address and user-agents, were visible to the WMF-identified election administrators and scrutineers).
Voters were invited to choose one of three options for each candidate: "Support", "Oppose" or "Neutral"; and the number of "Support", "Oppose" or "Neutral" preferences a voter could express was otherwise limited only by the number of candidates. After voters entered their choices for all of the candidates and submitted their votes, they could revisit and change their decisions, but attempting to do so would require expressing preferences for all candidates from scratch. Because of the risk of server lag, voters were advised to cast their vote at the latest an hour before the close of voting to ensure their vote would be counted.