Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2020

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Emblem-WikiVote.svg 2020 Arbitration Committee Elections

Status as of 14:12 (UTC), Saturday, 31 October 2020 (Purge)

The eighteenth annual election for the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee is scheduled to take place in November and December 2020.

Election processEdit

Before the electionEdit

  1. Election Request for Comment (from 00:00, 01 September 2020 (UTC) until 23:59, 30 September 2020 (UTC)) → the pre-election RfC is to run for 30 days in September.
  2. Electoral Commission Request for Comment → the Electoral Commission is to be selected across three weeks in October:
    (i) 7-day self-nomination period (from Saturday 00:00, 03 October 2020 (UTC) until Friday 23:59, 09 October 2020 (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, 10 October 2020 (UTC) until Friday 23:59, 16 October 2020 (UTC)) → unlike previous years, community input is now restricted to the evaluation period, and is no longer allowed during the self-nom period.
    (iii) 7-day selection deadline (must be completed by Friday 00:00, 23 October 2020 (UTC))

Election timelineEdit

  1. Self-nomination period (from Sunday 00:00, 08 November 2020 (UTC) until Tuesday 23:59, 17 November 2020 (UTC) → interested editors are 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 2020,
    (ii) 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).
  2. Voting period (from Tuesday 00:00, 23 November 2020 (UTC) until Monday 23:59, 06 December 2020 (UTC) → eligible voters can vote on the candidates, using the SecurePoll system. An editor is eligible to vote who:
    (i) has registered an account before Thursday 00:00, 1 October 2020
    (ii) has made at least 150 mainspace edits before Sunday 00:00, 1 November 2020
    (iii) has made at least 10 live edits (in any namespace) in the one year prior to Sunday 00:00, 1 November 2020 and,
    (iv) is not blocked from the English Wikipedia at the time of their vote.
  3. Scrutineering period (immediately following the voting period) → scrutineers, consisting of stewards whose main wikis are not the English Wikipedia, will check 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.

Community notificationEdit

When voting starts, a mass message will be sent out to all eligible voters that have been active within the last 12 months and meet other criteria. If this cannot be done within 72 hours of the voting starting, the election committee may elect to notify all eligible voters.

Vacant seatsEdit

For the 2020 election, eight current arbitrators will remain on the committee. This will leave 7 vacant seats to be filled in this election for either a two-year term (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2022) or a one-year term (January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021), depending on the candidate's level of support. Candidates will be appointed in decreasing order of their percentage of support, as calculated by support/(support + oppose), until all seats are filled or no more candidates meet the required support percentage. There will be a neutral option; choosing this option will not affect the support percentage for the candidate, and will be treated as though you did not vote in the election 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 eight current arbitrators in midterm resign or otherwise leave the committee before the start of voting, the additional vacated seat will be filled for a one-year term in this election, after the original 7 vacant seats are filled. If there are more vacant seats than candidates with the required minimum support, those seats will remain vacant until the next election.

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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.


For candidatesEdit

Nominations for candidates will open at 00:00 UTC, 08 November 2020 and will close at 23:59 UTC, 17 November 2020. During this time, any editor in good standing who meets the criteria stated in the "Election timeline" section above may nominate themselves by following the instructions to create a candidate statement on the candidates page. Once a candidate has made their statement, they may proceed to answer individual questions as they wish (see the questions page for details and instructions). Candidates may continue to answer questions until the end of the voting period (23:59 UTC, 06 December 2020).

For votersEdit

Once candidates have nominated themselves, voters are invited to review and discuss them. Voters may ask questions throughout the election.

To facilitate their discussions and judgements, voters are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the candidates. This can 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 will be made available at the discussion page). In addition, a summary guide to candidates will be made available, and augmented by a set of personal guides by individual voters.

Voting will run for 14 days, from 00:00 UTC, 23 November 2020 to 23:59 UTC, 06 December 2020. The process will be conducted using the SecurePoll extension which ensures that individual voters' decisions will not be publicly viewable (although technical information about voters, such as their IP address and user-agents, will be visible to the WMF-identified election administrators and scrutineers).

Voters will be 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 can express is otherwise limited only by the number of candidates. After voters have entered their choices for all of the candidates and submitted their votes, they may revisit and change their decisions, but attempting to do so will require expressing preferences for all candidates from scratch. Because of the risk of server lag, voters are advised to cast their vote at the latest an hour before the close of voting to ensure their vote will be counted.