Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2009

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The seventh elections to the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee began on 10 November 2009, with self-nominations through the submission of a candidate statement. Nominations were accepted from 10 to 24 November 2009. Voting was open from 1 December 2009 to 14 December 2009 using the SecurePoll extension for a secret ballot with the traditional options of support/abstain/oppose. The scrutineers were Mardetanha, Effeietsanders‎, Laaknor, Thogo, Millosh and Erwin; the election administrators were Mr.Z-man, Happy-melon, and Tznkai. The appointments were announced by Jimbo Wales on 24 December 2009. The new Arbitrators took their seats on 1 January 2010.

Vacant seats[edit]

The number of sitting arbitrators as of 2 January 2009 was 17, down from 18 due to the resignation of one arbitrator (Deskana) soon after appointment. The terms of four arbitrators (Coren, FloNight, Kirill Lokshin and Stephen Bain) are due to expire on 31 December 2009; four arbitrators (Casliber, FT2, John Vandenberg and Sam Blacketer) stepped down before finishing terms that would have extended into 2010. The number of candidates to be appointed and the length of their terms was subject to community discussion at this Request for Comment. Consensus was reached that there will be 18 seats on the Committee, with incoming arbitrators elected to two-year terms. As no more sitting arbitrators resigned or were removed before 31 December 2009, this election appointed nine new members to the Committee.

Process[edit]

General discussion about the election process may be found on the talkpage.

The process used in this election was at least in part based around the following points, derived from past elections.

  1. The election opened formally at 00:00 UTC on 10 November 2009, when candidates were able to submit their candidate statements through to 23:59 UTC on 24 November 2009.
  2. General questions (submitted once on a single page, and answered by every candidate) were accepted 27 October – 10 November 2009, after which a condensed version was transcluded to each candidate's "/Questions for the candidate" subpage.
  3. Individual questions were asked of each candidate 10 November 2009 – 1 December 2009 on his or her "/Questions for the candidate" subpage, reachable through the candidate statement. Questions that had already been asked of all the candidates were discouraged.
  4. Voting started at 00:00 UTC on 1 December 2009 and ended at 23:59 UTC on 14 December 2009. Within this period, eligible voters could vote for or against as few or as many candidates as they wished. Records of the voting were maintained at the list of votes cast and at a manual voter log.
  5. In order to vote, editors were required to have had a registered account with at least 150 mainspace edits on or before 1 November 2009 and not to be blocked.

In a break from the process used in previous ArbCom elections, secret ballots were implemented in this election using Special:SecurePoll, based on consensus at this Request for Comment and positive feedback on the use of the system in the October 2009 Audit Subcommittee election.

Results[edit]

Voting in the annual election for the English Wikipedia's Arbitration Committee was held from 1 to 14 December 2009. The tally of the votes is as follows:

Candidate Support Neutral[note 1] Oppose Net[note 2] Percentage[note 3] Result
Kirill Lokshin 507 301 188 319 72.9% Two-year term
Fritzpoll 351 502 143 208 71.1% Two-year term
Coren 444 363 189 255 70.1% Two-year term
Mailer diablo 365 462 169 196 68.4% Two-year term
Steve Smith 338 481 177 161 65.6% Two-year term
SirFozzie 364 435 197 167 64.9% One-year term
Hersfold 351 453 192 159 64.6% One-year term
KnightLago 265 555 176 89 60.1% One-year term
Shell Kinney 309 480 207 102 59.9% One-year term
AGK 308 461 227 81 57.6%
Ruslik0 267 522 207 60 56.3%
Wehwalt 272 475 249 23 52.2%
Xavexgoem 235 539 222 13 51.4%
MBK004 202 600 194 8 51.0%
Cla68 273 401 322 -49 45.9%
Seddon 206 545 245 -39 45.7%
Fred Bauder 281 356 359 -78 43.9%
Jehochman 257 330 409 -152 38.6%
William M. Connolley 234 284 478 -244 32.9%
Unomi 91 537 368 -277 19.8%
RMHED 98 406 492 -394 16.6%
Kmweber 102 307 587 -485 14.8%
Notes
  1. ^ Unlike previous years, all voters were required to register some form of vote for each candidate. The "neutral" column is simply the total votes, minus supports, minus opposes. There is no effective difference between "neutral" and "abstain" as far as this election is concerned.
  2. ^ Net = Support − Oppose
  3. ^ Percentage = Support / (Support + Oppose)

One candidate, Chutznik, withdrew at 13:54, 24 November 2009, before the start of voting. One candidate, Secret, withdrew at 13:19, 7 December 2009, during the voting period.


The scrutineers for the election – Mardetanha, Effeietsanders‎, Laaknor, Thogo, Millosh and Erwin – have certified the tally, i.e., the number of support, neutral and oppose votes, and will append their signatures below.

  1. Results certified by: --Mardetanha talk 22:40, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
  2. Results certified by: --millosh (talk (meta:)) 00:57, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
  3. Results certified by: --effeietsanders 22:45, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
  4. Results certified by: Laaknor (talk) 01:55, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
  5. Results certified by: --Thogo (Talk) 22:41, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
  6. Results certified by: Erwin (talk) 22:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales will be informed of the results and is expected to announce the successful candidates by 21 December.

On behalf of the scrutineers, Erwin (talk) 22:39, 18 December 2009 (UTC).

Clarification of a discrepancy in the results[edit]

Abecedare has correctly noted an irregularity in the recently-published election results: while the total votes for each candidate sum to 996, the bot-generated voter log lists only 993 unique eligible voters. We have investigated this discrepancy, and confirmed that three ballots were duplicated:

  • M.K (07:36, 14 December 2009 and 21:30, 14 December 2009)
  • Synchronism (09:08, 3 December 2009 and 21:46, 13 December 2009)
  • Verbal (23:43, 2 December 2009 and 08:28, 4 December 2009)

This was caused by the software not correctly invalidating the user's original vote when they cast a new vote, thus allowing both ballots to be counted. This discrepancy can be seen in the log at Special:SecurePoll/list/80, noting that the older votes cast by these voters are not greyed out, and was identified by analysis of these public data.

We note that the 'swing' between 9th and 10th place (the minimum number of votes that would need to be discarded to alter their relative positions) is 13, so there is no concern that this irregularity could prejudice the outcome of the election. To protect the privacy of the three votes, we have no intention of publishing a revised tally.

We note that the instructions given to the scrutineers prior to the close of voting mandated them "Once voting is concluded and all inelegible votes have been struck, [to] satisfy themselves as far as possible that the votes have been counted correctly, by reconciling the number of people voting (available via Special:SecurePoll/list/80), with the results shown on the tally screen." Had this irregularity been identified before the publication of the results, it could have been trivially rectified by manually striking the older votes in each case. However, we also note the pressure that was placed on the scrutineers by members of the enwiki community to publish the results as rapidly as possible.

For the election administrators,

-- Happymelon 01:26, 19 December 2009 (UTC)
-- Tznkai (talk) 01:29, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Appointments[edit]

Jimbo Wales announced the appointments to the Arbitration Committee on 24 December 2009. Kirill Lokshin, Fritzpoll, Coren, Mailer diablo and Steve Smith were appointed to two year terms expiring 31 December 2011. SirFozzie, Hersfold, KnightLago and Shell Kinney were appointed to one year terms expiring 31 December 2010.


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See also[edit]