I'm delighted to see us slouching toward Bethelehem to be born; but I find no provision for nominating anyone but myself.

Is this by design or oversight?

Loong has directed me to a post which answers my question; to save everybody the trouble of following, here are the 12/9/10 words of our Glorious Leader Jeff Atwood:

When we did allow outside nominations, it caused a lot of problems:

  • users often did not know they were nominated by someone else
  • users sometimes did not want to be nominated at all
  • it implies a lot of coordination, more than there actually is, between users

There is, I think, an important difference between nominating yourself and accepting someone else's nomination. While in theory this could work and feels very democratic, in practice it typically does not, and has a small but significant chance of causing confusion and possible hard feelings.

Best to let users nominate themselves so there is no chance of confusion or misunderstanding. I also think people who self-nominate are the most motivated to participate, anyway.

  • 1
    – user16138
    Aug 24, 2015 at 21:12
  • 1
    In early days of public betas, one can nominate another person for pro tem mod-ship thingy. The other person leaves a note, nodding or declining. I don't think that's possible for graduated sites' elections.
    – M.A.R.
    Aug 24, 2015 at 22:41
  • 3
    I think that the best solution would be for there to be a way to nominate someone... which would notify them privately... then they could choose to either accept the nomination or decline it... and only if they accepted, would it become public on the site.
    – Catija
    Aug 24, 2015 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


It's by design, and not a design that's going to change. Moderatorship is a volunteer position, and the most important part of that is that the person in question has to actually want to step up. And in another sense, it's very valuable to have that person write their own statement about why the community should elect them. As such we designed it so that candidates must take their own action to be entered into the race, since that's the bare minimum we'd need.

So you can't actually throw someone else's hat into the ring. At the same time, it's not like there's nothing you can do about it - you can convince them to throw their own hat. If we implemented the ability for people to suggest candidates that they then have to accept, that's a whole lot of excess mechanical overhead that will still result in the candidate needing to go up and write their own speech in the nomination phase. Instead, some Stack Exchange sites setup a Meta post where people can suggest candidates other than themselves, and from that, the candidate can make their own decision about whether they want to run or not.

This operates similar to the Pro Tem nomination process - it's equally unofficial in the sense that it's not an actual nomination process. Rather, it serves to get visible word out about who is interested and a rough gauge of the community's support behind individuals. In the case of elections, that support is usually the way you'll convince an otherwise hesitant candidate that they have the community backing them.

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