It is very easy to be a candidate in a moderator election. Only three requirements are needed:
To be 18 or over
To have earned 300 reputation points (equivalent of thirty upvotes)
Not be suspended on any SE site in the last 12 months.
In theory, these requisites allow the following scenarios
A user who has never posted a question, answer or commented on meta can be elected as moderator for life.
A user who has not reviewed, suggested an edit or edited a single post that was not theirs can be elected as a moderator.
A user might not contribute, participate or even visit a site in the two or more years prior to an election but be qualified to be a nominee.
The candidate score can be as low as 0, where 40 is the maximum score. I don't believe this has ever happened on any election on any SE site but the rules do not explicitly state a minimum score is necessary.
For more detail: Are you wondering how a candidate’s score is calculated?
For context: one former nominee's score today is 4/40. But the scores of three former ELL moderators are 33/40, 37/40, and 38/40.
A community which allows their least active and lowest-rep members to run for election, may be an example of a free and democratic election but it is potentially a dangerous situation. Ideally, in a healthy flourishing community, the weakest candidates should easily lose.
However, as we have seen in the past, ELL users are typically reluctant to nominate themselves when an election is being held. Last year we had four nominees running, this year only three. So, in the future we might again face the situation where two seats are open and only three candidates running but instead of having three strong candidates there might be two under-qualified nominees guaranteeing that at least one of them will be elected.
What do I mean by an under-qualified nominee? It is a user who has not contributed significantly or actively sought to improve the site. In fact, before a user is trusted to cast close and reopen votes, they must first earn 3K.
3,000 ⇅ cast close and reopen votes help decide whether posts are off-topic or duplicates
If a nominee has not earned 1k, Stack Exchange suggests that they are not an "established user".
1,000 🏆 established user you've been around for a while; see vote counts
If a nominee has not earned 500 rep, they are not allowed to use the review queues.
500 ⇅ access review queues Access the First posts and Late answers review queues
And yet once elected, the under-qualified ♦ moderator can unilaterally put on hold, lock, close, reopen, and migrate questions. They can also delete and undelete comments, answers and questions. They can convert answers into comments, freely edit posts, and suspend users without knowing anything about that person's history owing to the fact the newly-elected moderator has not participated in years or regularly visited the main site. It is worth reminding that Stack Exchange does not allow a community to change their mind about a moderator once he or she is elected. Unless the moderator voluntarily steps down (retires) or is fired by Stack Exchange, an unqualified, ineffectual moderator will be allowed to hold that position permanently. For more information: Who are the diamond moderators, and what is their role?
For all the reasons above, I suggest that the aforementioned minimum requirements be revised. I would appreciate hearing the community's opinion.