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posted by NCommander on Wednesday April 23 2014, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the apt-get-install-democracy dept.
I wanted to get feedback on how the community feels about our current name vote. There have been some concerns that we've had relatively small percentage (~10 percent) of members register to vote, and wanted to see if there was something more fundamental going on. As it is currently setup, here's how things are
  • You had to be registered by April 12th to have been included in the name vote; if you received a ballot for submission, you should have gotten ranking ballot
  • We haven't retroactively added in additional users, though it hasn't been clear that there was a hard cutoff
  • The submission phase went until the 19th, and the vote for the name will continue until the 27th
  • The current system is email only (but we are looking at getting something integrated into the website implemented for future votes)

I want to hear your feedback below from everyone. Based on what we get back, we'll roll improvements into future votes, or if need be, reset the vote and do it again; I know a lot of you are active here or at least more involved, so the relatively low turnout is a warning canary for me. Leave your comments below, and expect another story in a few days to see how we're using your comments.

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  • (Score: 2) by prospectacle on Thursday April 24 2014, @10:47AM

    by prospectacle (3422) on Thursday April 24 2014, @10:47AM (#35443) Journal

    Minor difficulties and inconveniences put people off voting, for example:

    - Having to log in to a separate program/account (email), when we may already be logged in to this site.
    - Needing to set a separate "I'm willing to vote" setting (a consequence of using email as the voting method, I guess)
    - Having to rank backwards (1 isn't 1st preference, but it's called a 'rank')
    - In some cases having to look in the spam folder, or change webmail settings (e.g. to use plain-text email when it may not be the default).

    These are not massive problems, but in combination several small problems can make a big difference to turnout, especially when most people aren't too concerned about what the name is, and have gotten used to the current name (and unlike me, may not be democracy/voting-system nerds).

    The easiest solution, imo would be:
    - A web-form you have to be logged in to use. It can be a separate page so no integration with the rest of the slash interface needs to occur.
    - No "willing to vote" setting is necessary. If you don't want to vote, don't.
    - Give a confirmation/preview of how your vote will count if you submit it as is. (can also indicate malformed entries).
    - Rank from 1st on down, and make it clear in the confirmation screen how it will count. Also you can allow people to type either "1st" or "1". You can also let them rank as far as they want, it doesn't need to end at 9.

    Whether you use these suggestions or not, I'm confident the voting will get better, and the problems were relatively minor, in my opinion.

    Having two votes seems unnecessary, as well. You can have the staff make a shortlist that they're happy (enough) with, and let the users pick the winner, or vice versa.

    If a plan isn't flexible it isn't realistic
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