Arbitration Committee/Election processes
This page lays out and compares the processes by which Arbitration Committee members are selected at different language Wikipedias and other Wikimedia projects.
Projects with Arbitration Committees
- Number of seats varies with the number of active users (currently it comes out to six people)
- Members are elected for 24 months
- Voting is valid when at least 20 users voted (agree + against + abstain votes)
- Candidates who have at least 2/3 support are elected (up to the number of required seats)
- Voting is closed by current members in coordination with bureaucrats
- Half of the German Arbitration Committee (de: Schiedsgericht) is up for election every year in November. There are 10 seats in total.
- Members of the Arbitration Committee cannot be a checkuser, oversighter or bureaucrat at the same time, but they get administrator rights (just for use for the Arbitration Committee, not regular rights).
- From the 1st until the 7th of November one can nominate candidates for the election, and from the 8th until the 21st one can vote.
- Each elected member serves for two years, and after that their position is up for election again. A member can be reelected.
- Voters and candidates must have in total 400 edits (at least 200 in the article namespace) and must already have made edits for at least 4 months. At least 50 article edits must have been made in the last 12 months before the election.
- Every voter may cast one vote per candidate, but the total number of votes is not restricted. Voters can cast votes pro and contra, the candidate with the better difference wins; neutral votes are not charged (but are allowed).
- Every candidate that received a number of votes so high that only four other candidates have more votes, is elected (= the five candidates with the highest numbers of votes are elected, however if there's a tie on place 5, 6 or even more candidates are elected exceptionally).
- Vacancies (for example after resignation or if there were not enough successful candidates to fill every seat) can only be filled in the following regular election. In such a case more than six seats may be available for candidates, the additional mandate(s) are for one-year-terms only.
- Elections are community-run without the involvement of ArbCom itself. The process usually takes place in November and December, and brings the Committee numbers to a maximum of 15. Terms are for a maximum of two years, and in 2010, some new terms were for only one year, to minimise oscillations in the number of vacancies at successive elections. In the 2011 election, there were seven two-year seats and one single one-year vacancy, with the same rationale.
- Candidates present themselves with a statement of up to 400 words, and are asked both standard questions, by community consensus, with a limited number of individual questions by eligible voters permitted on the candidate pages. Editors are free to ask as many questions as they wish on candidates' user talk pages.
- Users need a registered account with at least 150 mainspace edits on en.WP by 1 November in the year of the election. Since 2009, the election has been conducted by secret ballot with the SecurePoll Mediawiki extension.
- The election is organized and run by volunteer coordinators, who are appointed as Election Administrators at the votewiki to operate the SecurePoll extension. The results are checked by scrutineers, who are stewards that are not active on the English Wikipedia.
- Jimmy Wales may optionally ceremonially announce the appointments to the Committee.
- The committee was formed in 2010.
- The election is held annually every September.
- The committee is composed of 5 members, all of whom may be replaced by the next election but there is no limitation for incumbent arbitrators to re-run.
- Any user with at least 1000 edits in the main namespace may nominate themselves.
- Any user with at least 500 edits in the main namespace and 100 edits in the preceding 6-month period who has created their account at least 3 months before the election starts is eligible to vote.
- The Schulze method is used as the voting system. The elections are conducted by secret ballot with the SecurePoll Mediawiki extension. The top 5 candidates are elected for a 1-year tenure and the 6th and 7th ranked candidates may be called upon if need be.
General information: The first Finnish Wikipedia Arbitration Committee began its term on October 1st 2007, when the community-elected 10 members started their tenure. Five Arbitration Committee members who received the most votes were automatically elected for a 2-year tenure and five others for a 1-year tenure.
- 2-year full membership and reserve membership tenures
- All annual elections are held before October 1st every year and registered Wikipedians always elect five new Arbitration Committee members for a 2-year tenure. Those members who have already served for 2 years will automatically rotate out in favor of the five new nominees who receive the most votes. Hence, in every annual election exactly half of the Arbitration Committee's membership will change.
- The rest of the candidates automatically become Arbitration Committee's reserve members and, if needed, can be called upon in the order of their tallied votes (candidate who finished sixth is called first, then the one who finished seventh etc.). Reserve members would typically be called upon if an Arbitration Committee member is a part of a dispute and has to disqualify himself from the arbitration process or if an Arbitration Committee member chooses to resign before the tenure is up. For any arbitration case at any given time a minimum of six qualified (unimpeded) Arbitration Committee members have to be active and part of the proceedings.
- The Arbitration Committee will select a chairman amongst the committee members for a 1-year tenure.
- Nomination: A two-week nomination period begins in early September, when candidates are nominated either by self-appointment or by a referral of other registered and established Wikipedians. After the nomination period is over, the two-week voting period starts. Users can still continue to nominate new candidates even after the official nomination period is over.
- Voting: Elections are conducted using simple open approval voting. Registered users with at least 100 edits before the voting starts can cast votes to any number of candidates, but only one vote per candidate. No commenting or questions are allowed except in dedicated discussion pages of each candidate. In the case of a tie, there will be a coin toss or tied candidates will draw straws. (No official policy is decided on this.)
On fr.wikipedia the ten members of the Arbitration Committee are elected in two rounds: once in September and once in March, each for a mandate of one year. Five users are elected in each election (sometimes more if some arbitrators resign).
- Every registered user can submit his/her candidacy during a time period of about two weeks. There is a period of 48 hours between the close of the nominations and the beginning of voting.
- Requirements for voters
- Users need a registered account that is at least 3 months old, with at least 350 mainspace edits.
- Voters can only Oppose, Support or vote Neutral; no comments are allowed.
- Voters can change their votes during the election and do not need to express their opinion on each candidate.
- Traditionally, the candidates don't vote for themselves.
- Voting begins at 00:00 UTC and ends 10 days later, also at 00:00 UTC, unless there are less than 5 elected users, in which case the vote is extended by five days.
- The neutral votes aren't counted. The candidates are elected with a two-thirds majority: Support / (Support + Oppose) > 2/3
- In the case of a tie, the five candidates with the most number of support votes are elected (and in case of a tie in support votes, the candidate with the least number of oppose votes is elected).
- The other eligible candidates become understudies (ranked by number of support votes).
- Members are appointed for one year periods.
- Usually, every alternating six months, three or four positions are up for election. Members of the Dutch Wikipedia community vote on candidates.
- Candidates need at least an edit history of nine months and 1000 non-vandalism edits and they can renominate themselves unlimited.
- Users need a registered account with at least 100 non-vandalism edits, the first at least one month old, to vote.
- Candidates need at least 75% (votes in favour divided by total votes for that specific candidate) to pass the vote, and the candidates with the highest percentages of votes are elected.
Polish Wikipedia Arbitration Committee was set up over a year ago, after a discussion in the summer of 2007, when the main documents of the English Arbitration Committee were translated (which served as a basis) together with activity reports/summaries of the English and German ArbComs.
- Elections: The Committee consists of 9 members and the elections take place twice a year, in March and September, each of which replaces half of the Committee's count with new members, so that the terms overlap and each Arbiter serves a term of a full year. During the first election (September 2007), all nine members were elected, four of which (the four with the fewest votes) served for half a year and were replaced in March. September elections result in 5 seats being exchanged.
- Nomination: Each election is a two-stage process. For 7 days (March and September 1-7) candidates can be nominated (self-nominations are also acceptable, as well as re-nominations). Each candidate who self-nominates or confirms his nomination must collect 5 votes of endorsement in order to get through to the second round. The minimal criteria for the candidates are: half-year long edition history and 1000 edits. Until 2020 The candidates were not required to be sysops and when elected, regular users got sysop rights for their term. Since 2020 elected users are granted Arb-com user right for the duration of their term.
- Voting: The second stage lasts 2 weeks (March and September 8-21). Each Wikipedian with a minimum of 500 non-deleted edits in the mainspace and a 3-month edition history may cast a "for", "against" or "abstain" vote for each candidate. The final ArbCom members are those who amass the most net votes (for votes minus against votes, with abstain votes having no weight). If two candidates get the same amount of net votes, the one with the longer edition history receives a higher standing.
Arbiters may resign during their term, at which occasion the next candidate from the appropriate election takes the vacant place. In case of longer inactivity they may also be dismissed by the Committee itself.
The Portuguese ArbCom consists of 5 members and 2 substitute members, which are elected yearly. One month before the end of the term, the election process starts.
- The first 15 days of the election period are for nominations and self-nominations of candidates.
- If there are less than 10 candidates at the end of that period, the deadline is repeatedly extended by seven days, until the minimum number of 10 nominations is achieved.
- Candidates must be over 18 years old and be willing to identify themselves to the WMF. They also must have over 2000 edits in the main namespace and have an account older than 1 year.
- Voting occurs in the following 15 days. The 5 most voted candidates (as long as they've reached more than 66% of support and at least 10 favorable votes) are elected as members of the ArbCom. The next two most voted candidates are elected as the substitute members.
- In case of ties, the lesser number of oppose votes and the age of the account are used as criteria, in this order.
A 7 member team is elected for 6 months (with elections held June 1 and December 1).
- Anyone can nominate a candidate or self-nominate.
- Candidates must have a history of 8 months of editing and 2000 edits.
- Those who confirm their nomination (obviously blocked users can not confirm since they are blocked) answer questions.
- In order to vote, users must have 3 months of editing history and 500 edits and no less than 100 edits in last 6 months before beginning of nomination.
- The voting period lasts for one week.
- Vote results are shown live, and users may change their vote after initially voting.
- Some votes may be stricken by bureaucrats (for example, a vote from a user that has been inactive for a length of time).
- Candidates who received more than 33% votes in opposition are ineligible for the Arbitration Committee.
- The top seven candidates counting the support votes from those remaining are then considered elected to the Arbitration Committee; they become main arbitrators.
A 5 member team is elected for 12 months.
- Anyone can nominate a candidate or self-nominate.
- Candidates must have a history of 6 months of editing and 1000 edits.
- In order to vote, users must have 90 days of editing history and 300 edits.
- The voting period lasts for two weeks.
- Vote results are shown live, and users may change their vote after initially voting.
- At least 10 users must participate in the voting.
- Candidates who received less than 75% support votes are ineligible for the Arbitration Committee.
- The top five candidates counting the difference between support and oppose votes from those remaining are then considered elected to the Arbitration Committee.
- Elections are held in July of every year. Prior to the election, a committee of election coordinators is set up. These coordinators do not participate in the nomination process or vote in the election.
- Candidates are nominated through a nomination process by other users. This process lasts for approximately 2 weeks.
- An election is held, and Wikinews community members with 250 edits approximately two weeks prior to the election can vote. All Wikimedia Foundation board members, full-time staff, and paid developers are eligible to vote, provided they have edited a Wikimedia project one month prior to the election in that capacity. In the most recent election, voters only cast support votes or comments, there were no oppose or negative votes.
- The Arbitration Committee Election Coordinators confirm the results, and the candidates with the majority of votes become members of the Arbitration Committee. The Committee serves a 1 year term.
Projects with inactive or trial Arbitration Committees
- Croatian including election rules
- (First version) An ArbCom that was proposed (and discussed) in May 2007, never reached consensus
- (Second version) Existed from 7 June 2009 to 23 January 2010
- An ArbCom was proposed in 2006, never reached consensus.
- Korean (inactive)
- Swedish (inactive)
- Thai (term expired in January 2016, no elections held since)
- Slovenian (deleted, with a redirect to Wikipedija:Mediacija). The page exists only as a framework for eventual setting up. The mediation wasn't needed so far, so the rules for the election process haven't been established yet.