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This is a draft. It isn't compelling the community currently, but it attempts to reflect a common sense among the community. We are trying here to establish a clear set of rules on voting. It will let no one judge unilaterally, but will lead each member of the community to deal with voting smoothly and help the community to build a consensus. 3 July 2005 05:35 (UTC)

Draft begins

  • Status: Draft
  • Aim: To make clear a basic scheme of voting on English Wikiquote: who is eligible to vote and how it goes, etc.

General thoughts


Because Wikiquote is not run by democracy (by number) but consensus, vote on Wikiquote is merely a tool to measure consensus smoothly and in a reasonable timespan. It is resemble to surveys rather than political votes in the real world. Some "votes" like votes on Request for administrators may follow rather consensus making way, which has currently no firm schedule except one condition "continues at least one week". Such "votes" is nearer to discussion than votings to which this document gives their guidelines.

In other words, some of "votes" on Wikiquote project aren't vote in a narrow meaning, and not the whole part of this policy isn't applied, because they have their own specific rules and guideline. For example, Votes for deletion have no explicit criteria, but are based on "rough consensus", and a sysop decided if a particular request for deletion succeeds in supporting by consensus relying his or her common sense. There is no vote in the rigid meaning, but essentially discussions. The style of vote is borrowed to make it clear the position of each editors. On the other hand, in some cases it would be nice to set the style and condition of vote in advance.

Basic guidelines


Vote organization

  • Anyone may organize a vote to determine what is the community consensus on certain issue(s). It does not require a sysop to initiate a vote. On the other hand, generally, good preparation and sufficient discussion are recommended. In some cases you might not need a formal vote to make the consensus clear. If a dispute arises on themes, it would be often better to cancel and re-organize it.
  • A vote must have a clear theme and format, that is,
    • Theme: the theme, what people will vote, should be clear before the vote begins.
    • Schedule: a vote must have a clear schedule. Two points should be made clear: 1) when it begins and 2) when it closes. Those two times should be given, unless they are already implicitly known from the exisiting rules (like VfD votes, which run at least two weeks by policy).
    • A vote can be extended if necessary and in a proper way. It depends who can extend it. Some possibilities:
    1. The vote organizer - who begins the vote
    2. Sysops, when sysop responsibilities are involved (like VfD vote closures)
    With some exceptions explicitely defined by policy, extention shouldn't be determined by those people uniliterally. You may suggest or propose to extend a vote, if you have a good reason.
    • Link to discussion: Information about voting issue should be given. If such information is available on the other page(s) where the vote will be held, link(s) to relevant past discussion(s) should be provided to voters. Generally, it is a bad idea to start a vote about an issue that relevant discussions is still on-going.
    • Criteria: the criteria of consensus may vary with each case, but have to be announced in advance. In many cases, including major policies like Wikiquote:Deletion policy, the Wikiquote community mainly uses "rough consensus", which might be assumed to lie between 66% and 75%. Currently no firm criteria has been established within the community. If a vote has no judge, however, such criteria should be announced in advance (e.g. "the proposal which gets the most votes will be chosen" or "If the candidate has 75% support, he will pass") to assure the voting result is clear. Such clear criteria helps the community to enforce the result on the project.

Voting eligibility

  • Any voter should be logged in. No anonymous user can vote. In some cases (and in the future) additional eligibility for voting might be set (like "editing more than 100 times on Main Namespace").
  • Each person has one and only one vote. Voters can withdraw or change only their own votes. No sockpuppetting on voting is allowed — sock puppets on voting will be banned indefinitely. See also Wikiquote:Blocking policy#Disruption.
  • Votes should be explicit. If a user doesn't make clear their vote, in the judgment of the vote closer, their "vote" may be ignored. It is recommended when voting to put a single word or very short phrase in bold that summarizes one's vote, unless the vote section already has explicit subsections (like "For", "Against", etc.).
  • Voting must include a signature and date/timestamp unless a special interface is prepared (like Board Elections). Every user can sign in this way by writing four tildes (~~~~), which the Wikiquote editor changes to the user ID and date/time automatically when saved.

Sysops a/o votetaker (if any) should strike out illegal or invalid votes (using HTML <s> strike markup), but should leave the text for review by the community. An unsigned or un-timestamped vote is invalid, but sysops will often attempt to get the user to correct this common error before striking a vote. Note, however, that it is user's obligation to ensure their vote is valid.

Closing a vote


When the previously announced deadline (or its last extension, if any) has been reached, any editor eligible for voting may assess the consensus achieved in the vote, if any, and close the discussion by placing the following templates immediately before and after the vote text, like so:

{{discussion-closed-top | RESULT}} ~~~~
[vote text]

This will place a shaded background around the vote, announce its results, and advise editors not to make further changes. (Later discussion must be started in a new topic.) The "RESULT" text should succinctly express the consensus. For example, if the vote is whether to keep or remove a quote from an article, the likely possible results are:

  1. {{discussion-closed-top | keep}} ~~~~
  2. {{discussion-closed-top | remove}} ~~~~
  3. {{discussion-closed-top | no consensus}} ~~~~

Editors should follow the conditions set out and agreed to by the discussion participants. If a specific level of consensus has not been identified, as mentioned above, a two-thirds to three-quarters majority is fairly common.

If an editor closes a vote in a manner that does not seem to follow these or other Wikiquote guidelines or practices, an admin may use their best judgment about whether to undo or revise that closure. Controversial discussions are probably best either left to admins to close or just closed without any analysis with an invitation for the community to interpret, and may benefit from closure by a non-participating editor or admin.