Vote checking

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This page is used by the Wikimedia Foundation elections committee, and other interested election groups utilized this wiki, on how to check votes. It is currently setup for checking votes related to the 2015 FDC elections. This guide was prepared by User:Jalexander-WMF for the 2015 Wikimedia Foundation elections committee.

The English Wikipedia has a basic guide for the stewards who check votes, though it is targeted at the specifics of that election.

The short answer:

  • What: The committee has, as one of it's main jobs during the election, a job of checking votes and ensuring that you are comfortable that they are all valid voters and votes. If they are not valid votes, the vote should be struck.
  • Where: On voteWiki (with assistance where ever you choose)
  • When: During the voting and the "vote checking" period. You could wait until all votes are counted if you want though it's more efficient to keep going during the election as you can, so that you don't have to do as much after the vote actually closes.

Longer:

  • There are tools built in to SecurePoll specifically for this. The biggest one is the vote list Special:SecurePoll/list/457. On the vote list you have:
    • HomeWiki
    • UserName
    • Checkuser info (IP/XFF/UserAgent)
    • CSRF (a red X if the system isn't completely able to tell the verifiability of the users credentials. This is traditionally a very high false positive rate but they are often votes which should be looked at a bit closer).
    • Dup (Duplicate, a Red X that says the system has detected that a another vote was done from that computer and so is something to detect).
      • One thing to note about the DUP marker gets set even if a user didn't actually 'vote' with the other account.
  • The ability to strike/unstrike a vote (struck votes are not counted)
  • You can also click 'Details' and see more detailed information about the voter:
    • Most of the same information you saw about the user earlier including CU info.
    • raw data such as link to user page, edit count, global blocks, voter lists (what other voter lists are they on, the 2013 board list for example), user groups they are in on the wiki they came from (in this case meta always), registration date etc.
    • A log of all vote strikes/unstrikes including the reason it was struck
    • If there was a 'duplicate cookie' flag it will show you why (so who it was marked as a possible duplicate of).

In addition to these tools the committee can obviously use other techniques to make sure they feel comfortable and are able to work through it efficiently. There has often been a case or two where committee members would reach out to a user to ask them a question or two. More then anything for questionable votes, the committee's mailing list and IRC channel will be useful for everyone to discuss.