Simply put, do candidates for the position of moderator see the number of people who voted for them, or are they merely given the final result? And, if they're only given the final result, are they told the order in which candidates were placed, or are they only told who received the most number of votes?

I have nothing at stake in this question, I am just curious as to how it works.


The total number of votes per candidate is released publicly at the end of the election (as a BLT file) and anyone can even run the Meek-STV themselves to verify the winner. When ready the file should be at https://judaism.stackexchange.com/election/download-result/2

Here is the output from the last election.

  • Thank you. But according to that document, candidates cannot see the number of people who voted for them as a second or third choice - is that correct? That they can only see how many people voted for them as a first choice?
    – Shimon bM
    Jan 31 '17 at 23:06
  • @ShimonbM Ya that's what I got in the output. Probably with some clever maths you could figure it out from comparing the different increases each round. The data is likely available in the actual BLT file somewhere if you know how to read it right. Here's the last election file if you want to play around judaism.stackexchange.com/election/download-result/1
    – Double AA Mod
    Jan 31 '17 at 23:07
  • Thanks, DoubleAA. Sorry to be a pest, but what's a .blt file? (I couldn't find help on Google, and it's not opening properly in any application except WordPad, and is producing just a page of numbers when I do open it there).
    – Shimon bM
    Jan 31 '17 at 23:14
  • 1
    I've never seen it except here so I don't really know. In that list of numbers you see in notepad, I think each row of 5 numbers 1ABC0 is one ballot where the digits A B C represent that ballot's three choices in order. The order of the candidates is as they are listed at the bottom. The opening line I think means 6 options for 3 spots.
    – Double AA Mod
    Jan 31 '17 at 23:15
  • Our technical illiteracy aside, the main point here is the data is all public if anyone really wants it.
    – Double AA Mod
    Jan 31 '17 at 23:18
  • 2
    @ShimonbM This document explains how to read the .blt file. Each line represents an ordering. The first number is how many people chose that ordering, the next three numbers are the three choices in order of preference, and the fifth number is a 0 to signify the end of the line. Interestingly, the document from the last election shows all lines beginning with a 1 and some duplicate orderings. I think this could have alternatively been written with a number greater than one and no duplicates.
    – Daniel
    Feb 1 '17 at 0:29
  • The data file contains the complete ballots (anonymized). You can see how many people voted for any given candidate as first, second, or third choice by slogging through the data by hand or writing code. You cannot see who cast those ballots, and nobody can see that data until the election is over -- there's no access to votes in progress. (I did some post-election analysis to understand how the voters felt about me, BTW.) Feb 1 '17 at 4:22

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