The 2013 arbitration election is now open after a mishap with the SecurePoll voting system. It will run for fourteen days, ending Tuesday, 9 December, at one minute before midnight.
There are nine empty seats to be filled, three from arbitrators who have resigned during the term, and six from arbitrators whose terms are expiring. Two of the current arbitrators whose terms are expiring, AGK and Roger Davies, have announced they would run again. The four arbitrators whose terms are expiring, and who will not be running for re-election are Kirill Lokshin, Risker, SilkTork, and Courcelles.
Voters can inform themselves about the candidates through several of the election subpages. A list of the candidates, along with their nomination statements is at Arbitration Committee Elections December 2013/Candidates. A summary guide chart profiles the candidates, showing their current user rights, other positions held, previous positions, and requests for other positions (administrator, checkuser, bureaucrat. arbitrator, mediation committee, etc.). The candidates' responses to a standardized list of questions are linked from their individual statements. Members of the community can pose questions to the individual candidates. There is also a list of voter guides compiled by individual editors.
Editors may vote here. Candidates' names are randomized and will appear in a different order each time the page is accessed. Discussion of the candidates will continue throughout the voting period, and voters may change their vote at any time before the close of voting, simply by voting again. The new ballot page will override the old one. You can verify that your vote has been recorded by checking the voting log.
This week's "News and notes" features a section with extended coverage of the elections.
WMF statement: Being an administrator is not a requirement for arbitrators
In response to a question posed by outgoing arbitrator Risker, the WMF legal team has clarified its position to allow non-administrators to run for arbitrator. The announcement came barely 24 hours before the nomination period closed, but as a result of the announcement, there are now 3 non-admin candidates running for arbitrator: Isarra, Kraxler, and The Devil's Advocate.
The question of non-admins holding various positions has come up before, most recently in March, when the WMF issued a statement from its legal team that Audit Subcommittee members required an "RFA or RFA-identical process" for access to deleted revisions. Because of this, it was concluded that AUSC committee appointments were not open to non-admins.
The WMF legal team has now clarified its position regarding the arbitration elections, saying that running for and winning an election for arbitrator would qualify as the type of rigorous community selection process required for the checkuser and oversight rights held by arbitrators.
Our legal and community advocacy team has been asked whether running for (and winning) a seat on the Arbitration Committee would meet the "rigorous community selection process" test, and therefore qualify an elected ArbCom member for Checkuser/Oversight rights. We believe that being elected to ArbCom is an involved process that strongly demonstrates community trust, and that there is a reasonable expectation that Arbitration Committee members on the English Wikipedia's Arbcom will hold those tools, except in exceptional circumstances. Therefore, we will not object to the assignment of checkuser/oversight tools to any user who runs for, wins, and is seated on the Arbitration Committee.