Moderation's policy on tied votes (specifically, votes which award no points) has recently been that they are not moderatable. Let me explain briefly why that policy was implemented. Beginning of the argument, sources, spelling, and conduct clauses of the voting policy is the following phrase: "in order to award conduct points." I interpreted this text to mean that a vote must actually award points in order to be subject to these clauses. Put differently, "in order to award points" is not the same as "in order to award no points." I was not particularly pleased with the result of this reading of the voting policy, as it essentially allowed junk votes to be cast, possibly in order to inflate the voter's site statistics.
Recently, however, thanks both to Ramshutu and Virtuoso, my view on what the voting policy allows moderation to do with regard to tied votes has changed. There are two relevant portions of the voting policy and COC which are important in this new reading. First, the voting policy defines a "vote bomb" as "a vote cast without regard for the content of the debate." This implies that the voter must have at least examined the debate and its content prior to voting, and must root their vote in a consideration of that content. Second, the COC prohibits spam content, where "spam" refers to "any content which is nonsensical or excessively repetitive." Voters who cast the same tied vote with highly similar RFDs over and over again are spamming.
Therefore, there will be a change to moderation's approach to voting moderation with regard to tied votes. These changes will impact any votes cast on or after of 4:00pm, EST, today. This post is serving as a public notice of those changes in policy. This thread will be locked in 48 hours.
The first policy change is that voters must offer an explanation (which is related to the content of the debate) of why they chose to award no points. Simply saying "my opinion wasn't changed" or "I wasn't able to form an opinion" or "pink elephants smoke meth" will no longer be acceptable RFDs on tied debates. Voters need not meet the standard of sufficiency for awarding argument points, but they must clearly explain why, based on what transpired in the debate, they chose not to award points. The second change is that casting more than 5 tied (no points awarded) votes a day will be considered spam, and will result in all tied (no points awarded) votes in excess of the 5-vote limit being deleted.
I intend to submit these policies to a MEEP for further consideration and development. The MEEP will be held sometime in June or early July. My hope is that a clearer standard for tied votes can be developed, and that the spam cap can possibly be repealed or limited in scope. Until then, these stopgap measures, based on a careful consideration of the site's COC and voting policy, will be implemented as described. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thank you.
-Bsh1, Chief Moderator