Willemstan Election History
This article was last updated on July 10th of 2022
A threat made by Eli Payton during the Winter 2018 Election. The machete is owned by Eli himself.
"Corruption is really only fun when we're the ones doing it."
- Sean Kavanagh on the corruption of Willemstan's elections, 02/16/2021.
"Every six months? That's too much accountability."
- Ian's dad on the Willemstan Election process, August 2021.
"It's not systematic. It's personal."
- Ian Hampton on Joey's proposal to independently review every citizen in his Winter 2021 campaign, 12/14/2021.
Every six months, the citizens of Willemstan elect a new Dictator through an official government ballot hosted on Google Forms and administered by the email@example.com account ran primarily by Charlie Nolan. From 2018 - 2020, Charlie allowed and even encouraged voter fraud and manipulation of the ballot. This resulted in very skewed and controversial elections. The candidate with the "most" votes on this ballot becomes the new Dictator of Willemstan. Election regulations and proceedings are mostly determined by the current governing legislation, which is currently the New Articles of Willemstan. However, there has never been any lasting legislation on who should run the elections. Under the first governing document, the Willemstan Commandments, an Electoral Committee was supposed to be founded to make sure the elections were secure. Naturally, this never came to fruition. As a result, Charlie took it upon himself to run the elections. He was the de-facto election manager until 2020, when he was removed from power after much controversy. In late 2020, Charlie returned to power and ran the Winter 2021 Election alongside Ian Hampton, who assumed control of the election process due to Charlie's removal. This would remain the election procedure going forward. Corruption in Willemstan elections was finally outlawed in 2021.
Despite the controversial nature of Willemstan elections, they have been an overall benefit to the server. For one, server activity spikes during election season, as many citizens rise from their slumber to cast a vote or run for Dictator themselves. Additionally, the server typically gained additional members during election season due to vote outsourcing. Election season is one of the more enjoyable times in Willemstan, as the production of propaganda and campaign videos results in hilarious and often iconic content remembered for years to come.
See also: Willemstan Election Controversy
Corruption was extensive and actively encouraged by government officials in all elections from 2018 - 2020. In fact, in every Willemstan election during that era, there were more fraudulent votes than votes from real Willemstan citizens. The form was intentionally set up to be easily manipulated, with the only obstacle being email verification. There were many methods of corrupting a Willemstan election. The most popular and infamous was vote purchasing, in which citizens of Willemstan could spend real money to buy votes for a candidate (and remove votes in later elections). Revenue from vote purchasing went towards the Willemstan Government. Elections provided a majority of Willemstan revenue. Other and more controversial tactics included filling out the ballot several times using alternate email addresses, and spreading the election ballot to people outside of Willemstan in an effort to rack up votes. Percentage wise, corruption in elections peaked during the Winter 2018 Election, but the most fraudulent votes were received in the Winter 2021 Election.
Due to the unchecked power of the Dictator, there was concern for many years that the Dictator would heavily manipulate the elections for their own gain to remain in power indefinitely. Since the Dictator can manipulate, change, and ignore the governing document at will, the Dictator can theoretically manipulate the entire election process itself, or eliminate the prospect of elections. Thankfully, this has not yet happened, as nobody has been edgy enough to try. However, the fear of such an event taking place partially lead to the Willemstan Coup. And ironically, the Summer 2020 Election was officially suspended shortly after that incident.
The corruption of Willemstan elections caused a lot of drama in Willemstan. Often, Charlie had to publicly defend the integrity of the election process in order to avoid total unrest. Email verification was added to the ballot as a means to prove to citizens that the ballot could not be manipulated. Vote purchasing was "discouraged", among other regulations. In reality though, these were all shams. Corruption continued at a steady pace behind the scenes. Vote purchasing was still very much allowed until the Winter 2021 Election. Vote outsourcing occurred in every election with increasing impact, even Charlie himself was sending the ballot to the Antarctica Discord Server. The email verification was nothing more than a facade, as almost everyone knew it could be easily circumvented. Despite the drama it caused, this blatant government corruption occurred uninterrupted for many years. This was for a variety of reasons. Charlie and his associates covered up the true extent of it in order to prevent more "controversial" figures from winning. The majority of candidates benefited from the corrupt process and used it to their own advantage. Voter turnout was low and so the ability to have a fair election was questionable. Some found the corrupt nature of the elections entertaining.
Move to Fair Elections
Having fair elections was a rather fringe position for all of 2018 and 2019. Almost nobody supported fair elections, and those that dared to question the legitimacy of an election were discredited by government officials (mostly Charlie). While it is true that candidates such as Eli Payton refused to partake in vote purchasing themselves, they still benefited from the corrupt actions of others, mainly vote outsourcing and purchasing on their behalf. For example, during the Summer 2018 Election, Annie Payton won the election due to heavy vote outsourcing. To name a later example, many candidates in the Winter 2020 Election were backed by outsourced votes, including the winning candidate Sean Kavanagh. Nobody's hands were truly clean.
However, support for fair elections began to truly grow in 2020. Charlie Nolan publicly stated his support for a fair(er) election process, believing that he owed the citizens of Willemstan a fair election for once. The Willemstan Amendments, a new governing document drafted by Charlie, Dawson, and Sean, created election reforms. However, these reforms never had the chance to be put to use, as the Summer 2020 Election stalled and the Willemstan Amendments were later scrapped. In June of 2020, the Construction Crew wrote new rules for the election process, but ultimately decided to continue the corrupt election process. Only Joey Badra advocated for fair elections.
Despite this setback, the Winter 2020 Election became a turning point for the movement to fair elections. Controversy erupted over the sheer number of fraudulent votes, as nearly 50 votes were reached within the first couple days of the election, shattering all previous records. In late December, Eli and Joey publicly discussed their disapproval of the vote outsourcing, and Malcolm Hollingworth joined in later (despite partaking in vote outsourcing that election and being in favor of it days prior). Minor arguments occurred over the whole situation. It was probably the worst spat since the 2018 elections. Despite supporting corrupt elections in 2020 and earlier, Ian Hampton reconsidered his stance on the issue after the election, and planned to announce policies for fair elections for his Summer 2021 run for Dictator. However, in February of 2021, he decided it would be best to pass the fair election policies earlier, and pitched his ideas to Charlie and Sean. They quickly approved, and so on February 23rd of 2021, new legislation and rules were added to the New Articles of Willemstan that transformed Willemstan's election process to a 100% fair one. The Summer 2021 Election was the first election in Willemstan that was without corruption.
Candidacy, Preparations, and Politics
Current Election System
The current system was established in February of 2021 and was inspired by the previous election system, just without the corruption. All candidates are required to announce their candidacy by filling out the election form and publishing a video on Silly Goose. Candidates have two weeks to register, and then for the final two weeks of the month the ballot will open. Only citizens of Willemstan are allowed to vote, and they must rank their top three picks for Dictator. The candidate with the most points becomes the next Dictator. Candidates are encouraged to make propaganda throughout the election cycle. All forms of corruption are not allowed. Government manipulation, vote outsourcing, and vote purchasing is not allowed. All ballots will be reviewed to make sure they are legitimate.
Willemstan 1.2 Election System
The Willemstan 1.2 system was in place from 2020 - 2021, and was established by the New Articles of Willemstan. It was based of the original election system, but with additional improvements and modifications. All candidates were required to publically announce their candidacy, the party they were running with, and had to be a citizen of Willemstan. They also needed to submit two policies they planned on enacting, as well as a video for the Silly Goose YouTube channel. Candidates spent the weeks leading up to the actual vote campaigning, producing propaganda, and occasionally showed up in interview videos in the YouTube channel. It was the responsibility of the current Dictator to insure the election took place. Corruption was allowed. Charlie Nolan was in charge with managing elections, although Ian Hampton did run the Winter 2020 Election in his place.
Failed Willemstan 1.1 Election System
In May of 2020, Willemstan drafted a new governing document called the Willemstan Amendments which turned the election system on its head. Corruption of all kinds was largely done away with, in order to make a fairer system. Citizens were not allowed to run for Dictator, only Governors elected by the citizens could do so. However, this election system never came to fruition because of delays, loss of public support, and of course the coup.
Original Election System
The original election system was in place from 2018 - 2020, and was determined by the Willemstan Commandments. There were only two requirements to be a candidate. The first was to be a registered citizen of Willemstan, (which at the time required filling out a citizenship form), and the second was to produce propaganda and a slogan for the election ballot. However, overtime the requirements changed as Willemstan Propaganda changed. Propaganda moved from the ballot and onto the Silly Goose Channel. By 2019, it became a requirement for a canididate to submit a video in order to run for Dictator. Corruption was widespread during this era, and the one party system was still in place.
Summer 2018 Election
This was the first Willemstan election. Josue Mejia, one of the founding members of the Willemstan Google Classroom, ran against Devin S. in the Summer 2018 Election. However, for this election, voters were allowed to write-in a name on their ballots. As a result, there were many illegitimate candidates.
Josue won the election by a landslide, and thus became the first Willemstan Dictator.
The final results for the Summer 2018 Election.
Winter 2018 Election
There were five candidates for the Winter 2018 Election. They were Eli Payton, Joey Badra, Sean Kavanagh, David Giovanni, and Malcolm Hollingworth.
Eli and Sean opened with a strong lead, tied with each other. However, as the election went on, results began to favor David, leaving Eli and Joey tied for second, and Sean losing support. David's strong lead may have been due to alleged vote tampering and votes from illegitimate Willemstan citizens. The poll ended with a tie between Eli and David, so a second tiebreaker poll was called. Eli ended up winning that second poll with a 60% majority, and by one vote, winning him the election.
The first poll for the Winter 2018 Election.
The tiebreaker poll for the Winter 2018 Election.
Summer 2019 Election
There were only two candidates for the Summer 2019 Election, a drop from the overcrowded Winter 2018 election. The candidates were Annie Payton, the previous dictator's cat, as well as Joey Badra, who ran during the previous election. Joey ran on the campaign slogans "Make Willemstan Great Again" and "Love me or die." Eli Payton originally planned on running for a second term, but decided to nominate his cat instead. The cat ran on the slogan “People suck, vote cat”.
When the polls opened, Joey began with a strong lead. However, throughout the opening day, his lead dwindled, until eventually Annie began to build up a lead against him. Several days later, the polls showed a deadlock tie, with each candidate at 50%. It looked like this would be a repeat of the previous election. However, on the final day of the election, Annie managed to pull ahead by one vote, winning the election with a 51.6% majority.
The final results for the Summer 2019 Election.
Winter 2019 Election
There were five candidates for the Winter 2019 Election, similar to the election a year earlier. Malcolm Hollingworth and Sean Kavanagh made their return this election after being crushed in the Winter 2018 Election. Joey Badra was running for dictator for a third time. However, there were several first time runners this election. Andrew Batten and Lucy, a pet goose, were running for the first time. Lucy supported radical reforms, such as the removal of all admins to make Willemstan an actual dictatorship, and the establishment of forced labor as a means of profit for the state. Andrew ran mainly on ending gang wars in Willemstan, promising to make Willemstan more unified, under the banner "You need a conductor, you need the conductor." Sean drew energy by promising to execute a member of Willemstan, make the drinking of water mandatory, and supported mass moral degradation.
Lucy began with a strong lead on opening day. However, by the end of the first polling day, Lucy was tied with Sean , with Andrew coming in third. As the results continued to come in, Lucy lost the majority vote, with Sean now in first, and Andrew continuing to gain momentum as well. After that, the polls reflected little change, and so Sean was eventually declared the winner. Sean won this election by one vote.
The final results for the Winter 2019 Election.
Summer 2020 Election
The Summer 2020 Election never occured. It was supposed to begin in May of 2020 after Willemstan 1.1 Reforms, but it was pushed back for weeks upon weeks after many delays due to the drastically ineffective new election system. The delay spilled into to early June of 2020, when an election ballot would typically be released. Like many citizens, Eli Payton feared the possibility of no election at all, and so he ended his hiatus from Willemstan politics and took control of the server by force. Ironically, there would end up being no election even after he assumed power. This was because Eli considered his return a valid leadership change, and thus there was no need for an election. He also stated that he would not run for the Winter 2020 Election, so his rule would not be indefinite. It seemed most citizens of Willemstan accepted this.
Winter 2020 Election
There were six candidates for the Summer 2020 Election. Malcolm Hollingworth made a return after getting only one vote in the previous election, and ran on reforming the ranking system, the political system, and the Willemstan Discord Server. He also supported containing the Willemstan Deviants and the heavy restriction of server invites. Charlie Nolan ran for the first time this election, and was in favor of restricting server invites as well and bringing back government citizenship. His campaign video to the Silly Goose channel was fillmed at Williamston High School. Natalie Nolan, a newcomer to the election and Willemstan, ran on creating equal opportunities for all Willemstan citizens and promoted freedom of speech. She is also the sister of Charlie Nolan. Sean Kavanagh ran once again despite his reputation, and supported nationalist policies, more propaganda, and the Willemstan Wiki. He also stated the following: "I swear I won't do Willemstan 1.1 again. Really. I'm trustworthy. 100%." Andrew Meyer ran for the first time with the goals of reinstating the Willemstan market and the creation of a Willemstan research team. Finally, Joey Badra supported more oppression and server events. This election had a record breaking amount of 6 candidates, and was the first election not run by Charlie Nolan.
First Willemstani Debate
The first Willemstan Election Debate was hosted by Eli Payton and Ian Hampton. All candidates attended. The debate was a success, as a lot of information regarding candidate policies and intentions were revealed. Candidates widely supported the continued detainment of the Willemstan Deviants, restricting server invites, and limiting drama. They had mixed opinions on server reforms and Tax Collection. However, some drama also ensued during the debate. Ethan left the server after comments about him were made by several candidates, and resentment towards Natalie Nolan was building because of her constant interruptions.
For the first time, poll results were streamed live on the Silly Goose YouTube Channel. Although, this would not happen for the final few days of the election due to unreliability of internet. Polls opened on December 15th of 2020. During the first day Charlie had an early lead, but soon lost it to Sean. Malcolm also tied with Charlie for second, which motivated some of Charlie's supporters to jump ship and support Sean. Charlie had also endorsed Sean, and vote outsourcing for Sean and Malcolm began. By the end of the first day, Sean had a clear lead, Andrew endorsed Joey, and the previous election turnout record of 30 ballots had been smashed. Charlie and Natalie endorsed Sean Kavanagh within the first few days. Andrew Meyer conceded from the election and would later endorse Sean. On January 1st of 2021, Sean Kavanagh was declared the winner of the election, but by then the last ballots had been cast over a week ago.
The final results for the Winter 2020 Election.
Summer 2021 Election
This election featured many returning candidates, but also a few new ones. It also broke the candidate record once again, with seven unique candidates for this election. Natalie Nolan announced her campaign first, promising not to be annoying. Devin Abood ran for the first time, pledging to make the server more welcoming to new members and to increase transparency between the administration and the citizens. Eli Payton ran once again, promising to increase meme sharing and posting. Thomas Meyer ran for the first time as well, and called for Salt Mine reforms and increased oppression of the Willemstan Deviants. Andrew Meyer ran on similar policies as Thomas, but also planned to " officially lay claim to the Western Sahara via letter to the UN." Josue Mejia surprised almost everyone by announcing his campaign for Dictator, and promised to accomplish more than he did in his first term. Ian Hampton ran for the first time (excluding his goose's previous run), with plans to implement a term limit, expand the administration, and disband Wee Willemstan.
Second Willemstani Debate
A debate for this election was planned, but did not occur.
This was first fair election in Willemstan's history, so the voter turnout was expected to be significantly lower than all previous elections. Sure enough, it was, but the amount of authentic votes compared to the previous election was about the same. Polls opened on June 16th of 2021. The first ten ballots established a slim lead for Devin, with Eli and Ian close behind. However, at the conclusion of the first day, Ian had a decent lead over Eli. Devin was in third place, but with Andrew and Josue close behind. Natalie and Thomas were in dead last. 16 ballots were cast during the first day. By the end of the first week, 19 ballots were cast, and Ian's lead over Eli had grown significantly. Thomas was in last place. By the end of the election, 21 ballots were cast, and Ian's lead was maintained, making him the winner of the election.
It is worth noting that this election was based off of points, and not number of votes like previous elections. This is because the fair election system allows voters to pick three choices for Dictator, with the first choice being worth the most, and the third choice the least. As a result, it is possible to win the election without the most first-choice votes, if you are overwhelmingly supported in the second or third choice. In this election, Eli was the second choice favorite, but he did not have enough first-choice or third-choice support to topple Ian's lead.
The final results for the Summer 2021 Election.
Detailed ballot results for the Summer 2021 Election.
Winter 2021 Election
There were seven candidates for this election. Most of them are new candidates, as opposed to older members of the server. Collin Key, new to Willemstan and the robotics team, was running for the first time. He promised equality for all citizens, unless if you were a freshie or like a freshie. Izzy and Alexandra were also running for the first time, planning to share the Dictatorship if they won. They were promising server event reforms and "daily worship of Raymond Herek". Charlie Nolan was running to save the WE-PP from being disbanded by the state, and encouraged the citizens not to vote for him. Kendal Hampton was also running for the first time, advocating for more server events, as well as daily if not hourly worship of Mr. Lutzke and Mr. Rasmus. Joey Badra ran with a large agenda, promising more server events, jobs for every citizen, a review of all citizens, and much more. Brooklyn Davis was running for the first time, with plans to make fun of the freshmen and send more people to the salt mines. Andrew Batten was the last candidate to announce his candidacy, he pledged server event reforms and for Lucy the Goose to become the Willemstan national bird.
There were plans to have a Q&A session with the candidates, in which the citizens could ask them questions in the Willemstan Discord Server. This didn't end up happening because of slow candidate registration.
Polls opened a few minutes after midnight on December 15th. By the end of the first day, 20 ballots were cast, putting Kendal in the lead with Izzy & Alexandra and Charlie close behind. By the end of the first week, 28 ballots were cast, more than the previous fair election. Kendal was still in the lead, with Izzy & Alexandra only four points behind. By December 25th, Kendal was only leading by one point. Polls closed on January 31st, and the results were announced on January 1st 2022. Alexandra & Izzy managed to win the election by five points. This election marks the first time two candidates ran together as co-Dictators, and they succeeded.
The final results for the Willemstan Winter 2021 Election.
Detailed ballot results for the Willemstan Winter 2021 Election.
Summer 2022 Election
There were only three candidates for this election, the lowest amount in years. This was due to the fact that most Original Members of Willemstan and Wave #1 members graduated high school just a month prior, and there was a sentiment that only Willemstan citizens enrolled in the school system should run for Dictator. Izzy announced her candidacy first, she promised to keep Willemstan a safe and respectable state. Collin Key ran for Dictator for a second time, and planned to get rid of stupid censorship laws, listen to majority ideals, and get rid of Izzy and Alexandria should he be elected. Andrew Batten, the third and final candidate, promised to make the goose the national bird and run the server into the ground.
Polls opened on June 18th. By the end of the first day, 12 ballots were cast, which placed Izzy in a decent lead with Collin and Andrew nearly tied for second. As the ballots came in, this trend continued, though Izzy's lead appeared to be narrowing. In the end, the election concluded with 22 votes cast, and Izzy had managed to regain a solid lead over Collin, winning her the election. Izzy's victory marked the first time that a Dictator had successfully won re-election in a back-to-back term.
The final results for the Willemstan Summer 2022 Election.
Detailed ballot results for the Willemstan Summer 2022 Election.