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During the primary phase, all three nominees received 0 votes and 0 questions about their candidacies (although there were some comments during the nomination phase).

Does it mean the primary failed?

Being not a very active user of this site, I realize that my preference may be inaccurate. In such cases I usually try to consider other people's voices on the topic discussed.

What other sources of information an average user like myself can use in order to make a good choice during the moderator election? Or if I can't make a choice, does this mean I would better refrain from casting my vote?

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    Check the nomination page: "After 7 days, the top 30 nominees, ordered by reputation, advance to the primary phase. However, if there are 10 or fewer candidates, we skip directly to the election phase." – Lilienthal Feb 6 '17 at 20:38
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Primary is only needed with > 10 candidates. As you said, there are 3. The end result of a primary is 10 candidates so a primary is moot here which is why we go straight to the election phase.

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