Alright, so to help those of you unfamiliar with what's going on with the current Community Goal, here's a summary of who the Marlinists are and what this election means.
A thousand years ago, a woman named Marlin Duval left the Federation and flew into unsettled space. She landed on a planet in Achenar and founded a colony. She set up the colony as a democracy and was elected the leader. About forty-or-so years later, Marlin and her family died in a space ship crash.
Marlin's brother Henson Duval was elected the new leader, and it was the last election the colony had. He immediately got rid of the democracy and turned the colony into a monarchy and crowned himself the first Emperor. The Empire he founded became the Empire we know today.
Over the centuries, there was a political movement known as Marlinism within the Empire, who are Imperial citizens who believe they should be ruled by a democracy. They've been brutally persecuted and hunted down by the Empire, but they endured. In the modern day, Marlinism flourished in backwater Imperial systems.
Then came the Neo Marlinist Liberation Army. They are a splinter group off of traditional Marlinism who want to overthrow the Emperor and replace the Empire with a democracy. However, the NMLA believe that mass murdering civilians is justified if it furthers this goal. They carried out hundred of terrorist bombings and murders, and were responsible for assassinating several members of the Duval family, including Princess Aisling Duval's father.
The Empire blamed all of Marlinism for this and persecuted them harder. The Marlinists fled their homes and went into exile. After causing refugee controversy in the Federation, they eventually resettled into a region on outskirts of the Bubble where they formed 8 factions and created their own little society in 8 star systems.
Then the NMLA committed the bloodiest terrorist attack in human history. This led to chaos and civil unrest throughout the galaxy. In the aftermath, one of the Marlinist factions, the Marlinist Reformation Party, negotiated with the NMLA and agreed to represent them as a political party, in the hopes that if the galaxy engages the NMLA in diplomacy, the NMLA will stop slaughtering civilians.
This is extremely controversial. The rest of the Marlinists hate the NMLA's guts and two of the other Marlinist factions condemned the third faction for allying with them. The remaining five factions haven't made public statements.
Now, the Marlinists have created the Marlinist Consulate, a diplomatic body who will represent all 8 Marlinist factions. They are holding an election, which is the focus of this week's Community Goal. If Verity Dexter in HIP 22550 wins, she will support giving representation to the NMLA on behalf of the Marlinists. If Kayode Tau of Hyades Sector RO-P b6-6 wins, he will exclude the NMLA and refuse to recognize their legitimacy.