Thanks for noticing this and bringing the discussion on this topic.
Fortunately, I know Jonah won't be offended by this vote and I don't have any doubt he'll soon be a committer ;)
I think the main part of the responsibility in such failing elections belongs to project leads (aka me that time). Indeed, the EDP already has rules to allow removing inactive committers, and just seems like in that case, removing inactive committers earlier would have prevented such issue from happening. I think I simply failed, as a project lead, to do the basic "gardening" of the project committer list to make sure further elections can work well. On the other end, as number of committers (number, not activity) is perceived by many people -and even EMO in my understanding- as a metric of successful project; there is a kind of pressure in having a not too tight committers list, which leads to keeping inactive people in here more than necessary.
I did send message to some inactive committers to tell them, without leaving them much choice, that I'm going to remove their commit rights, as allowed by EDP. When this inactive committers are removed, then I'll restart the election and it will conclude successfully. I'll also turn 2 other active contributors as committers on the project.
To me, as project lead, I think the issue was that I failed at anticipating this situation. What would have helped me in anticipating would be some automatic email saying "committer X has not contributed code for more than 6 months. According to EDP, you're allowed to remove this person from the list of committers. We encourage you to do so. If you think this contributor is not involved in the development process, just do nothing, and they will be removed automatically in 2 months. Otherwise, please go to portal and mark the committer as active and we'll report again in 6 months if necessary". I've seen several projects going on, some with huge committers list which weren't accurate at all, I've seen some inactive committers being still listed for no reason as they're not involved in the development of process any more. To me this is an anti-pattern for several reasons such as the example of Jonah's election on LSP4E. Project lead should be more "aggressively" encouraged to remove inactive committers on their projects, that would make this kind of issue less probable.
So while I appreciate your wish to support this specific LSP4E case, I believe as project lead I already have everything necessary to troubleshoot it by just properly doing my job as allowed by EDP.
But I think it's great to have this discussion and to have an example of the pitfalls of keeping inactive committers in, and the possible value in making them removed more systematically. I let you PMC continue the discussion and maybe in the end turn it into a request to EMO for more reports about inactive committers.