So I know that on cross validated we can nominate ourselves for the moderator position, but are we able to nominate others for the position? I do not see an option for this but there a few people I can think of that I would like to nominate if they themselves do not do it. even if they do not want the position (and could be the reason they do not nominate themselves) I think its a very nice way of saying we appreciate everything they do for the cross validated community at large.
The moderator elections are fairly well announced and documented on the site - I'd suggest that anyone paying sufficiently little attention to the site to not notice the elections going on is probably poorly suited to being a moderator.
Which means, in all likelihood, if someone hasn't put their name in, it's because they don't want to be moderator. And if someone doesn't want to be a moderator, they really shouldn't be, from either the standpoint of the community, or from "Don't foist unpaid obligations on strangers".
I'd suggest, if you really think someone would make a good moderator, that you contact them (many people have Twitter usernames and the like in their profiles) or leave a comment to that effect, perhaps in response to a well-written post in CV's meta site.
There are better ways to show appreciation than nominating someone Moderator (offer a bounty for example for answering above and beyond the call of duty, for example.)
Additional effort has to be gone into if more than a set number of nominations are received; ten or more nominations results in the Primary system kicking in, effectively a round of voting to choose the best (or most voted for) candidates prior to the election proper.
I have no problem with this if ten or more people want to nominate themselves, but there is no point having extra voting if people don't want the job.
Better would be to contact a particular user and see if they would mind being nominated. That way you can express your thanks and solicit their opinion on whether they would mind being nominated.