The rules seem to work fine. Just posting 2 submissions and 2 comments into a subverse I've never used before doesn't cut it if the subverse has over 1000 subscribers. Reasonable. Need the submissions and comments to begin with. Can't start transfers if a mod is active.
What I did find interesting is this: I began a transfer for /v/Public when I was the only moderator of /v/Public (it went through successfully, so apparently there is no issue transferring subverses to oneself. BUG? I feel like this could result in unnecessary strain on Voat if people spam subverse requests of their own small subverses to themselves.)
Before processing the transfer vote, I used a referendum to vote Putt into a mod position in /v/Public (because he also has active comments and submissions in that subverse).
Attempting to start a new transfer vote for /v/Public to me then failed, because even if the transfers don't care about transfer from self to self, it does care that another mod was active, and thus is forbid me from starting the second transfer.
However, the first transfer was still active. I then processed the first transfer, and it went through without any errors. The result, however, was null; both Putt and I remained moderators of /v/Public.
Not sure if this is all expected behaviour but those are my current observations.