Reminder About 2018 Hugo Voting Eligibility

Hugo vote savings time is here.

The recently-published minutes from the Helsinki Business Meeting prompted ULTRAGOTHA to pass along a reminder about the new deadline to become a member of WSFS in order to nominate for the Hugos in 2018.

You now need to be a member of Worldcon 75, OR buy a membership to Worldcon 76 or Dublin in 2019 by DECEMBER 31, 2017.

If you wait until January – the old deadline — you’ll be SOL.

[Thanks to ULTRAGOTHA for the story.]

24 thoughts on “Reminder About 2018 Hugo Voting Eligibility

  1. Note also that 2018 will also be the last year that members of the following year’s Worldcon will be eligible to nominate. Due to ratification of the change at the WSFS Business Meeting this year, as of 2019, only members of the current year and the previous year will be eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards.

  2. Still wavering on whether to attend or not attend Worldcon 75. Pluses–I have only ever been in CA briefly for plane stopovers, and have friends in CA, including San Jose. Cons–flying in general, attacks of sudden shyness, overwhelming possibilities for panels, shipping books home.

    If I don’t attend, I will definitely still be a supporting member, otherwise, why keep track of the 2017 books, stories, etc?

  3. Actually, WorldCon 75 was in Helsinki this past year. San Jose in 2018 is going to be WorldCon 76, and Dublin in 2019 will be WorldCon 77.

    If you were a member of WorldCon 75 (supporting or attending), then you are eligible to nominate already. You don’t need to purchase a membership in WorldCon 76 quite yet. (Although that’s a nice thing to do.) If you were not a member of WorldCon 75 (Helsinki, 2017), then you need to buy a membership (either kind) in either WorldCon 76 (San Jose, 2018) or WorldCon 77 (Dublin, 2019).

  4. Will the site-selection thing still work (turning into supporting memberships) as it has in the past? I haven’t heard otherwise, but I guess this is the place to confirm…

  5. Pingback: AMAZING NEWS FROM FANDOM: 11-5-2017 - Amazing Stories

  6. Why did they make this change? Just seems more likely to result in less people nominating and its counter-intuitive to have registration for nominations close before the eligible period is over.

    Hope this is changed back at some point.

  7. Why did they make this change? Just seems more likely to result in less people nominating and its counter-intuitive to have registration for nominations close before the eligible period is over.

    The change is to reduce the work of the volunteers who put WorldCon together, and it was felt it made only a very small difference in participation. The reason for that is that most people who nominate are people who voted the year before, so they’re automatically registered already.

    Remember that people can register for the Con all the way up to the day it starts. But if you register after one deadline, you can’t nominate, and if you register later than that, you can’t even vote. You still get the packet of stories to read, and (for an attending membership), you get to attend the talks and all.

  8. @Beth in MA on November 5, 2017 at 8:35 am said:

    Pluses–I have only ever been in CA briefly for plane stopovers, and have friends in CA, including San Jose. Cons–flying in general, attacks of sudden shyness, overwhelming possibilities for panels, shipping books home.

    Well, if you do decide to attend, let me say that from Eric’s and my experience, WorldCon is a fun event where everyone is trying to have a good time. You don’t see any of the negativity that you find online. Possibly because the worst offenders just don’t show up. Even for groups like File770 that are generally positive, you get to see them at their very best. Whatever arguments people might have online, at the File770 get togethers, we’re all friends. That’s been our experience, anyway.

  9. Greg Hullender: Remember that people can register for the Con all the way up to the day it starts. But if you register after one deadline, you can’t nominate, and if you register later than that, you can’t even vote.

    This is not the case. People who buy a membership for the current year can also vote even if they couldn’t nominate, right up to the voting deadline (although there is generally a bit of a lag in registration processing, so it’s not a good idea to wait until the voting deadline to register).

  10. Thanks JJ, i was about to ask that.

    I still disagree with the change- I’m sure a large portion, if not 90%, maybe close to that, of voters are the same from year to year, but this change essentially ensures that percentage will be HIGHER and alienates new potential nominators. Administrative Ease shouldn’t come at the cost of openness honestly.

    (And as someone who nominated and voted last year, I know I’m good either way, but I wouldn’t have been okay last year as I registered during the January month).

  11. @garik16

    Given that the admins are volunteers, administrative ease is worth pursuing. I’d agree that if this move proves to disadvantage incoming new members then it will need a hard second look, of course, but I think that remains to be seen.
    My suggestion would be that the eligibility period ends with the calendar year, so isn’t it reasonable to expect nominating rights to tie up with that?

  12. @garik16:

    As Greg said, the December 31 deadline applies only to the NOMINATING ballot. The deadline for joining to vote on the final ballot is the close of final ballot voting.

    Once you become a member for the first time, just vote in Worldcon site selection every year. Even if you don’t plan on attending any of the candidate Worldcon sites, you’ll never have to worry about a membership deadline. In effect, you’re always buying your membership to WSFS two years in advance and at the lowest possible price.

    The deadline for joining to be eligible to nominate used to be the day that nominations closed. After notable abuses (long before the Puppies), the January 31 deadline was established, which reduced last-second joining-plus-nominating. But it really does take a lot of work to keep databases updated, and having a deadline that allows you to “freeze” the membership databases of all of the eligible Worldcons that is before nominations open makes a big difference. There are still many thousand people eligible to nominate.

    Administering the Awards is much more challenging than most people think. It’s particularly challenging this year because the eligible electorate is the union of the membership of Worldcons in three different countries.

    But if you feel sufficiently strongly about this, you should consider proposing a change that you think makes things better and attempt to convince two consecutive WSFS Business Meetings to vote for it. It’s not like you’re lobbying a faceless Board of Directors, after all; every attending member can participate and vote in the rule-making process.

  13. Will the site-selection thing still work (turning into supporting memberships) as it has in the past? I haven’t heard otherwise, but I guess this is the place to confirm…

    It still worked for WorldCon 77 (2019 in Dublin), because I voted in site selection for the first time, got my supporting membership and upgraded to attending, all while at WorldCon 75 in Helsinki.

    @Beth in MA
    WorldCon 75 in Helsinki was a lot of fun and things I did worry about beforehand never materialised. I met a lot of people, including several Filers, was on programming and even moderated a panel and it all went without a hitch. So if you have the chance to attend, do it.

  14. Cassy B on November 5, 2017 at 8:31 am said:

    Will the site-selection thing still work (turning into supporting memberships) as it has in the past? I haven’t heard otherwise, but I guess this is the place to confirm…

    Yes.

    Voting on site selection automatically makes you a supporting member of that Worldcon, no matter how you voted. That’s why it costs money to vote: you’re buying your WSFS membership two years in advance. If you want to attend, you have to pay the “convention supplement” (the difference between supporting and attending membership price) as well, but as long as you vote, you’re always a member.

  15. Hmm, this reminds me, I thought I voted in 2016, but I’m not on the member list and don’t remember receiving a magic code, so I’m e-mailing to check. I may just be confused (didn’t vote in 2016), or lost (never got the magic activation code).

    I’m a W77 member, so (from @JJ’s comment) methinks I can nominate, but anyway, I want to be a supporting member, so I may as well get this sorted out now.

  16. Greg said

    You still get the packet of stories to read,

    You only get the packet of stories if you are a member of Worldcon 76 (not any other Worldcon) on or before the voting deadline. (And join early enough to download them all before the deadline.)

    The packet is only available to voters, not all nominators, and it disappears when voting closes.

  17. The packet is also not guaranteed, but it has become customary. It is dependent on the will of the administering convention committee to do it, the volunteer effort to assemble it, and the graciousness of the publishers and finalists to agree to be included. (It is a wonderful benefit and helps so much with voting. I hope it continues.)

  18. @garik16:

    Why did they make this change? Just seems more likely to result in less people nominating and its counter-intuitive to have registration for nominations close before the eligible period is over.

    This change was originally proposed to the WSFS business meeting at MidAmericon II (the 74th WorldCon) in 2016. It aligns the deadline for membership with the deadline for publication (at least as I recall the rules, the deadline for publication for an eligible work is 24:00:00, December 31st, in the year prior to the WorldCon at which the award would be handed out, so 2017 for WorldCon 76, taking place in 2018).

    As one of the people who voted for this change (twice), my primary motivation was to make it easier on the Hugo Award committee, since the change gives them about a month of stable “no new nominators” to get everything off the ground.

    As has been pointed out, as long as you’re a registered member before the end of the voting deadline, you can still vote. But I would (as has also been pointed out) not wait until the last day to join, as there’s an inherent lag in the process to get you the things you need to actually vote.

  19. Ingvar: As one of the people who voted for this change (twice), my primary motivation was to make it easier on the Hugo Award committee, since the change gives them about a month of stable “no new nominators” to get everything off the ground.

    The discussion of the change in the business meeting minutes makes it sound like that’s the only reason for the change.

    However, immediately after voting in that change, the business meeting ratified another amendment that eliminated the right of members of the immediately following year’s Worldcon to nominate for the Hugos of the current year’s Worldcon. That right had been added to help grow participation in the awards. Once Puppies became a problem, rolling the rule back to the old standard was seen as a way of shortening the number of years someone who had only joined one Worldcon could remain an active voter.

    The arguments made for the latter motion in Helsinki also focus entirely on making life easier for Worldcon administrators. And I expect it will, just in more important ways than discussed at the business meeting.

  20. There were also stats quoted on the number of people who would be affected by these two changes. I don’t remember the exact figures, but they were quite small, for a large increase in administrative work. Most of the 2018 members as of January 31, 2017, for instance, were site selection voters at the 2016 Worldcon, and therefore had to have been members of the 2016 Worldcon. So those 2018 members already qualified. Very few people join the two-years hence Worldcon that early, except at site selection itself, and most of those apparently do so in the first rush of excitement following the election.

    Tl/dr: The vast majority of year-after members as of January 31 were site selection voters, and already qualify to nominate as year-before members.

  21. Pingback: Loose-leaf Links #50 | Earl Grey Editing

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *