By Jo Van Ekeren:
I’ve spent the last couple of years exhuming statistics and ephemera about the Hugo Awards from various sources, including old Usenet posts on Google Groups, old fanzines, archived con websites, and various historical documents which have been scanned and made available online (and I give my thanks to those of you who have been making those archiving efforts, especially Joe Siclari, Edie Stern, Mark Olson, and Bill Burns).
I’ve managed to resurrect full or partial statistics for around 23 additional years beyond what was posted at TheHugoAwards.org. A few years have already been posted there, and I will be gradually rolling out the rest of them over the next few months as I get them formatted into readable documents.
This post is an expanded and updated version of earlier statistical analyses by George Flynn:
Hugo Voting: Let’s Look at the Record by George Flynn 
Hugo Voting: Let’s Look at the Record (Again) by George Flynn 
and of an update by Jed Hartman which pulled in some additional years and electronic vs. paper voting numbers:
Hugo stats: numbers of nominating ballots by Jed Hartman 
I’ve updated it with Site Selection ballot numbers, Advance Membership numbers, and Hugo participation percentages for 2000-2019, plus Retro Hugo data, as well as showing the difference between the number of categories which were on the nominating ballot versus the number of categories which had sufficient participation to be on the final voting ballot.
I’ve got source citations for all of the numbers included here. A lot of the information came from documents on The Hugo Awards, Fancyclopedia 3, FANAC, eFanzines, the SMOFS Long List, old Usenet posts on Google Groups, and the Wayback Machine. If you have questions about where one of the numbers came from, you can message me here.
You are welcome to link to the full Google document — and certainly can make a backup of it if you wish — but please be aware that I expect it to continue to change as more bits of information become available.
Please do report to me any errors or omissions you might notice, either in the comments on this post, or by submitting a message here.
What does the most recent data about Hugo nominators and voters tell us?
- Tracking of the electronic vs. paper nominations and votes, at the turn of the century, was helpful in evaluating the amount of electronic uptake by Hugo voters. That hit 99% in 2011, and has remained there ever since. Now this comparison tracking is chiefly of interest in noting how many remaining members are either unable or unwilling to nominate and vote electronically.
- From 1989 through 2007, participation in the final ballot was consistently under 20% of the Advance membership (those eligible to participate in voting). In 2008, both overall membership numbers and Hugo participation began to rise steadily. It is likely that common acceptance and the ease of the ability to nominate and vote electronically contributed significantly to this. In addition, 2008 was the first year of the annual Hugo Voter Packet – containing finalist works which were not otherwise available for free – and this has also likely contributed to the rise of member numbers and of Hugo participation among members.
- The ratio of Supporting to Attending members has also steadily risen in the last 10 years, and while some of this can be attributed to the Puppy campaigns of 2015-2016 as well as to fans from the U.S. being unable to attend overseas Worldcons in London and Helsinki, it seems clear that access to a large number of free works in the Hugo Voter Packet is also a contributing factor. Percentage of eligible advance member participation in the Hugo Awards is now at an all-time high, at 40% to 50% of the eligible membership.
- Site Selection, which has remained a mail-in or on-site endeavour, has seen somewhat of a decline in participation in the last 10 years. This is likely due to having only one bid site in many of those years, but possibly also somewhat due to people who previously voted for both Hugos and Site Selection by mail in the past now only voting for the Hugos online. This is not likely to change unless and until it becomes common for bidcoms to be willing to have electronic voting for Site Selection.
Hugo Voting: Let's Look At The Record Again (1971-1999), by George Flynn
|1971||29 - Noreascon I||Boston||9||343||732||9||—||1,600||45.8%|
|1972||30 - L.A.Con I||Los Angeles||9||270||550||9||256||1,500||36.7%|
|1973||31 - Torcon II||Toronto, Canada||11||350||708||11||375||2,200||32.2%|
|1974||32 - Discon II||Washington DC||12||?||930||12||645||2,600||35.8%|
|O||1975||33 - Aussiecon One||Melbourne, Australia||12||267||600||12||528||1,880||31.9%|
|1976||34 - MidAmeriCon||Kansas City||12||486||1,595||12||993||3,600||44.3%|
|1977||35 - SunCon||Miami Beach||12||500||800||12||884||2,800||28.6%|
|1978||36 - IguanaCon II||Phoenix||13||540||1,246||13||1,154||4,200||29.7%|
|O||1979||37 - Seacon '79||Brighton, UK||13||467||1,160||13||920||4,126||28.1%|
|1980||38 - Noreascon Two||Boston||13||563||1,788||13||1,549||5,447||32.8%|
|1981||39 - Denvention Two||Denver||12||454||1,247||12||1,680||4,529||27.5%|
|1982||40 - Chicon IV||Chicago||12||648||1,071||12||1,119||5,000||21.4%|
|1983||41 - ConStellation||Baltimore||12||660||1,322||12||729||5,500||24.0%|
|1984||42 - L.A.con II||Los Angeles||13||513||1,467||13||1,368||6,740||21.8%|
|O||1985||43 - Aussiecon Two||Melbourne, Australia||13||222||443||13||527||2,199||20.1%|
|1986||44 - ConFederation||Atlanta||13||568||1,267||13||1,863 (’88)|
|O||1987||45 - Conspiracy '87||Brighton, UK||13||567||990||13||1,373||4,953||20.0%|
|1988||46 - Nolacon II||New Orleans||14||418||1,178||14||1,455||4,721||25.0%|
|1989||47 - Noreascon 3||Boston||13||539||980||13||1,636||6,100||16.1%|
|O||1990||48 - ConFiction||The Hague, Netherlands||14||291||486||14||1,088||3,418||14.2%|
|1991||49 - Chicon V||Chicago||13||352||1,048||13||2,086||5,126||20.4%|
|1992||50 - MagiCon||Orlando||14||498||902||14||2,509||5,297||17.0%|
|1993||51 - ConFrancisco||San Francisco||15||397||841||14||1,282||5,834||14.4%|
|1994||52 - ConAdian||Winnipeg, Canada||14||649||491||14||1,439||4,388||11.2%|
|O||1995||53 - Intersection||Glasgow, Scotland||14||477||744||14||1,554||4,900||15.2%|
|1996||54 - L.A.con III||Los Angeles||14||442||939||14||1,064||6,000||15.7%|
|1997||55 - LoneStarCon 2||San Antonio||13||429||687||13||1,467||4,400||15.6%|
|1998||56 - BucConeer||Baltimore||13||471||769||13||2,168||5,131||15.0%|
|O||1999||57 - Aussiecon Three||Melbourne, Australia||13||425||438||13||820||2,425||18.1%|
Hugo Voting: Let's Look At The Record Yet Again (2000-2020),
by Jed Hartman and Jo Van Ekeren
|58 - Chicon 2000||Chicago||13||407||130||31.9%||1,071||475||44.4%||13||1,698||5,262||20.4%|
|2001||59 - Millennium Philcon||Philadelphia||13||495||178||36.0%||1,050||282||26.9%||13||2,094||5,013||20.9%|
|60 - ConJosé||San José||14||626||371||59.3%||924||697||75.4%||14||1,034||4,422||20.9%|
|61 - Torcon 3||Toronto, Canada||14||738||776||478||61.6%||14||1,481||4,204||18.5%|
|2004||62 - Noreascon 4||Boston||14||567||366||64.6%||1,093||14||1,686||5,613||19.5%|
|O||2005||63 - Interaction||Glasgow, Scotland||15||546||436||79.9%||684||552||80.7%||15||||4,169||16.4%|
|2006||64 - L.A.con IV||Los Angeles||15||533||434||81.4%||711||600||84.4%||14||1,561||4,128||17.2%|
|65 - Nippon2007||Yokohama, Japan||15||409||340||83.1%||589||15||902||4,691||12.6%|
|2008||66 - Denvention 3||Denver||15||483||895||15||826||4,062||22.0%|
|2009||67 - Anticipation||Montréal, Canada||16||799||1,074||1,040||96.8%||16||763||3,812||28.2%|
|O||2010||68 - Aussiecon 4||Melbourne, Australia||16||864||1,094||16||526||2,898||37.8%|
|2011||69 - Renovation||Reno||16||1,006||992||98.6%||2,100||2,086||99.3%||16||760||4,688||44.8%|
|2012||70 - Chicon 7||Chicago||17||1,101||1,922||17||932||5,218||36.8%|
|2013||71 - LoneStarCon 3||San Antonio||17||1,343||1329||99.0%||1,848||17||1,348||4,468||41.4%|
|O||2014||72 - Loncon 3||London, UK||17||1,923||1889||98.2%||3,587||3,571||99.6%||17||778||8,580||41.8%|
|2015||73 - Sasquan||Spokane||17||2,122||2119||99.9%||5,950||5,914||99.4%||17||2,625||10,321||57.6%|
|2016||74 - MidAmeriCon II||Kansas City||17||4,032||4015||99.6%||3,130||17||1,321||6,174||50.7%|
|O||2017||75 - Worldcon 75||Helsinki, Finland||18||2,464||2458||99.8%||3,319||3,315||99.9%||18||1,227||7,672||43.3%|
|2018||76 - Worldcon 76||San José||19||1,813||1795||99.0%||2,828||2,810||99.4%||19||726||6,393||44.2%|
|O||2019||77 - Dublin 2019||Dublin, Ireland||20||1,800||1797||99.8%||3,097||3,089||99.7%||20||880||6,000?||51.6%|
|O||2020||78 - CoNZealand||Wellington, New Zealand||19||1,584||19||587||4,486|
Hugo Voting: Let's Look At The Record for the Retro Hugos
|1996||1946||54 - L.A.con III||Los Angeles||13||111||---||605||---||10|
|2001||1951||59 - Millennium Philcon||Philadelphia||12||130||48||36.9%||862||157||18.2%||10|
|2004||1954||62 - Noreascon 4||Boston||13||131||96||73.3%||841||10|
|2014||1939||72 - Loncon 3||London, UK||16||233||226||97.0%||1,307||1,295||99.1%||10|
|2016||1941||74 - MidAmeriCon II||Kansas City||16||481||475||98.8%||869||11|
|2018||1943||76 - Worldcon 76||San José||17||204||192||94.1%||703||688||97.9%||9|
|2019||1944||77 - Dublin 2019||Dublin, Ireland||18||217||214||98.6%||834||826||99.0%||11|
|2020||1945||78 - CoNZealand||Wellington, New Zealand||18||120||521||12|
|||Number of categories includes the Hugo Awards, the Campbell Award, the Lodestar/YA Award, and any other special categories or awards announced that year. Discrepancies between total nominating categories and total voting categories are the result of categories with insufficient nominations being dropped from the final ballot.|
|||Chicon 2000 received 1,101 Hugo ballots, of which 475 were electronic ballots and 626 were paper ballots. 30 ballots were invalid, which left 1,071 valid ballots. It is unclear how many of the 30 invalid ballots were paper vs. electronic.|
|||ConJosé received 940 Hugo ballots. There were 697 were electronic ballots, 226 paper ballots, and 17 fax ballots. 16 ballots were invalid, which left 924 valid ballots. It is unclear how many of the 16 invalid ballots were paper vs. electronic vs. fax.|
|||Torcon 3 received 805 Hugo ballots, of which 478 were electronic ballots and 327 were paper ballots. 29 ballots were invalid, which left 776 valid ballots. It is unclear how many of the 29 invalid ballots were paper vs. electronic.|
|||The number of final Hugo ballots for Nippon 2007 is unknown. The quoted figure is the number of Novel ballots / 80%, which is the average percentage of final ballots cast for Novel during that stretch of years.|
|||Site Selection went from 2 years to 3 years in advance|
|||Site Selection went from 3 years to 2 years in advance|