Chicago Wins 2022 Site
Selection Vote

Chicago has won the vote to host the 80th Worldcon, to be held September 1-5, 2022 (Labor Day Weekend in the U.S.).

CoNZealand Site Selection administrator Alan Stewart read off the vote tally during a Zoom meeting. There were 587 total ballots received. (Figures below recorded here by Goobergunch.)

Chicago – 517
Jeddah – 33
None of the Above – 6
Write-ins – 20
No Preference – 11
Invalid – 11
Spoiled – 1
Total With Preference 576
Needed to Elect (Majority) 289

JEDDAH IN 2026. After the results were announced, Yasser Bahjatt said his committee would now become a bid for 2026.

CHICON 8. The name of the 2022 con is Chicon 8. Helen Montgomery will chair.

The event will be held in the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Convention room rates will be $160/night sgl/dbl/tpl/quad.

The guests of honor and toastmasters will be:

Author Guest of Honor

Artist Guest of Honor

Fan Guests of Honor

First Fandom Guest of Honor

Toastmasters

At this link is Chicon 8’s Progess Report #0.

The Membership price structure is in this table. (Should be possible to enlarge by clicking on it. Otherwise the info is at the Chicon 8 website.)

CHICON 8 COMMITTEE

CHICON 8 SOCIAL MEDIA

Update: The complete results of the voting for the 2022 Worldcon were:

FIRST BALLOTMail-inEmailedTotal 
Chicago in 20221516517winner
Jeddicon 202203333 
None of the above066 
Antarctica 2022011 
Bil Lawhorn’s zeppelin hangar011 
Denver011 
Free Hong Kong099 
Moderately expensive Hong Kong011 
Kirkjubaejarklaustur, Iceland011 
Malmö, Sweden011 
Mariehamn, Åland Islands, Finland011 
Marik City on Planet Marik in House Marik011 
New Zealand011 
Old Zealand011 
Any country with an acceptable human rights record011 
     
Total with preference1575576 
Needed to win  289 
     
No preference11011 
Total valid votes2585587 
     
Invalid votes 11  
Spoiled votes 1  
Courtesy of Kevin Standlee

Chicago won on the first ballot with a total of 587 valid votes cast, of which 576 expressed a preference.

A further 53 tokens were sold, but no matching ballots were received.

30 thoughts on “Chicago Wins 2022 Site
Selection Vote

  1. Note that those people who bought site selection voting tokens but did not cast a valid ballot effectively voted “no preference,” like someone who pays their Advance Supporting Membership voting fee and then walks off with their ballot and forgets to drop it in the box. (Or drops their receipt and keeps their ballot, which happens now and then.) All of those people also get supporting memberships in Chicon 8.

  2. @Kevin Standlee:
    (1) I’m imagining registering the receipt as a “vote” now…
    “One vote to hold the Worldcon in…Joe Bloggs.”

    (2) I suspect that the process was just clumsy enough to cause issues. The invalid ballot count is a bit higher than is usually the case, and I recall hearing quite a bit of chatter about folks being confused as to what number to use for their token. Not that some folks won’t buy the site selection token as a matter of course (with the intention of simply converting), but it feels like this year there was enough hassle (and enough steps where one’s attention could get broken off and not come back around to voting) that a few votes probably got dropped that way.

  3. Whoever arranged that vote tally to place ‘Any country with an acceptable human rights record’ as the zinger at the end should take a bow.

  4. I wish Chicon 8 a good run.
    And hope that site selection will be easy and not require sending in cheque or money (the last Worldcons were pretty good about that afair).

  5. Does anybody think that Saudi Arabia will have an acceptable human rights record by 2026? Even if that convention had been held in Philadelphia within walking distance of Independence Hall the fact that all the hotels were a drive away was a real impediment.

  6. After the results were announced, Yasser Bahjatt said his committee would now become a bid for 2026.

    Someone needs to sit down with these folks and explain why Saudi Arabia is not getting a Worldcon. I’m mean, they’re free to keep spending their money, but who wants to go to a place with one of the worst human rights records in the world? My wife could be arrested for simply being bi. Jewish fans and anyone with an Israeli entry stamp in their passport would be denied entry to the country.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to visit Jeddah. But not while Saudi Arabia is still dominated by Wahabbist fanatics.

  7. Are you volunteering?

    ISTM that’s a hell of a job to put onto anyone who has the overt responsibility to look like they could speak to the question. And while I would be astounded and appalled(*) if Jeddah did any better next time(**), I’m uneasy (at least) about any person, or even a group of people, presenting as speaking for fandom as a whole; that starts going in the direction of the gatekeepers we say we don’t have.

    (*) probably — I don’t rule out a miraculous conversion, especially given some of Prince MBS’s moves, but I’m not holding my breath waiting for it.

    (**) I could hope they’d do worse percentagewise, as this was an unusually small number of voters; Glasgow (currently the only declared bid for the year that will hold the 2026 site selection) is likely to have several times as many members.

  8. Are you volunteering?

    Sure. I’ll happily write an email (I can’t travel right now due to health concerns) frankly pointing out the reasons why having a multicultural event like a Worldcon in a theocracy like Saudi Arabia is a non-starter.

    I don’t see it as gatekeeping, but a statement of fact. When you are talking about a state that bars entry to Jews and anyone who has ever visited Israel, makes being LGBT a crime punishable by death, and bans alcohol, it is not a good place for a fun convention.

  9. I think it would be a great idea if the Jeddah group worked to build a solid local/regional SFF convention tradition. If they took the energy and resources they’re currently using and focused on creating events that build con-running skills and experience, then perhaps at some point when the politics have shifted, they can convince WSFS voters they’re ready to handle a worldcon. And in the mean time, they could have had some enjoyable conventions.

  10. So, the worldcon will be in a country which instituted a “muslim ban,” and has significant other immigration blocks, a pattern of systematic racism in its police force so large as to provoke daily protests and which engages in major voter suppression against races and other groups, which has such poor disease control that almost no country in the world will allow its residents past its borders for tourism?

    The members of WSFS have spoken. Did any writers send letters to “WSFS” to get them to block this bid?

    OK, I’m being satirical here, I’ve attended many Worldcons in the USA, and I told the Jeddah bid chair, whom I know well, that their bid would not get taken seriously even by those who don’t feel you should blame the local fandom for the actions of the government. The Jeddah bid was not sufficiently well prepared or yet capable of hosting the worldcon, but that’s not the reason most voted against it. But let’s not pretend we aren’t hypocrites.

  11. @Brad Templeton–

    OK, I’m being satirical here, I’ve attended many Worldcons in the USA, and I told the Jeddah bid chair, whom I know well, that their bid would not get taken seriously even by those who don’t feel you should blame the local fandom for the actions of the government. The Jeddah bid was not sufficiently well prepared or yet capable of hosting the worldcon, but that’s not the reason most voted against it. But let’s not pretend we aren’t hypocrites.

    I don’t blame the bid committee for their government’s actions or its laws.

    The fact remains that those actions and laws exist, and they make an awful lot of fans feel genuinely unsafe about going to Saudi Arabia. Their very identities are illegal, and SA’s laws on these things are extremely harsh.

    Leave aside the ban on just being gay, bi, trans, etc. Let’s pretend we can ignore that. What about same-sex married couples? What are they going to do?

    What is any married couple not from a fairly conservative Muslim (or, ironically, Orthodox Jewish) culture going to do with a ban on “public displays of affection” that includes things people from western cultures do in public all the time without a thought? That would be tricky.

    And then, of course, ignore all those issues altogether.

    Their convention schedule is absolutely impossible for several reasons, but most notably the lack of time to read whatever Hugo nominees you haven’t read already, so that you can actually vote. The Hugos are almost the only thing the Worldcon is required to do, and their schedule makes it unworkable. In response to questions about that, they keep explaining why this schedule is necessary for a Worldcon in Jeddah…

    Which does not really help their case.

    And yes, the US has problems too, some of them serious. In a more perfect world, we’d be getting better on civil rights rather than the current attempt to roll the clock back on that. Even failing that, it would have been nice to have another overseas bid in a less troublesome country than Saudi Arabia, one that hasn’t chopped up an American journalist with bone saw, in an embassy, for instance. And from a bid committee that understands it can’t just handwave away a seriously problematic Worldcon schedule just because those are the only dates that work in the only site they think is reasonable for a Worldcon in their country.

    If we’d had that other overseas bid, I’d have voted for that, not Chicago.

    But when it’s Jeddah vs. Chicago? Heck, yes, I voted for Chicago.

    And no, that’s not hypocritical. That’s making the best available choice in an imperfect world.

  12. I think that one can draw distinctions between the human rights problems in the United States and those in Saudi Arabia (or China, for that matter) without being hypocritical. There is a whole lot of room between them on any reasonable Human Rights scale. The fact that the vast majority of the thousands of fans who have come here for Worldcons over the past decade with absolutely no problems at all is strong evidence that those occasions of problems one can point to are aberrations, and are not representative of U.S. policy overall.

  13. Well, as I pointed out, one of the problems of the USA is that its President promised a Muslim Ban, and while he could not get exactly what he wanted, he got a fair bit of it. So particularly when you are contrasting the Arab world and the US, while KSA has many deep flaws, you can imagine they might feel that a partially successful ban on immigration of their entire very large religion might seem to match the level of the bans on sexual relationships etc. To be clear, I don’t support oppression of either, but one can see the argument that from the other viewpoint, we are not really vastly better.

    Of course, fandom in the Arab world is small, though they have a nice genre tradition going back to Scheherazade herself. Yes, there are probably more people in current fandom who would be barred by KSA’s rules than their are Muslims who would be blocked by the USA’s rules, but that’s because of the population of current fandom. I would love if we embraced Arab and Islamic fans as much as we could, so that there were enough of them that both rules made an equal difference.

  14. Only 2 mailed-in ballots. How things have changed over the last few decades!

  15. Brad Templeton: But let’s not pretend we aren’t hypocrites.

    Dude, you can pretend whatever you want, but you don’t speak for me or anyone else.

    As Lis Carey says, picking the least worse choice instead of leaving the decision to the people who would pick the worst choice isn’t hypocritical. A bunch of people who left their decision to the people who would make the worst choice because they couldn’t pick what they wanted most is how the U.S. ended up in its current mess.

  16. @Brad Templeton:

    So particularly when you are contrasting the Arab world and the US, while KSA has many deep flaws, you can imagine they might feel that a partially successful ban on immigration of their entire very large religion might seem to match the level of the bans on sexual relationships etc

    . They might also feel that the Moon is made of green cheese; that won’t make it so. Just for starters, there’s a difference between keeping people out, and letting them in so they can beaten by licensed fanatics. Next, it’s flat-out false to refer to a ban on their “entire very large religion”; from Wikipedia, the total population affected is under a quarter billion out of 1.8 billion total. (This is the sort of inconvenient fact that the Cheetoh tries to run a felt-tip over; do you want to imitate him?) Finally, that ban is being fought tooth and nail by a large part of the USA, and frequently blocked; KSA, by contrast, exercises minimal control over its moral police — but plenty of control over people who speak up against them.

    Was the USA simon-pure before the Cheetoh? I certainly don’t claim so — although I haven’t gone as far as a sarcastic friend who vowed to tell anyone he ran into on a trip across the pond that he was from Baja “Canada”. And I had to acknowledge the palpable hit of one of your countryfellows who told me “The trouble with you Yanks is you think you’re holding an election. We think you’re holding an intelligence test — and losing.” But your smug equivalentism is ridiculous — especially given what I read in the BBC about Canadian abuse of its own Native American population. The likelihood of the USA being nearly as appalling by the next Worldcon, let alone 2022, is small and getting smaller; the likelihood of real change in KSA (as opposed to cosmetics like letting women drive) is similarly small.

  17. As I’ve said, I’ve attended many U.S. worldcons. I am even living there on a visa. And I don’t blame the organizers of Chicon for what Trump has done, nor do I blame the Jeddah concom for what MBS has done. Nor would I actually try to write a letter to “WSFS management” to get them to forbid Chicago being on the ballot. That letter was particularly strange, since the odds of Jeddah winning were zero, making the letter just a form of virtue signalling more than anything else.

  18. @Arwel Parry:
    I don’t think it was a question of “times changing” so much as the deeply unusual situation this year: The burden to cast a non-email vote was unusually high, with a very early receipt date (and prone to failure given the overall mail situation…I would bet that at least a few ballots were sent but not received), and no in-person ballots were to be accepted. Basically, it’s a corner case, and in normal circumstances I think you’d still have a majority of ballots either cast at-con or hand-carried to the con.

  19. Further to Gray’s point, I would have been extremely uncomfortable using the provided email system if I at all cared about keeping my Site Selection vote secret. Fortunately that was not the case this year.

    (Had COVID-19 not happened, my plan was to find somebody at Westercon to hand-carry my ballot.)

  20. Yeah…fortunately, it was not a hard-contested election; otherwise, I suspect this would not have gone over well and there would have been a lot of pressure for some alternative method to be used (possibly using agents in North America and Europe as a stopgap?).

  21. During Obama’s years in office, there were an average of 1555 immigrants from Saudi Arabia per year. During the two years for which there is data for Trump (2017 and 2018), there were 2135 and 2100 immigrants from Saudi Arabia.

    Saudi Arabian laws against homosexuality have been brought up several times here. Per Human Rights Watch, “Saudi Arabia has no written laws concerning sexual orientation or gender identity”

  22. @Brad Templeton: That letter was particularly strange, since the odds of Jeddah winning were zero, making the letter just a form of virtue signalling more than anything else. Or a way of further demonstrating ignorance about the facts/process and unwillingness to be bothered to learn.

    @bill: the concern is over not just “immigrants”, but visitors. Under Trump, the announced policy (blocked, then allowed) is that a quarter of a billion people are outright barred from coming to the US; do you expect any of us to believe that Obama had such a policy? And do you believe the absence of written laws overrides the will of the religious police?

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