49 thoughts on “Hugo Voting Progress Update

  1. Very strange. Unless there’s a big flood of votes in the last few days, it’s looking as if the nominations dispute encouraged a lot of people to buy supporting memberships who have not subsequently cast ballots. Not quite sure what to make of that, aside from the obvious point that voting is not as quick and simple a process as some folks might have believed.

  2. Jon F. Zeigler: People need to critically reexamine the narrative that presumes these memberships have been bought to vote for the Hugos. There is ample precedent they may have been bought as the preliminary step to voting in 2017 site selection.

  3. my ballot was snail mailed yesterday and procrastination is an ASD trait sadly…looking “forward” to the business meeting…

  4. Mike is right about supporting non voters, since Helsinki, sadly connected to Vox Day expat residency, may become a real battleground for the business meeting, sadly. Lending credence that Locus may evolve as the fall back if the Hugo gets crashed and trashed…an incentive to keep it in USA or even vote for Japan, etc. Truly hate dissing Helsinki bid comm via guilt by association, can only say “in any other year…”

  5. Eh, from a lot of years of experience, I can say that people procrastinate. I was holding on until I got through my summer I class, and a visit to my mum’s (especially since her internet was sooooooooooooooo creaky). People were, are, reading.

    The actual online ballot was dead clear, easy, and nifty–I was quite impressed.

    It will be interesting to see what the final number of ballots cast comes out to.

  6. David Dorais–The Helsinki in 2017 bid has absolutely nothing to do with Castalia House publishing. Nothing.

    Beale doesn’t live in Finland. He’s never lived in Finland. Even if he did live in Finland, would that disqualify the DC in 17 bid because Torgersen, Wright, Correia and Paulk live in the US?

    What the heck does this mean I don’t even….

  7. David Dorais: What UG said. Just because VD has a pliable puppet in Finland doesn’t mean that he has anything to do with Finland himself. Why would you even assume otherwise?

    Where you live and where you’re involved with a corporate presence aren’t related. I live in Nevada but am on the boards of directors of corporations in Quebec and California, for example. Some people have had the mistaken impression that I’m a Canadian because I’m on the board of the Montreal Worldcon bid, but you don’t have to be from a given place in order to help bid for a Worldcon there.

  8. Loncon 3 set a record with 3587. Sasquan could break that record and still be talked about as a disappointment. What a difference a kerfuffle makes.

  9. My guess is that most people don’t realize that they can vote now, then edit their ballots later up until the voting deadline, despite the instructions being that way. Therefore, lots of people are putting off voting until the last few days. I hope Sasquan’s servers can stand the strain.

  10. I FINALLY completed my Hugo ballot. Most of it was done three weeks ago but I sat my ass down in a chair and looked at all the fan artists tonight.

    My wife finally finished hers, as well. She’s going to be traveling on the deadline. I pointed that out. Pointedly.

    Whew, we done. Now to remember to vote in Site selection on DAY ONE so I don’t forget the deadline is a day early this year.

  11. @MIke

    Yeah, I’ve seen your argument on that point, and with respect I’m not entirely convinced. Routine site selection isn’t the kind of issue that’s likely to bring in a lot of sporadic or first-time members. A juicy controversy that angered a lot of people is.

    Although I will be interested to see how big the spike in site selection ballots cast will be – I’m fully expecting that there will be one.

    When this is done, I wonder how many supporting members in particular will end by not having cast a ballot for either the awards or for site selection. Right now I’m betting that number will be quite high.

  12. Jon F. Zeigler: With only a week to go in the voting it’s a good time to ask “Where are they?” if these are people who were motivated to join by the Hugos.

    Last year LonCon 3 counted 11,000+ members — most of them didn’t vote in the Hugos, but they did go to the con. More than half of Sasquan’s members are supporting, so how are they getting the bang for their buck?

    Perhaps there will be movement closer to the deadline. Maybe they’re site selection voters. Maybe they’re people who joined in response to the Hugo kerfuffle, found most of the packet unreadable, and decided not to vote in recognition that they aren’t familiar with the nominees.

  13. @Mike,

    It’s a given that this is not a normal year but do you know historically, what proportion of the voting happens in the last week?

  14. Mike, in 1984, when there was a 13-week voting period, the big weeks were 2 and 3 at the beginning, and 11 and 12 at the end.
    1467 valid ballots
    week 1, 21; week 2, 234; week 3, 175; week 4, 83; week 5, 51; week 6, 59; week 7, 46; week 8, 63; week 9, 63; week 10, 80; week 11, 223; week 12, 362; week 13, 7.

  15. I haven’t yet voted, and it’s just normal procrastination.

    I interpreted David Dorais’s comment as implying that Helsinki may have problems (“sadly”) because of a perception of a connection to Castalia House.
    The bizarre part, that I haven’t noticed anyone else responding to, is the reference to the business meeting: “Helsinki … may become a real battleground for the business meeting”. The business meeting hasn’t had any part in site selection for decades, other than being the venue for the official announcement of the voting results. The only ways that the business meeting could be a “battleground” for site selection would be if “None of the above” wins the voting, or if there’s a tie for first place.

  16. @Mike

    Yeah, that’s what’s striking me as odd. It’s looking as if a lot of supporting members may end up not participating in the voting at all, either for the awards or for site selection, so why fork over the money in the first place? Sure, to support Worldcon, but in such large numbers?

    I suppose I should quit speculating at this point and wait in patience for the results.

  17. All I can figure is that some people have the mistaken impression that the Business Meeting can intervene in Site Selection even when the results of the balloting are clearcut, which is not the case. There certainly has been a significant amount of uninformed speculation about a lot of WSFS rules this year. I guess it’s more fun to make stuff up than to actually read the rules and ask the people charged with administering them.

  18. I joined because of the kerfuffle, and voted last week. Noted that both George RR Martin expressed concern about strain on Sasquan servers.

  19. @PJ Evans

    Interesting numbers, and the early/late surge phenomenon makes sense, although online voting with corrections available probably changes people’s behaviour, as does the ability to vote right up to the wire. It would imply we’re in the middle of the late surge, so perhaps we could see anything between 500-1000 more? If so, Mike’s theory about site selection voters would be correct.

    Although, I assume VD hasn’t finished telling his Dread Ilk how to vote so they may not have bothered yet.

  20. @Myself, turns out VD issued his final marching orders yesterday, so prior to these stats.

  21. I can imagine a certain number of Gamergaters and their fellow travellers buying supporting memberships so that they can stick to the SJWs, but then not getting far with voting as they don’t actually read.

    Similarly, I can imagine voting ‘No Award’ not being a particularly motivational prospect for regular readers.

  22. @rob_matic: http://file770.com/?p=23985&cpage=1#comment-310114

    Oh, darling… Is there really no way to glue your brain so that it would stay inside your head?

    Anyhow, to vote in the 2015’s Hugos. What is needed:
    1) Pay at least $40 for supporting membership.
    2) Wait three~ days and use the pin request. (You’ll get voter numbers into your email.)
    3) Copy and paste the numbers to be able to vote.
    4) Scroll down and along the way select numbers from drop down boxes.
    5) Click on the button to save, and you have just voted.

    There is no quiz to make sure you have read, seen, or heard any of the works you have just ranked in your preferred order. It is possible to finish the entire ballot filling process in mere minutes.

    And yes; I am fully aware how the usual puppy-kickers will snark how works were not read or whatever, instead of admitting the sillyness of Rob’s above remark.

    But let us consider the voting process, because what I am very curious about is how they determine when someone has cast their electronical vote. I mean: Have you voted once you’ve ranked a single work in a single category? Have you voted once you have ranked at least one work in every category? Have you voted once you have given each work their own ranking? I

    I suppose that the first option should be most likely, you have ‘voted’ once you have saved at least one ranked work. But if it is not the case, then the ‘low amount of votes’ could be explained by how the number of voters are calculated.

  23. But let us consider the voting process, because what I am very curious about is how they determine when someone has cast their electronical vote. I mean: Have you voted once you’ve ranked a single work in a single category?

    Yes, since that’s all you have to do to submit a Hugo ballot that counts. You aren’t required to rank everything. In fact, I didn’t, and my ballot is complete. Based on an assessment of their quality, I left all of the Puppy slated works (that weren’t in the dramatic presentation categories) off of my ballot entirely and instead listed “No Award” in their place. That is a valid ballot.

  24. I have not voted yet, but not due to procrastination. Between work, writing and family issues, I really haven’t had time to read and see everything on the ballot.

    I will note that I have taken advantage of voting electronically since it was ininiated and find that it’s a lot easier and more covienient that mailing it in. I hope to catch up by the deadline this Friday…

  25. I have not voted yet, but not due to procrastination. Between work, writing and family issues, I really haven’t had time to read and see everything on the ballot

    I will note that I have taken advantage of voting electronically since it was ininiated and find that it’s a lot easier and more covienient that mailing it in. I hope to catch up by the deadline this Friday…

  26. In 1984, we couldn’t vote online – PCs were barely out of build-your-own – so I wouldn’t bet that the numbers would be more than generally similar. (Snail-mail did result in a couple of invalid ballots; one was sent international surface mail, Ghu knows why, and the other one that I remember was physically lost for four or five months: it had black rubber marks on it when it was delivered!)

    Also, there was one ballot that came back blank, except that the voter had written ‘Abstain’ on the back. It was a valid ballot, and we counted it. It didn’t matter that it had no effect on the results. (I’m not sure that would be possible with on-line voting.)

  27. Tuomas Vainio: Here’s an offensively patronizing comment making it clear that my English reading comprehension is still as poor as ever, and that I have completely missed rob_matic’s point.

  28. I did a preliminary vote as soon as I got access to the ballot,* then went back and revised it as I read the candidates. I started out with all the Puppy candidates ranked under No Award, and after attempting to read the trash eventually ended up removing most of them from my ballot.

    It’s nice being able to access the ballot through the reading process, as my ranking of the legitimate candidates also changed as I read/watched them.

    *In case something dire happened to me before I could vote…

  29. Just voted two days ago. I was very impressed with the site interface — you can vote now and it’ll save your vote, and then you can go back any time before the deadline and change it. It was disheartening to see all my No Awards in one place, though.

    I do think a lot of people are procrastinating.

  30. I thought I’d been procrastinating when I filled out my first few categories about five or so weeks ago. That was down to the number of folk here who’d been saying they’d already voted almost from when voting opened, I think. Without that pressure I might well have put off voting at all until this week.

    As it is, I’ve still got a few categories I haven’t made my final decisions on. I… might get around to them in the next few days….

  31. I had been procrastinating too, but I’ve just gone ahead and submitted a ballot (with the potential for future changes before the deadline).

  32. Interesting speculation that the puppies are trying to rig site selection for Finland. I hadn’t heard that before, but it might make sense if they are hellbent on wrecking the Hugos. Attendance at non North American worldcons is almost always relatively low (London an exception), which could give the puppies a disproportionate advantage if they band together. I wouldn’t give them that much credit, but if I thought about it, so might they.

  33. I think my vote is as complete as it’s going to get (I’m still reading the Wesley Chu stuff, but so far it’s clearly better than all the other Campbell nominees, so I’ve tentatively slotted it in and can change it if my impression changes).

    Other than that, I’ve voted in all but one category — I’ve only seen one of the Short Form Dramatic Presentation nominees, and I’m just not interested in chasing down the others, so I’m leaving that one to the rest of you to decide. I couldn’t actually bring myself to reflexively no-award all the Puppy noms, so I read everything, or at least read enough of each thing to arrive at a ranking.

    In the end, I did no-award most of the Puppy picks, and deservedly so, but not all of them wound up in that category. I did no-award some non-Puppy picks, and some stuff got ranked under No Award, so that if No Award (or any higher choice) doesn’t carry the day, at least I can help influence the choice between flavors of Not Good Enough.

    Plus I finally went over the site selection bids, and wow, Helsinki looks like it’d be a blast. I thought it was a little shallow to think, of the DC bid, “Washington DC? In AUGUST?!” — but since various of the bids emphasized what the weather would be like at their location, I suppose it’s as legitimate a criteria as any other.

    It’s been fun. I wish it had been more fun, with better reading all around. Maybe in the future. And hey, I’ve still got these Wesley Chu novels to finish.

  34. Arno Axolotl: Interesting speculation that the puppies are trying to rig site selection for Finland. I hadn’t heard that before, but it might make sense if they are hellbent on wrecking the Hugos.

    The Puppies are actually doing a big push to get people to vote for DC in 2017 because so many of them live nearby and/or would be able to attend; apparently this is at least in part so they can go to the WSFS Business Meeting and “fix” the way things are being run.

  35. I think people call it the kerfuffle. That’s what tuned me into Worldcon and Hugos and the current culture war being fought on that turf. I have to say it got me interested. I have been to a host of websites and blogs that I never visited before including this one – which I arrived at via Correia’s site.

    You guys seem to be the only one looking at the numbers and trying to make sense of them. Scalzi seems totally disinterested these day which I take to mean he is not concerned. GRRM does seem concerned and he is trying to get out the vote. So is Correia on his site. I don’t click on Satan’s site so I don’t know what he is doing.

    The numbers are 10K members now and 3K votes. What is the thinking on the stratification of these votes. I just can’t get a feel on what the outcome of all the culture fighting will be. Brad Torgerson replied to me on Correia’s site and I asked him for his opinion but while there is a lot of talk, it isn’t about the outcome of the Hugo Awards.

    How about the failure of the Tor boycott. Is that lack of strength indicative of a similar performance in slate voting? My inclination are that the populations are so different they can’t be related.

    I do find Mike’s suggestion that the 10K membership has more to do with site selection than Award voting interesting.

  36. SJW75126: The numbers are 10K members now and 3K votes. What is the thinking on the stratification of these votes… I do find Mike’s suggestion that the 10K membership has more to do with site selection than Award voting interesting.

    I would say that easily at least a couple thousand of the Attending memberships are people whose primary interest is simply in attending the convention, and that the Hugo nominating and voting is of minimal importance to them.

    A significant number of the Supporting memberships will be people who can’t attend, or are not interested in attending, the con and whose primary interest is the Hugo nominating and voting. Another significant number of the Supporting memberships will be people whose primary interest is the 2017 Site Selection. There is likely a considerable overlap between those two groups.

    And some number of Supporting memberships will be people who supported the Site Selection 2 years ago, or who want to support Sasquan, but for whatever reason will not attend this year.

    I would agree with rob_matic that there are probably not a small number of people who purchased Supporting memberships intending to vote for the first time — and then discovered that it is a bit more daunting of an undertaking than they expected, to read the packet and rank the entries.

    I also think a lot of first-time voters don’t realize that they can update their ballot on an ongoing basis, and are waiting until the last moment to vote so that they can read as much as possible.

    In past years, the concom has sent out last-minute e-mail reminders to vote before the deadline. I would be very surprised if Sasquan does not do the same — and this would probably bring in a fair number of procrastinators.

    My personal wild-ass guesstimate is that the final vote tally will be around 5,500 (Loncon last year had 3,587 voters).

  37. 5.5K seems like a significant increase. Could it be the membership is going to the dogs?

  38. SJW75261: 5.5K seems like a significant increase. Could it be the membership is going to the dogs?

    I think that the Puppies made the mistake of awaking a sleeping giant.

    Remember that 5.5K is just my wild-ass guess. We’ll know more in 5 days when Sasquan reveals final voting totals.

  39. I’m hesitant to asign the unusually low voting numbers to some conspiracy theory and would rather assume that some people simply

    a) lost interest during the wait for their PIN
    b) lost interest after reading the voters packet
    c) are still waiting for their PIN (did not receive the mail or check the associated mail account)
    d) “voted” but failed to safe (stupidity and/or sloppiness is always an option)
    e) did not manage to vote for some other technical reason
    f) only vote for site selection

    I guess some of those are especially likely if you assume that many supporting members this year are “new” to the Hugos.

    Anyways, my favorite conspiracy theory would be that a largish organized group is deliberately voting late, to avoid any kind of countermeasures. That might even be a reason why VD posted his self-recommendation so late. But really: I doubt it.

  40. I finally got around to voting, this morning. I found the on-line user interface confusing and poorly designed. It wasn’t at all clear to me, even after saving my votes, that the “Save changes” button at the bottom of each category would save all of the votes on my entire ballot. I logged out and logged back in again, to be sure.

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