The Right Date?

[Editor’s Note: Second in a series. Dublin 2019 has posted the 2019 WSFS Business Meeting Agenda (July 21 update) [PDF file] containing all the business submitted by the July 17 deadline. File 770 will post about some of the proposals and invite discussion.]

Another proposed rule rollback would get rid of the requirement for people to buy Worldcon memberships by the December 31 deadline in order to be allowed to nominate for the Hugos.

Item D.8 on the Dublin 2019 business meeting agenda is — Short Title: No Deadline for Nominations Eligibility.


D.8         Short Title: No Deadline for Nominations Eligibility

Moved, to amend the WSFS Constitution by revising Section 3.7.1 as follows:

3.7.1: The Worldcon Committee shall conduct a poll to select the finalists for the Award voting. Each member of the administering Worldcon or the immediately preceding Worldcon as of the end of the previous calendar year shall be allowed to make up to five (5) equally weighted nominations in every category.

Proposed by: Nicholas Whyte, Kathryn Duval, Marguerite Smith, Steven Mollmann, Tammy Coxen, Hanne Madeleine Gates Paine, Doug Merrill, Karl-Johan Norén, Claire Rousseau and Vince Docherty

Commentary: At present, those who want to nominate for the Hugos must either be members of the previous year’s Worldcon, or have joined the current Worldcon before 31 December of the previous year.

Until recently, the deadline was 31 January. The move to make it a month earlier (proposed by Nicholas Whyte and Kathryn Duval in 2017, ratified in 2018) was partly prompted to fit with the then proposed three-stage nominations process (which did not pass) and partly inspired by tidiness (no other date is in the constitution).

In practice, it has led to some frustration among members who join after 31 December and who did not realise that there was a deadline.

From the administrator’s point of view, it is actually much easier to give new members nominating rights, up to the deadline, than to exclude them. This has been the practice for voting on the final ballot for the Hugos for a very long time.

This does carry a certain risk of entryism, with people joining at the last minute as part of a campaign. The deterrent here is social: Hugo voters have now demonstrated that they will react strongly against any such moves by voting for No Award ahead of finalists who have reached the ballot as a result of such campaigns.

*****


Commenting on the supporting arguments —

In practice, it has led to some frustration among members who join after 31 December and who did not realise that there was a deadline.

If this year’s administrators have had to deal with people who are unaware of the deadline, could a contributing factor be that Dublin 2019’s WSFS page fails to tell people there is any deadline in its description of the rights of members? It only says —

If you are a full or supporting member of Dublin 2019 then you are a member of WSFS.
As a WSFS member (through Dublin 2019) you are entitled:

    • to nominate works for the 2019 Hugo Awards, the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and the Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, and the 1944 Retro Hugo Awards.

Next, there is an argument about the administrator’s convenience:

From the administrator’s point of view, it is actually much easier to give new members nominating rights, up to the deadline, than to exclude them.

Let’s remember that there has been a deadline in the rules for almost three decades – it has been part of the Hugo Administrator’s brief for a long time. That it would be “much easier” not to have to do that part of the job might not mean that it should stop being part of the job.

This has been the practice for voting on the final ballot for the Hugos for a very long time.

It is more accurate to say that practices for Hugo nominating and final ballots have been different for a very long time, and not gloss over the reasons why there are different rules for each.

In 1989 the Noreascon 3 committee was confronted with a flagrant case of bloc voting. (See details in “Source Materials About The 1989 Hugo Controversy”.)

“In counting the nominations, we observed a significant pattern of what appeared to us to be bloc voting, amounting to over 50 votes in some categories. The number of these votes was sufficient to place nominees on the final ballot in the following categories: Novel, Professional Artist, Fan Writer, Fan Artist, and John W. Campbell Award. More seriously, about half of these ballots were received with new Supporting Memberships, nearly all of which appeared to have been paid for by the same persons (the payments were made with blocks of consecutively-numbered $20 money orders, purchased at the same post office.) We were highly disturbed by this practice….”

Leslie Turek, editor of N3’s conrunning publication Mad 3 Party, looked for ways to make this abuse more difficult to repeat. The first of her two ideas was to encourage maximum participation by members in nominating works for the Hugos. Her other idea produced the rules change —

Second, I’m thinking of proposing a change to the voting rules, to limit nominations to people who joined the Worldcon by December 31 of the year covered by the awards… This would mean that no one could send in a membership and a Hugo [nominating] ballot at the same time: they would have to purchase their membership before December 31, and then also send in a ballot after December 31. This won’t stop a determined bloc-voter, but it would certainly mean they’d have to plan a lot further ahead and be a lot more organized.

The motion was passed for the first time in 1989. At the 1990 business meeting, it was amended to make the deadline January 31, ratified by vote, and added to the WSFS Constitution.

Even the makers of the current motion understand that by rolling back the rule they will be increasing the risk of abuse:

This does carry a certain risk of entryism, with people joining at the last minute as part of a campaign.

But they think everyone should be satisfied because they can always vote No Award – rather than continuing with a rule meant to discourage the abuse.

The deterrent here is social: Hugo voters have now demonstrated that they will react strongly against any such moves by voting for No Award ahead of finalists who have reached the ballot as a result of such campaigns.

Maybe so, but people campaign under the existing rules already – the question is, how much easier do you want to make it for them? Fans at the Dublin 2019 business meeting will need to decide if a membership deadline is a helpful tool in leveling the playing field.

RELATED: Reform or Rollback?

39 thoughts on “The Right Date?

  1. I don’t find “You can always vote No Award” a compelling justification for a rule change that will re-open the door to bad behavior.

  2. The “December is Good Enough” change to the WSFS Constitution was proposed by Colette Fozard, Warren Buff, and Nicholas Whyte, passed in 2016, and ratified in 2017.*

    And the supporting argument for this change was “The administrative strain on Hugo administrators has increased substantially in recent years.”

    Part of this “increased administrative strain” was due to the fact that, at the time, members of three (3) consecutive Worldcons had Hugo nominating rights. As of last year, this was reduced to the members of two (2) consecutive Worldcons.

    Another part of this “increased administrative strain” was nomination-stuffing by people with no interest in Worldcon who bought Supporting Memberships immediately prior to the nominating membership deadline, just to bullet-nominate one or more works or people — something which was a massive problem in 2015 and 2016. The membership deadline was moved back to December 31 to combat that problem.

    That problem has lessened, now that the Puppies have gone away and the membership deadline has been moved back to December 31, but it is still a problem with potential to be much worse if that membership deadline is eliminated. There is still a huge amount of nomination recruiting occurring, most especially on Twitter, by authors of people who may be their fans, but who have no actual interest in being a part of the Worldcon community.

    * It’s interesting that the proposer of this motion can’t even get the facts involving themselves right.

  3. From the administrator’s point of view, it is actually much easier to give new members nominating rights, up to the deadline, than to exclude them. This has been the practice for voting on the final ballot for the Hugos for a very long time.

    By the time of voting for the final Hugo ballot, there are only 6 (or 5) finalists on the ballot. While campaigning by finalists is an issue, the problem of entryism is eliminated by the time the Hugos get to the voting stage, which explains why people have been allowed to buy memberships and vote right up until the Hugo voting deadline.

    The January 31 membership deadline for nominating rights was put into place in 1989 and 1990. Before it was changed to December 31 in 2016 / 2017, the deadline to be eligible to nominate for the Hugo Awards was January 31 — well before the nominating deadline — for 27 years.

    For the last 3 decades, people have not had the ability to buy nominating rights up to the nomination deadline. And, as Mike has explained in this post, there’s a very good reason for that: a large quantity of memberships being bought by one person or group, in order to stuff the nominating ballots.

    The difference between 1989 and now is that the potential for entryism still exists — but with the anonymity of secure internet payments, there is no way to determine whether someone is paying for multiple Supporting Memberships in order to nominate.

    And authors now have the ability to recruit bullet nominators via Twitter — and there is a great deal of this recruiting which goes on in the run-up to the Hugo Awards nominations deadline. But right now that recruiting is limited to people who were already members by December 31.

    The only thing preventing (or at least reducing the amount of) last-minute entryism for Hugo nominating right now is the requirement that nominators must have been members by December 31 the prior year, before the online nomination process opens.

  4. This does carry a certain risk of entryism, with people joining at the last minute as part of a campaign. The deterrent here is social: Hugo voters have now demonstrated that they will react strongly against any such moves by voting for No Award ahead of finalists who have reached the ballot as a result of such campaigns.

    No Award is not a deterrent. It does nothing to stop the problem of entryism. By the time No Award comes into play, works and authors which have been bullet-nominated onto the Hugo final ballot are forever Hugo Finalists. No Award does not take that Hugo Finalist status away. They will forever after get to proudly proclaim that they are Hugo Finalists. That’s not much of a deterrent.

    In 1987, the Scient*logists slated Black Genesis by L. Ron Hubbard onto the Hugo ballot for Best Novel. It was resoundingly No Awarded by 72% of the Hugo voters. But in 2002, the Scient*logists once again slated a work onto the Hugo ballot. The 17th Annual Writers of the Future Anthology received enough nominations to make the ballot in Related Work. The previous No Award had not been a deterrent.

    Despite every one of their slated nominees having finished below No Award in 2015, the Puppies engaged in intense slating again in 2016. Despite all of those slated nominees having finished below No Award, the Puppies slated a group of nominees onto the ballot yet again in 2017. No Award was not a deterrent, and most of the slated-and-No-Awarded nominees from all 3 years are promoting themselves as Hugo Finalists today.

    EPH was the deterrent which got the Puppies to stop slating, because they could no longer take over the ballot. No Award was not a deterrent.

    Unless they are plugged into the fandom conversation online, many Hugo Award voters may not even know that bullet-nominating has occurred and that there is a finalist on the ballot which didn’t earn its place there through an honest nomination process; they may not understand that there is a reason to use No Award.

    No Award does not give that place on the ballot back to the person or the work which should have rightfully been a Hugo Finalist.

  5. There are a lot of things that Hugo Administrators are currently required to do which make the job more difficult. These requirements exist in order to make the Hugo Awards better.

    Hugo Administrators, when they accept the position, are well aware of the requirements of the job. If they find these requirements too onerous, then they should decline the job, instead of expecting the WSFS membership to remove rules put in place to make the Hugo Awards better, simply because it makes the Hugo Administrators’ job easier.

    I would like to see WSFS retain the December 31 membership deadline. I would like to see the Hugo Awards remain awards given out by Worldcon fans, rather than awards given out by a bunch of random people recruited on the internet who don’t care about Worldcon, but who can afford to throw $50 at a nomination for their favourite author or work.

  6. The ballot wingding in 1984 was also a case of people joining at the time they sent in their nominating ballots. I don’t know if it was more or less obvious than 1989, but I’m glad that that was fixed with a deadline that should not be that hard for people to understand and meet. If the convention fails to make that deadline clear, it should be on the convention, not on the people who made the rule. And it’s certainly not a good reason to remove the rule.

  7. Even without @Jo’s dissection — and possibly without my having been involved in the 1989 mess — this sounds like a solution in search of a problem.

  8. Good points by Jo.

    I’m back to a point I raised in the earlier discussion: IT’S NOT ABOUT SLATES! I’m not saying nobody will try that ever again but its not the most likely threat to Hugo voting integrity currently. Far more likely is somebody trying to spam their way into being a finalist.

    We’ve seen so many examples of authors adopting a culture of sales, sales, sales via any means necessary. Buying reviews, bribing readers, spending money on dubious services, ghostwriting, plagiarism, complex book-rights swaps, boxed-set scams, poll rigging, dodgy paid for awards, trademark lawsuits etc. There are authors willing to spend significant amounts of money on ethically dubious things in an attempt to get noticed or promote their book. Spamming the Hugos wouldn’t be cheap (particularly compared to spamming the Dragons) but it’s not beyond the scale of money some authors have thrown at dubious schemes*

    I think No Award is some deterrent but it is a deterrent to somebody with some degree of forward long term thinking. The current set up is not a strong defence against such behaviour but it is an extra barrier and one that it would be wise to keep.

    *[I did look at some numbers but I’m not going to spell out a how-to guide or highlight vulnerabilities for obvious reasons]

  9. Yes, No Award can come into play, but surely it should be the last resort.

    We saw slate works get No Awarded, but now & forever more those slated works are Hugo finalists . Wouldn’t it be better if they never got to the final ballot in the first place? Isn’t prevention better than “cure”?

  10. Excellent post by @Mike Glyer and excellent related & additional analysis by @Jo Van Ekeren. @Chip Hitchcock’s “solution in search of a problem” is a good call, IMHO.

    A deadline for nomination powers is A Good Thing (TM). Want to move the date back where it was? That wouldn’t bother me, especially if the (real) original reason for moving it to the end of the year didn’t help as expected after all (that’s not at all clear, TBH). But get rid of it? Nope, not a good idea.

    BTW the inaccuracy re. the original reason to move from 1-31 to 12-31 bugs me. I presume poor memory (mine sure bites!), but I hope they correct their information and explanations at the biz meeting (or before, if allowed). Otherwise it just looks weird to claim different people proposed it in a different year for not-the-real-reasons.

    (In 2017, during ratification, a couple of the items mentioned above were mentioned, but really in passing, almost like random asides, it felt like. Certainly they weren’t the original/primary purposes. Never mind the silliness of faux “tidiness,” as if some things not needing specific dates meant nothing should have a date. Wut. Talk about a solution in search of a problem!)

  11. @Soon Lee & @Various: Oh yes, I forgot to say, I’m baffled by this idea of “well you can always No Award things.” It always feels like an excuse to not improve (didn’t we hear that in the Puppy years, as an excuse for not doing EPH?) or actively worsen things. The problem with No Award is that it’s too late by definition.

    To borrow your analogy, Soon Lee, I definitely prefer prevention over cure, yes. But it’s more like a bandage, not even a cure. (I can think of grizzly ways to extend this metaphor, but I’ll stop before I start.)

  12. There’s one thing here that I’m kind of wondering about here:

    “From the administrator’s point of view, it is actually much easier to give new members nominating rights, up to the deadline, than to exclude them. This has been the practice for voting on the final ballot for the Hugos for a very long time.

    First, as mentioned, this hasn’t happened for almost 30 years. So I guess the wording should be “it would actually be much easier”.

    But mostly I’m wondering why it would be that much easier (i.e enough much easier to make this a relevant argument). I have no idea how the Hugo administration team work together with the ordinary member team, but I guess there must be some kind of retrieving of lists of available members. And I guess that list is retrieved from a database. Is it much more work to add a statement for the retrieval to only get members created by a specific date? Or is there some kind of manual routine going on here? If so, is it possible to adjust the routine instead of changing the rule?

    I can understand if the administrators don’t want to go in too deeply in how they handle this items, for security or other reasons, but I can’t really understand what is made easier by having the list of eligible members be under change until the end of nomination instead of remaining static for half a year.

  13. I’m wondering why it would be that much easier… Or is there some kind of manual routine going on here? If so, is it possible to adjust the routine instead of changing the rule?
    — Hampus Eckerman

    Hampus, it’s 2019, and a software algorithm which can determine “Is Membership-Purchased-Date less than 2019-01-01?” is a solved problem. So I’m with you on wondering why having a membership deadline for nominating rights should be any more difficult than not having one.

  14. Back when I saw Nicholas Whyte propose this change, it struck me as a way to remove cruft from the constitution. The original deadline was there not as some sort of anti-stacking measure, but because it used to be that you could be a member of Worldcon X-1, Worldcon X, or Worldcon X+1 to receive Hugo nomination rights for Worldcon X. It was the membership of Worldcon X+1 that drove the need for the deadline.

    But without that, is there a need for the deadline written out in the constitution?

    As for a defense against stacking or slates, I much prefer effective mechanisms (and here we have EPH and No Award) over arbitrary additional deadlines or extra procedural steps imposed on the membership. And against a sufficiently organised group, this deadline provides no hindrance at all.

  15. So it is not about extra work at all, but only the thought that is has been made redundant? I’ve heard arguments before that it causes more work to not have a final date, as it causes the need of a dynamically updated list of members during the nomination process instead of a finalized and static list.

    Any thoughts about that?

  16. I also fail to see how deadlines provide any sort of deterrent to misbehavior. Anyone who wants to misbehave can adjust the timing of their misbehavior to match whatever deadlines exist.

  17. But without that, is there a need for the deadline written out in the constitution? And against a sufficiently organised group, this deadline provides no hindrance at all.
    — Karl-Johan Norén

    I also fail to see how deadlines provide any sort of deterrent to misbehavior. Anyone who wants to misbehave can adjust the timing of their misbehavior to match whatever deadlines exist.
    — Xtifr

    The key here is the psychological payoff.

    If someone is genuinely interested in participating in Worldcon and the Hugo Awards, and you tell them “If you buy your membership before December 31, then when online nominations open up sometime in January, you’ll be able put all your favourites on your ballot!”, they’ll say, “Hey, sounds cool!”

    But if they’re a griefer, or someone who’s just being recruited to nominate a favourite author, but otherwise not interested in Worldcon or the Hugo Awards, the delay in gratification will be a deterrent. Because mostly those people want the satisfaction of being able to tip the scales right now. They don’t want to shell out $50 with the promise that at some point down the road in the next month or two, they’ll finally get to submit a nomination for their favourite.

    This is why the Puppy campaigns were so wildly successful: because the slaters got stirred up and enthused on Twitter and blogs, and under the rules at the time, were able to go buy a membership and then immediately submit a nominating ballot. Ka-ching! — emotional payoff.

    The December 31 membership deadline for nominating rights puts a stop to that sort of psychological manipulation.

  18. I see it as a social block. The real talk about nominations doesn’t start until they open. Before that, it is kind of quiet. That means that “outsiders” will not start to take notice until after its too late for them to enter the process.

    So it doesn’t block a determined and organized manipulator, but it blocks manipulators of the Crime of Opportunity kind. Or in other words, it will block people from jumping on a puppyesque campaign after they have heard people start talking about nominations, because it is too late for them to get nomination rights.

    I think we need to differentiate between determined griefers who plan long term and those who see something in the works and on the spur of a moment jumps into the fray to see what happens.

  19. Xiftr – I assume the theory is that bad actors now have to pre-plan their misbehaviour. They cannot buy membership and vote at the same time: they have to buy membership in the December and then nominate in January.

    I am somewhat dubious that any bad actor willing to pay a not-insignificant amount of money to interfere with the process would be put off by having to wait a few weeks for their nomination ballot, however…

    I am also with Hampus/Jo: I cannot possibly see how, when your membership database is digital, checking when someone became a member in order to see whether they are eligible to nominate is an undue burden on anyone. If it isn’t already an automated check, then it should be.

    Finally, if the sole remaining issue is that the Dublin Worldcon hasn’t sufficiently clearly communicated that you needed to buy membership in 2018 to nominate, I don’t see why changing the rules is the solution: forthcoming worldcons being clearer on what the rules are seems like the obvious way of dealing with the problem of people being unclear on the rules.

    Frankly, I am unconvinced both by the proposal’s reasons for change and by the worries about making things easier for bad actors.

  20. I agree that this is an inappropriate rule change, for all the reasons given above by the smart commentariat.

  21. I agree with the others here. If the only real reason is to get rid of cruft in the rules…. I don’t think this is cruft.

    Keep it.

  22. I see this proposal being one extreme on a spectrum of options. The options I see are:
    * Membership prior to an explicit cut-off date (be that “before Jan 1st, the year of the WorldCon in question”, or “before Feb 1st, …”)
    * Membership no later than “the official opening of nominations” (I don’t believe this is a fixed date, although there may be some guidance of a last possible date)
    * Membership no later than “nominations close”.

    I think my neatness mind says that one of “start of noms” or “fixed date” are neater than “end of noms” and I think this implies “end of noms”. But my “encourage nominations” mind says that the latter is better. Now, there are advantages and drawbacks of all of these, but I certainly can’t see the whole forest of implications at this very moment in time,

  23. I strongly support keeping the deadline and that it remain Dec 31. That way nominations can open in Jan and all nominators must already have their memberships. (But I’m a supporting member this year and won’t actually have a vote at the Business Meeting.) If it were to move back to Jan 31, I would want a rule that nominations wouldn’t open until at least Feb 1. They definitely should publicize the deadline more and make it prominent on the member sign up.

    I vaguely remember hearing something early this year about people (or just one person?) mentioning somewhere that they nominated even though they hadn’t bought their 2019 membership until after the deadline. Now it’s quite possible that they weren’t thinking about a 2018 membership also qualifying them to nominate. (And I don’t imagine they were up to shenanigans anyway.) But this proposal makes me a little suspicious that something may have at least temporarily slipped through the cracks and had to be dealt with. Thus, the admins were inspired to consider that it would be easier not to have a deadline at all.

  24. Karl-Johan Norén on July 25, 2019 at 1:40 am said:

    It was the membership of Worldcon X+1 that drove the need for the deadline.

    Nope. The January 31 deadline was added (1990) before members of Worldcon X+1 were extended nomination rights.

  25. I’ll vote for the change (to remove the deadline).

    I agree that the deadline does nothing to deter an organized griefer, and, historically, only the organized kind have been able to really hurt the awards, so the deadline is delivering little or no real benefit. As for the instant-gratification argument, I observe that the Rabid Puppies had the patience to vote to nominate in 2015, then on the final ballot in 2015, and again to nominate in 2016.

    I support making changes that make life easier for the Admins, wherever possible, particularly since we do ask a lot from them. It also makes life a little easier for organic voters by eliminating an artificial deadline.

  26. I would favour a moving deadline. It could be set to a specific time prior to the opening of nominations, one month, for example. This way the cut-off date would not be known prior to the announcement of the date nominations open. Hence, it would vary from year to year. The effect of this would be to require greater engagement to know what the deadline is and force potential bad actors into even longer term planning than is the case now.

  27. Stuart Hall on July 25, 2019 at 9:09 am said:

    I would favour a moving deadline.

    That would probably move the deadline earlier into the previous year, as most recent Worldcons have aimed to release the nominating ballot around the first of the year. Worldcons have gotten grief for releasing ballots prior to that (even if they say they won’t accept ballots until January 1) because the eligibility cut-off date is the end of the previous year.

  28. @Greg
    I wonder if we would have seen some of the 20booksto50k folks on the Hugo ballot if they had still been able to get memberships at the time of their last minute push for the Nebulas (early Feb).

    @Stuart
    I don’t think Hugo admins know precisely when nominations will open until right before they do. And you would need to let people know the deadline before that.

  29. People who are dubious because this wouldn’t deter a determined manipulator… do you lock your house and car? Do you have a chain on your door? Does your purse have a flap or zipper?

    Purse flaps and zippers are manipulable by practiced pickpockets. The vast majority of house locks are dirt simple for people who know how to pick locks, and many car locks are easily defeated too. No lock or chain short of the massive deadbolts will stop someone who applies enough force. The VAST majority of our security measures are a few seconds or minutes’ deterrent to the determined.

    The effect however is that most everyone who might take a crime of opportunity – grab a few electronics and check some basic hiding places for loose cash or jewelry, then run – don’t. And most criminals ARE opportunists. They’ll cut through the yard looking for an open window or tug on a door handle of a car, then keep going, because nothing easy presents itself. The number of criminals who are dedicated housebreakers with the skillset of lockpicking and tricks with credit cards and all that… few and far between by comparison. And most of even those who do it regularly have One Cool Trick, and if your lock happens not to work with their One Cool Trick, they are SOL. So you get a lock that doesn’t allow for the One Cool Trick you happen to have heard of, or you get a second lock that requires a second One Cool Trick.

    And it’s Good Enough.

  30. And as others have said, I don’t really see how it saves admin that much work. It should be automatic for online ballots, and there are very few paper ballots. Sounds like too much potential for trouble for too little gain.

  31. @Greg Hullender: historically, only the organized kind [of griefer] have been able to really hurt the awards. I guess that depends on your meaning of “really hurt”. If your threshold is “5 no-awards”, yes — but there was a fair amount of damage in 1989, which was the reason for the deadline. See also @Lenora Rose’s discussion of the usefulness of preventatives.

  32. @Laura

    I wonder if we would have seen some of the 20booksto50k folks on the Hugo ballot if they had still been able to get memberships at the time of their last minute push for the Nebulas (early Feb).

    Maybe, but if they had cared about this, why wouldn’t they just have targeted the deadline in the first place? If you want something to discourage griefers, you’d need to do something like require two consecutive years of registration before people could nominate. That would give them pause! But just moving the deadline around by a month or two seems unlikely to make much (if any) difference.

  33. But we are not discussing “moving around a deadline a month or two”. We are discussing if we should have one at all.

    And I have a hard time with arguments like “you could do an entirely different thing instead which would have entirely different implications”. But we are not discussing this entirely different thing, because there is no such proposal. We are discussing if the current measure should be removed without any replacement whatsoever.

  34. @Greg

    Maybe, but if they had cared about this, why wouldn’t they just have targeted the deadline in the first place?

    Probably knowing there were quite a few SFWA members among them, they just focused on the Nebulas. But maybe they didn’t think about getting people to sign up for Worldcon before it was too late. I won’t be surprised to see some on the longlist. But probably not enough were already WSFS members to get a finalist spot.

  35. I’ve been one of the people on the other end of the Hugo Help Desk e-mails. From that perspective, the cut off date is no big deal. We did not receive requests from so very many people wanting to nominate who did not join before the deadline (those in that situation were disappointed, of course, but I can’t remember anyone being abusive).

    We got almost as many, if not more, e-mails from people from other Worldcons who wanted to vote but didn’t realize they needed to purchase a membership to THIS Worldcon to have voting rights.

    (By the way, deadline for voting is WEDNESDAY AT MIDNIGHT US PACIFIC DAYLIGHT TIME be kind to the Dublin Hugo Awards Help Desk volunteers and figure out if your voting link doesn’t work SOONER rather than later! Beat the rush!)

    I am not and have not been on the Registration side of things. Is this a burden to them? Is figuring out who joined on or before December 31 and who joined on or after January 1 a problem? I would want to hear from the Registration people on this.

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