Waiting for Online Hugo Voting and the Voter Packet

The 2014 Hugo Award nominees were announced with a flourish 36 days ago. Although Loncon 3 published the voting form in Progress Report 3 on May 18, fans continue to wait for the committee to open online voting and release the Hugo Voter Packet.

How does Loncon 3’s performance compare with recent Worldcons?

Among the last four Worldcons, Renovation (2011) was quickest to open both paper and online voting, within 5 days after the nominee announcement.

LoneStarCon 3 (2013) needed a full 75 days to start online voting.

The average lapse time to open online voting over the past four years is 28 days.

That means Loncon 3 isn’t going to be the quickest, though we can hope it won’t take as long as last year.

What about delivery of the Hugo Voter Packet?

John Scalzi conceived the idea and put together the early packets. Beginning with 2010, each year’s Worldcon committee has been responsible.

The Renovation committee holds the record here, too — they made the Hugo Voter Packet available within 26 days. LoneStarCon took the longest time, 50 days. The average of the last four Worldcons is 36.75 days.

So – on average – tomorrow is the day the Hugo Voter Packet would be ready.










LonCon 3 (2014)




LoneStarCon 3 (2013)


6/19/2013 (**)


Chicon 7 (2012)




Renovation (2011)




Aussiecon 4 (2010)




Anticipation (2009)



4/22/2009 (*)

Denvention 3 (2008)



4/10/2008 (*)

(*) In these years the packet was created by John Scalzi.

(**) Date online voting opened. Paper voting began being accepted sometime after 5/1/2013 without official announcement.

(***) Print ballot form available in PR #3, posted online 5/18/2014.

6 thoughts on “Waiting for Online Hugo Voting and the Voter Packet

  1. In fairness, Loncon 3 has to assemble both the current year’s Hugo nominees and the Retro Hugo nominees, and contacting the appropriate people for the latter may not be easy (although theoretically, they had to contact them to accept the nomination in the first place).

    It would also be interesting to also list the amount of time between the Hugo Packet release and the voting deadline, which seems to be fairly consistently July 31 every year. However, the latest of this year’s announcement of nominees (insert rant about Easter Saturday, etc.) means even if they got the packet out fairly fast, people would have less time.

  2. The decision by Orbit to withhold three of the Best Novel nominees for the packet means there’s no point in waiting for the packet on them.

    This being the case, I have gotten a jump on my Hugo reading by filling out ILL forms at my library (and hurray! all of them came within 10 days or so, but this may be good luck, so I wouldn’t advise others who need this strategy to wait much longer.)

    The novella, novelette, and short story nominees published by Tor are also available free online (as I recall, they pop right up if you google the entries by title.) I think some of the other nominees are available free online also, though not as conveniently collected in one place as Tor’s.

    So even without the packet, and with a limited budget, it is possible to get started.

  3. On average, about half of Worldcon committees will take longer than average to deliver a Hugo Packet.

    Loncon could, if they chose, produce separate packets for the Hugos and the Retro-Hugos, and there’s no reason why those would have to appear at the same time.

    If The Wheel of Time is in the packet, how many of us will have the ability and inclination to read all of it by the voting deadline?

  4. The date of the announcement is just a notional starting point. That’s the first time fans can visualize what they’re voting on, and what might be in the HVP.

    This year the voting deadline preceded the announcement by almost three weeks. That kind of built-in lead time helps explain why some committees have everything ready fairly soon after the announcement.

    Last year, LoneStarCon 3 had someone coding a new online voting program. That’s why there was so much lapse time between the announcement and the opening of online voting, and why paper voting was ready so much earlier.

  5. I just did the calculation I mentioned (days between the release of the packet and the voting deadline) and got 112, 100, 88, 72, 74, and 73 days for 2008-2013 respectively. If the Hugo packet were released tomorrow the number for 2014 would be 66, almost a week less than the shortest period to date.

    Of course, the fact that waiting for the packet won’t help you on three of the five novels means people will have to find other sources. (This is another reason to allow the longest possible period between announcing the nominees and the voting deadline.)

    And reading WoT at average reading speed, 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, would take just about a month by itself.

  6. With today’s release of the packet, Loncon 3 comes in at 41 days between announcement and packet, and 62 days between packet and deadline. While the former is in the range of other Worldcons’ performance, the late announcement date means that the latter is the smallest by far (15% smaller than the previous low).

Comments are closed.