Science Fiction Awards Watch

Hugo Nominating Opens

Anticipation, the Montreal Worldcon, has opened nominations for the 2009 Hugo Awards. You can find a PDF of the paper ballot here. The online ballot is not yet available, but is promised. Here are the important details.

1. If you are already a member of Anticipation, or you were a member of Denvention 3, then you may nominate.

2. If you are not yet qualified to nominate you have until January 31st to buy at least a supporting membership in Anticipation.

3. The deadline for nominating ballots is currently a little confusing. The press release says ballots must be postmarked Feb. 28th at the latest; the ballot says that ballots must be received by Mar. 1st. But you’ll all be voting online so this probably doesn’t matter.

6 Responses to “Hugo Nominating Opens”

  1. on 06 Jan 2009 at 3:12 pmJeff Orth

    The ballots say that the ballots must be received before Mar. 1st.

    Or by 2359 hours Feb. 28th.

    Having corrected that, the ballot also says Eastern Standard time in one place and Pacific Standard time in another. That is a typo and as such we will use the later time of 2359 PST Feb. 28th.


  2. on 06 Jan 2009 at 3:32 pmCheryl


    Thanks for the clarification. Presumably we can assume that the press release, which suggests that a ballot is OK as long as the postmark is before March 1st, is wrong.

  3. on 07 Jan 2009 at 6:55 amJeff Orth

    “Wrong” is such an ugly word.

    There are always judgment issues involved in these things, and I, for one, am not a rules Nazi, per se.

    I would think that every attempt to allow people their franchise rights would be taken.

    Hopefully, rules will not have to be “enforced” and judgments will not have to be used.

    That being said, “early” is better than “last minute” for such things.

  4. on 07 Jan 2009 at 12:22 pmKevin


    Unfortunately, when it comes to administering awards, you have to have firm rules and enforce them uniformly, in order to preserve trust in the system. That’s why most vote-by-mail systems require the ballot to arrive by a certain date, regardless of postmark date. Mail can get stuck, after all. What are you going to do if a ballot with an postmark prior to the deadline turns up three weeks after all of the others after you’ve already announced the nominees?

    Based on past administrators’ reported experience, you can expect that most ballots will be cast during the final week of voting. This appears to be the case no matter how long the voting period is. Electronic voting has exacerbated this problem, as people procrastinate even longer because they can do so.

  5. on 07 Jan 2009 at 3:35 pmJeff Orth

    Points well taken.

    The ballot itself is pretty clear (Timezone issues aside).

    I can hope that nothing substantive occurs to cause a good faith ballot to be set aside.


  6. on 07 Jan 2009 at 4:47 pmKevin


    Agreed completely about good-faith administration. I assume that you’ll issue an x.1 revision ballot cleaning up any minor errors, understanding that earlier versions are valid as well. I know that in the elections I’ve administered, no ballot has ever survived the x.0 version without something being spotted.

    I think some people think that the purpose of the administrator is to find every possible reason to disqualify ballots, whereas my attitude is that it’s the administrator’s job to count a ballot under all reasonable conditions.