1994 Site Selection Results

Site selection for the 1994 Worldcon was conducted by Chicon V, the1991 Worldcon. The process set all sorts of records, not all of them good…

The bidders were Winnipeg in '94 and Louisville in '94. (Milwaukee in 1994 and Perth in '94 also bid, but did not file and did not appear on the site selection ballot.)

The race was hard-fought with a record turnout of voters. Unfortunately, Chicon V had appointed an completely inexperienced Site Selection administrator who was unfamiliar with the process. Combined with the high turnout and very close vote, ballot counting took an extraordinarily long time, running from 6:00 PM Saturday to 9:10 AM Sunday. (There were three deaths, a marriage, and one birth among the ballot counting committee during the process.) See below for a detailed timeline.

Winnipeg in '94 won and went on to run ConAdian.

The results:

Bidder Ballots by Mail Ballots Cast at Chicon V Grand Total
Thu Fri Sat Total
Winnipeg in ‘94 332 104 233 343 680 1012
Louisville in ‘94 339 91 223 304 618 957
None of the Above 4 0 6 0 6 10
Illegal or Illegible 0 0 1 1 2 2
Write-Ins
Rottnest Island, W.A. 2 0 0 0 0 2
Denver, CO 1 0 0 0 0 1
Hawaii 1 1 0 0 0 2
Pern 0 1 0 0 0 1
Seattle, WA 0 0 1 0 1 1
Spuzzum, BC 0 0 0 1 1 1
Perth, W.A. 0 0 0 1 1 1
Total 679 197 464 650 1311 1990
Majority 996
No Preference 34 12 9 41 62 96
Void
Voted Twice 0 15 15
No money with ballot 2 0 2
Not Chicon V member 4 0 4
Total Ballots 719 209 488 691 1388 2107

Winnipeg in '94 had a majority of valid ballots with a preference, so it was declared the winner.

++Chronology of ballot counting (from the report to the Chicon V WSFS Business Meeting:

Saturday
6:00 PM. Site selection closes. All people in line at 6:00 PM were allowed to vote. Standlee "capped" the line with the assistance of Tom Stern.
6:30 PM. Site selection cleaned up. Tellers given an hour to get dinner before counting begins.
7:30 PM. Committee repairs to the counting room, along with Yale Edeiken, who assists with initial setup.
8:30 PM. With all anticipated procedural and technical questions answered, validation of the ballots commences. Edeiken, possibly anticipating what is to follow, leaves.
11:45 PM. The Chicon V board calls to ask when we will be done. Committee enjoys a good laugh and orders pizza.
Sunday
2:13 AM. The Chicon V board calls again to ask if we are done yet. Committee laughs again and sends out for coffee and sodas.
5:54 AM. Observing that the sky outside is beginning to brighten, Darrell A. Martin orders the curtains drawn to protect the privacy and secrecy of the tallying.
6:22 AM. The committee of tellers recommends, with muted but sincere enthusiasm, the adoption of following motion: "Resolved, That the Business Meeting recommends that all future Worldcons adopt the practice of validating site-selection ballots as they are received, rather than after site-selection balloting closes." [Standlee's presentation was interrupted at this point by an acclamatory adoption of the motion.]
6:27 AM. Finished validating ballots. Declared "Wimpy Zone" dead. Ordered breakfast. Passed the time waiting for food to be delivered by counting the write-ins, NOTAs, No Prefs, etc.
7:08 AM. Food arrives. Recessed to eat. Sent waiter back for more orange juice and Rick's eggs over easy, which had been forgotten.
7:30 AM. We have now been here for 12 hours and haven't been able to count the major candidates yet.
7:45 AM. We begin counting Louisville's ballots. Covert observes, "It's going to be an interesting Business Meeting. We haven't voted on stuff like this in years, if ever."
8:15 AM. We begin counting Winnipeg's ballots.
8:52 AM. Adjust results to account for ballots filed in the wrong bundles.
9:06 AM. Finalized results. All present agree that the teller's report is accurate and reflects the will of the electorate.
9:10 AM. Cleaned up and adjourned.

The joke that came from the counting session was "How many ballot counters does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: "None, we just waited for the sun to come up!"