Nominating Ballot Details

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The discussion, below, follows from the Hugo rules.

Once the nominating ballots have been collected, the Hugo administrator (helped by the Hugo subcommittee, if there is one) counts the nominations to determine a preliminary final ballot. There will typically be a very large number of entities nominated in each category, and some of them will be ineligible altogether, and some will be nominated in the wrong category.

  • Count the ballots assuming that every nomination is valid. For each category, make a list of the top fifteen or so nominees with their counts.
  • For each entity in the top fifteen, look at other categories and see if that entity received any nominations in that category. If so, add all nominations received in any category to the category in which they got the most nominations.
  • Do a scan for entities which were not in the top fifteen in any category, but which got enough nominations scattered over multiple categories to make the top fifteen. (This normally happens only in the written fiction categories where there is real confusion over wordcount.)
  • In the Dramatic Presentation categories, look to see if any series received votes as a series while also having individual episodes nominated. The Hugo administrator must decide on one or the other, since it can't appear on the final ballot as both. See series versus episode for details. Move the votes to whichever category is decided on.
  • Taking each category in turn, validate the presumed nominees starting with the top vote-getter:
# Confirm that it is the right kind of entity to appear in the category.  (Make sure it meets the category criteria in the Hugo Rules.)
# Confirm that if it is a work, it was published or appeared in the proper year.
# Confirm that if it is a person, they did qualifying work in the proper year.
# If any votes for the presumed nominee were transferred from another, incorrect, category, confirm that the transfer of those votes was permitted.  (A transfer should not result in a voter nominating something twice.)
  • Repeat this process until there are five nominees in the category. Note:
# Ties can add additional nominees beyond the standard five.
# There is a test specified in the Hugo rules in section 3.8.5 which may result in fewer than five nominees in a category.  Perform it.
  • Continue on and validate any potential nominees which just miss last place. Look carefully in other categories for misplaced votes for them, and if found, re-evaluate the list of nominees.
  • Once there is a presumptive list, contact each nominee in turn and ask if they wish to accept or reject the nomination. The presumption is that the nomination is accepted -- a rejection must be explicit, and if the nominee can't be reached by "reasonable efforts" (which does not mean heroic efforts!), then the nomination stays.
  • Preserve the data from this process and prepare the required data for inclusion in the Hugo voting report which is released after the Hugo Awards have been presented. This report and everything except the identity of any nominees who refused nomination is secret and known only to the Hugo subcommittee until after the Hugos are awarded at the Worldcon.
  • Create the final ballot and the voting website and release the results!

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Also involved: Hugo Voting Process - Nominating Ballot
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