Today I received news that the voting for this year's actual awards had been opened - but the voting packages had not been sent out yet. Here's the email I received,
Hugo voting is now open. Go to the Hugo Award Voting page to cast your vote. Your voting credentials are:
The Hugo PIN lookup page can send you this information again if you misplace this email.Your vote may be saved at any time. You can modify your vote by signing in again using your credentials, and entering new information. The information posted on your ballot at the closing time of 11:59 PM PDT, 31 July 2015 will be your final vote.
We hope to have the Hugo Packet ready by late May and will post an announcement on our website and via Facebook and Twitter when it becomes available.
If you have any questions or problems with your ballot, please write to email@example.com.
John Lorentz and Ruth Sachter
Hugo Administrators, Sasquan
Seems just a little "fishy" to me that you open the voting before the voting packages have been sent out, but that's just my suspicious nature with all the other things that have been flying around about the award this year.
Still, doesn't this give people who already own the works on the ballot a bit of an advantage over those who do not?
If I were one of those people who believed in back-alley conspiracies, I'd almost think that opening the voting before a lot of people had received their packages was actually intended to give a small, select group of other people the chance to vote, and vote often, for their favorites (like of the "No Award" type of vote).
Please note that I am not criticizing the Administrators nor Mr Lorentz and Ms Sachter. I am saying, however, that in a normal election you have your voter's packet and materials needed to vote before the ballot locations are opened and before voting can begin.
This just seems a lot like putting the cart before the horse or allowing certain sections of your voting community to get votes in early or to allow special select groups to do so in order to gain an advantage somehow. That's an admission of ignorance about that part of the process on my own part. I haven't been involved in voting until this year and that's a serious oversight on my part that shall not be repeated.
I hope that's not the case. I hope the voting process will be completely above-board, but after all the shenanigans I've heard of this year, I'm not so sure. It just smells to me. I'm too used to American politics and the way things are done therein, I suppose.
For the Hugo.
For the fans.