The voting breakdown for the 2010 Hugo Awards is available here. Actually, the nominating breakdown is also on that same PDF, but I want to do a separate post for that.
For those keeping score at home, here are last year's results.
Novel (875 Ballots): I am completely fascinated by just how even the votes were between The City & The City and The Windup Girl. I think you're more likely to see a work with fewer first place votes win the award than you are to see a dead heat rundown like this. Alas, Boneshaker did not win. I was really pulling for the awesome Cherie Priest (she was first on my ballot, but only 78 others).
I wrote this last year, but I think it bears repeating:
I've seen Kevin Standlee explain this before, but it takes a while for the math to sink in. I believe the winner has to have the majority of all votes cast and if that doesn't happen in the first round, the work with the lowest votes is dropped, the votes are redistributed, and it repeats until there is a winner. Something like that. This allows the winners to be more of a consensus pick, the work that most of the ballots felt was the strongest rather than necessarily being the work the most people gave first place votes to in the first round.
Novella (792 Ballots): You know what I said about the "fewer first place votes" earlier? Yeah. The God Engines had the most first place votes, but not a majority. As the rundown occurred, it just didn't have enough overall love to carry it through. Shame.
Novelette (775 Ballots): I honestly didn't feel "The Island" the same way that the voters did, but from everything I've heard, Peter Watts is a class act and he's had a rough year. So how can you hate on that? You can't, that's how. Griffith and Swirsky were the class of the field, though.
Short Story (812 Ballots):
Campbell (544 Ballots)
What I find intensely interesting is that even though I remember hearing that there were more nominations this year, the actual voting isn't all that different from last year. More people voting in some categories, less in others. I think an expanding nominating pool is wonderful, but we should also find a way to expand the voting pool.
Voting appears to have been done on Single Transferable Vote, unweighted (that is, a first-preference vote was weighted the same as a fifth-preference vote in the rounds after the first).
You've given a good explanation of how it works, aside from the fact that you don't have to give preference to every work - at any stage you can select "no award", in which case your vote goes into the No Award category. The fun begins when No Award has an overall majority (in this case, I don't believe it ever did).
There's a couple of really good explanations from Kevin Standlee and Cheryl Morgan about how the breakdowns and the voting works (Standlee more than Morgan, he's done a lot of work on blogs trying to educate folks about this. Morgan has worked hard in other ways), but I'm just not sure where they are right now.
I'd be surprised if No Award ever had an overall majority in the runoffs, but I *think* there have been times when No Award placed higher than last in the runoff.
Well, yeah. I only know it because I have an A-Level in Government and Politics, and this is a standard electoral system (I'm pretty sure your average Londoner would recognise it; as would, say, a Labour Party member around now, since they're getting STV leadership election ballots!)
As for No Award - it's often used as a protest ("I object to something-or-other") unrelated to the slate of nominees and/or unrelated to the convention ("I object to awards"/"I object to any sff convention which has women"/"I object to you getting fantasy in my science fiction"/vice versa); unlikely to ever win a majority, but if WSFS ever does something really controversial it could.
IMHO, No Award means one feels that none of the works ranked lower (or unranked) deserve an award. I don't really see that as a protest, but I see how one could.
I do feel No Award is a bit goofy, though I admit I've used it--rarely. (And I've never put it first in a category, i.e., I've never used it to say "none of these are award-worthy.")
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