The Hugo and Retro Hugo ballots use a modified version of the Alternate Vote System, sometimes known as the Australian Ballot or the Instant Runoff Ballot. To vote, mark your choices in each category in order of preference: "1" for first place, "2" for second place, and so on. You are not required to rank all the nominees in any category, and we recommend that you not vote in any category in which you are not familiar with a majority of the nominees.

If you decide not to vote in a given category, leave it blank.

"No Award" is not an abstention, but a vote that none of the nominees (or the remaining nominees) should receive the award in question.

When the ballots are counted, all the first place choices will be tabulated. If no nominee has received more than half of the votes, the nominee with the fewest first-place votes will be eliminated, and its votes transferred to the nominees marked "2" on those ballots. This process of elimination will continue until one nominee receives more than half of the votes, at which point it becomes the winner (unless the votes are outnumbered by "No Award" votes under specific conditions described in Section 3.11.3 of the WSFS Constitution).

A few things to consider when you think about voting:

  1. Your second, third, and later choices play no part in the voting unless and until your first choice is eliminated. This is not a point system where many voters' second choices can overwhelm a few voters' first choice.
  2. After marking your first choice, you might imagine that it has disappeared from the ballot, and then place your "2" by the remaining nominee you most prefer, and so on. This mimics the way the ballots are actually counted. Thus even if your heart is set on one nominee, don't hesitate to give rankings to other nominees you also consider worthy of the award.
  3. No matter how much you dislike a nominee, if you rank it, the vote will be counted if all of your previous choices are eliminated. If you believe a nominee is not worthy of the award, don't rank it! In this way, you can be sure of casting your vote against it in all circumstances.

Remember that if your top choices are eliminated early, your lower preferences could be the tiebreaker between the remaining nominees, so choose all your preferences carefully!