Standing Rule 7.7: Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee. The Business Meeting shall appoint a Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee. The Committee shall:

  1. Maintain the list of Rulings and Resolutions of Continuing Effect
  2. Codify the Customs and Usages of WSFS and of the Business Meeting.

In accordance with object (1), the committee reports below the compilation of items from the 2003 Worldcon, together with the collected items from earlier Worldcons.

The committee has made its full cumulative reports available through the WSFS web pages at and will continue to do so.

In accordance with object (2), Tim Illingworth & Pat McMurray have completed the OCRing and correcting of the WSFS Business Meeting minutes for 1974, and 1979-1992. 1993-date are available elsewhere (through Saul Jaffe). Minutes for all Business Meetings from 1979 to date are now available to any interested party. The committee would be interested to hear of any minutes for Business Meetings in other years.

These minutes are currently held in Word 6 format, and are available from Tim’s web site ( The 1979 minutes are a report constructed from Ben Yalow's copy of the agenda of the Main Meeting with contemporaneous annotations.

As an extract from these documents, a list has been prepared of all amendments to the WSFS Constitution and Standing Rules proposed since 1979, together with their amendment and disposal. 

An update of the Annotated Standing Rules (originally prepared by the Standing Rules Working Group in 1996) has also been prepared. An Annotated Constitution has been prepared, and comments are sought for inclusion. All of these documents are available online at

In accordance with the Committee’s wider interpretation of “the Customs and Usages of WSFS and of the Business Meeting”, Tim Illingworth has retyped George Scithers’ “Con Committee Chairman’s Guide” (the story of Discon, the 1963 Worldcon) and has made it available online at with George’s permission.

Pursuant to BM-94-1, has been updated, and copies of documents have been supplied to Saul Jaffe for the SF-Lovers archive.

Pursuant to BM-2001-1, the committee has reminded Noreascon 4 of the requirement for legibility of badges, and hopes that Noreascon has noticed.

The Torcon Business Meeting passed a resolution directing the Nitpicking and Flyspecking Committee to examine the matter of whether "published" covers all Hugos"

It is the Committee’s opinion that, for the purposes of the Hugo Awards, "published" means "fixed in tangible form" for works to which such definition applies, or "performed publicly" for dramatic works that cannot be fixed in tangible form such as plays, speeches, and other live performances.

The committee is willing to serve for another year.

Don Eastlake, Tim Illingworth, Kevin Standlee and Pat McMurray

The NP&FSC recommends that the Business Meeting consider the following motion:

1.    Short Title: Counting Votes (and Breaking Ties)

Moved, To amend various sections of the WSFS Constitution to add explicit tie-breaking procedures to WSFS elections, moving the general counting rules to Article 6 and detailing the specific differences per election type appropriately.

1. Move most of existing Section 3.11.1 to follow existing Section 6.2, change ‘nominee’ to ‘candidate’ throughout, and add a new sentence to it as shown

3.11.1 Section 6.2A: Tallying of Votes. In each category, Votes shall first be tallied by the voter's first choices. If no majority is then obtained, the nominee candidate who places last in the initial tallying shall be eliminated and the ballots listing it as first choice shall be redistributed on the basis of those ballots' second choices. This process shall be repeated until a majority-vote winner is obtained. If two or more candidates are tied for elimination during this process, the candidate that received fewer first-place votes shall be eliminated. If they are still tied, all the tied candidates shall be eliminated together.

2. Move existing Section 3.11.3 to follow proposed Section 6.2A above, change “No Award” to “the run-off candidate” throughout, and insert text in it as shown.

3.11.3 Section 6.2B: Run-off. After a tentative winner is determined, then unless "No Award" the run-off candidate shall be the sole winner, the following additional test shall be made. If the number of ballots preferring "No Award" the run-off candidate to the tentative winner is greater than the number of ballots preferring the tentative winner to "No Award" the run-off candidate, then "No Award" the run-off candidate shall be declared the winner of the election.

3. In Section 3.11.1, substitute new wording for that moved to Section 6.2A.

3.11.1: In each category, tallying shall be as described in Section 6.2A. ‘No Award’ shall be treated as a nominee. If all remaining nominees are tied, no tie-breaking shall be done and the nominees shall be declared joint winners.

4. In Section 3.11.3 substitute new wording for the existing section.

3.11.3: “No Award" shall be the run-off candidate.

5. In Section 4.1.2, strike out “Section 3.11” and insert “Section 6.2A”.

4.1.2: Voting shall be by written ballot cast either by mail or at the current Worldcon with tallying as described in Section 3.116.2A.

6. In Section 4.5.3, strike out “the equivalent of ‘No Award’ with respect to Section 3.11.” and insert “the run-off candidate.”

4.5.3: "None of the Above" shall be treated as a bid for tallying, and shall be the equivalent of "No Award" with respect to Section 3.11 the run-off candidate.

7. In Section 4.5.4, strike out “normal preferential ballot procedures” and insert “Section 6.2A”.

4.5.4: All ballots shall be initially tallied by their first preferences, even if cast for a bid that the administering Committee has ruled ineligible. If no eligible bid achieves a majority on the first round of tallying, then on the second round all ballots for ineligible bids shall be redistributed to their first eligible choices, and tallying shall proceed according to normal preferential-ballot procedures Section 6.2A.

8. In Standing Rule 6.2, insert, “as defined in Section 6.2A of the WSFS Constitution. There shall be no run-off candidate” after “normal preferential ballot procedures”.

9. In Standing Rule 6.2, insert as the penultimate sentence: “In the event of a first-place tie for any seat, the tie shall be broken unless all tied candidates can be elected simultaneously.”

Rule 6.2: Elections. Elections to the Mark Protection Committee shall be a special order of business at a designated Main Business Meeting. Voting shall be by written preferential ballot with write-in votes allowed. Votes for write-in candidates who do not submit written consent to nomination and region of residence to the Presiding Officer before the close of balloting shall be ignored. The ballot shall list each nominee's name and region of residence. The first seat filled shall be by normal preferential ballot procedures as defined in Section 6.2A of the WSFS Constitution. There shall be no run-off candidate. After a seat is filled, votes for the elected member and for any nominee who is now ineligible due to regional residence restrictions shall be eliminated before conducting the next ballot. This procedure shall continue until all seats are filled. In the event of a first-place tie for any seat, the tie shall be broken unless all tied candidates can be elected simultaneously.Should there be any partial-term vacancies on the committee, the partial-term seat(s) shall be filled after the full-term seats have been filled.

Discussion:This provides explicit tie-breakers for elections, using the method specified in the parliamentary authority. As far as we know, they represent current practice.

There are actually three different tie-breaking rules for the three types of elections WSFS can administer (Hugo Awards, Site Selection and Mark Protection Committee). Hugos permit ties for 1st place, Site Selection does not, and the MPC permits them if there are enough seats left to fill. This moves the general rule into Article 6 from Article 3 and details the differences in each case.

The new sections are taken from the existing Section 3.11, and fresh text is underlined.