WSFS - Business Passed On to Renovation

from the 2010 Business Meeting of the World Science Fiction Society, Aussiecon 4


A resolution was passed to extend the eligibility of works published outside the United States of America as follows:

Moved, to extend eligibility for all works that are allowed by a resolution under the following sections of the WSFS Constitution:

3.2.3: The Business Meeting may by a ¾ vote provide that works originally published outside the United States of America and first published in the United States of America in the current year shall also be eligible for Hugo Awards given in the following year.

3.2.4: A work shall not be eligible if in a prior year it received sufficient nominations to appear on the final award ballot.

Constitutional Amendments

The following amendments to the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society were passed at the 68th Worldcon (Aussiecon 4) and must be ratified at the 69th Worldcon to become part of the WSFS Constitution:

1. Change the membership rate limitations

Moved to modify Section 1.5.5 of the WSFS Constitution to replace "two (2) times the site-selection fee" with "four (4) times the site-selection fee".

Section 1.5.5 would then read:

1.5.5: Voters have the right to convert to attending membership in the selected Worldcon within ninety (90) days of its selection, for an additional fee set by its committee. This fee must not exceed two (2) four (4) times the site-selection fee and must not exceed the difference between the site-selection fee and the fee for new attending members.

Commentary. The current rules limit the rates that voters can be charged to convert their supporting memberships to attending memberships. This means that the voting fees, and therefore the supporting memberships, are forced higher to keep the initial voter attending rate from being too low. Also the maximum initial voter attending membership rate may be sufficiently below the required average membership rate that it forces conventions to have higher attending rates for members who join later, which discourages people, particularly people who are becoming interested in Worldcons, and who might want to join. Committees want the flexibility to tailor membership rates to accomplish those goals without being constrained by the low initial voter attending membership limitations.

2. Electronic Voting

Moved to amend Article 6 of the WSFS Constitution for the purpose of clarifying the status of electronic voting on the Hugo Awards and Site Selection, by adding a new section after existing Section 6.2 as follows:

6.3: Electronic Voting. Nothing in this Constitution shall be interpreted to prohibit conducting Hugo Awards nominating and voting and Site Selection voting by electronic means, except that conducting Site Selection by electronic means shall require the unanimous agreement of the current Worldcon committee and all bidding committees who have filed before the ballot deadline. Valid paper ballots delivered by any means shall always be acceptable. This section shall not be interpreted to require that such elections be conducted electronically, nor shall it be interpreted to allow remote participation or proxy voting at the Business Meeting.

Commentary. The phrase "Voting shall be by written ballot cast either by mail or at the current Worldcon" in section 4.1.2 has been held to prohibit conducting any portion of Worldcon site selection electronically, such as through a web site in the same manner as most recent Hugo Award elections. The word "mail" and "written ballot" has been interpreted to only allow paper ballots delivered by postal mail, private delivery, fax machine, or personal delivery by the voter or an authorized representative. This proposal would broaden the existing interpretation to require that “mail" be interpreted to include "e-mail and other electronic means" such as voting through a web site. It does not specify a specific technology for e-voting. It says that the constitution should be interpreted to allow electronic voting for both the Hugo Awards and Site Selection, but it does not require that such elections be held electronically, and it specifically requires that such elections must always have a paper-ballot/by-mail (or other delivery method) option.

Worldcons could unilaterally decide whether to conduct Hugo Award nomination and voting through electronic means. The decision to use e-voting for Site Selection would initially be in the hands of the individual Worldcon committee conducting the particular site selection, but a final decision to actually do so would require the agreement of all bidding committees who filed in time to appear on the Site Selection ballot.

In addition, this proposal explicitly excludes electronic voting, proxy voting, or other forms of remote participation at the Business Meeting. Voting at the Business Meeting shall continue to be in person only, including any votes held there such as constitutional amendments and elections to the WSFS Mark Protection Committee.

3. Allow Electronic Distribution of Rules

Moved, to amend Section 2.4 and Article 1 of the WSFS Constitution by striking out and adding words as shown, with the intention of requiring Worldcon committees to publish copies of the WSFS rules without requiring that such publication be in the form of printed documents, except for distribution "at con".

1. Distribution of Rules. The current Worldcon Committee shall print copies of publish the WSFS Constitution and Standing Rules, together with an explanation of proposed changes approved but not yet ratified, and copies of the Standing Rules. The Committee shall distribute these documents to all WSFS members at a point between nine and three months prior to the Worldcon, and shall also distribute them on paper to all WSFS members in attendance at the Worldcon upon registration.

2. Amend Article 1 by adding a new section after existing Section 1.5.2 as follows:

1.5.3: Electronic distribution of publications, if offered, shall be opt-in.

Commentary on the changes in Section 2.4: This revision permits Worldcons to distribute copies of the documents on paper or electronically. "Distribute" does not mean merely placing copies of the documents on the convention web site, the convention must notify its members of the availability of these documents.

Commentary on the change to Article 1: This makes it clear that Worldcons may distribute publications electronically, provided that members receive them on paper unless they choose otherwise.

Commentary on both changes: These changes allow for the Constitution and Standing Rules to be distributed electronically ahead of time, and requires them to be distributed on paper at the convention. This does not affect the inclusion of Article 3 and extensions as provided in Section 3.7.2.

4. Expand Hugo Nominations Eligibility

Moved, to amend Section 3.7.1 of the WSFS Constitution as follows:

3.7.1: The Worldcon Committee shall conduct a poll to select the nominees for the final Award voting. Each member of either the administering Worldcon, or the immediately preceding Worldcon, or the immediately following Worldcon as of January 31 of the current calendar year shall be allowed to make up five (5) equally weighted nominations in every category.

Commentary. Increasing the potential pool of people eligible to make Hugo Award nominations would be a good thing. When Hugo Award nomination forms are distributed at the start of a calendar year, there is actually another standing Worldcon in existence – the following Worldcon.

5. Run-Off References

Moved to amend portions of the WSFS Constitution by inserting text to clarify the relationship of "No Award" and "None of the Above" to the "Run-Off Candidate" rule, as follows:

1. Amend Section 3.11.3 as follows: 3.11.3: "No Award" shall be the run-off candidate for the purposes of Section 6.4.

2. Amend Section 4.5.3 as follows:

4.5.3: "None of the Above" shall be treated as a bid for tallying, and shall be the run-off candidate for the purposes of Section 6.4.

Commentary. The 2010 Hugo Award Administrator, Vincent Docherty, approached the Nitpicking & Flyspecking Committee questioning the way in which Section 3.11 is worded. The committee determined that previous constitutional revisions may have made it less than obvious that the wording at Sections 3.11.3 and 4.5.3 refers to the "Run-Off Candidate" rule at Section 6.4. This includes an explicit cross-reference in both cases to make it more obvious that these sections are related to each other.

6. Mark Notice Revision

Moved to amend the standard service mark notice in Section 2.2 of the WSFS Constitution by striking out and inserting words as shown:

Section 2.2: Marks. Every Worldcon and NASFIC Committee shall include the following notice in each of its publications:

"World Science Fiction Society", "WSFS", "World Science Fiction Convention", "Worldcon", "NASFIC", and "Hugo Award", the Hugo Award Logo, and the distinctive design of the Hugo Award Trophy Rocket are service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

Commentary. Two new service marks have been created for the World Science Fiction Society. This adds those marks to the required notice that every Worldcon is to include with its publications.

The above copy of the Business Passed on to the 69th World Science Fiction Convention (Renovation) from the World Science Fiction Society’s Business Meeting held at the 68th World Science Fiction Convention (Aussiecon 4) is hereby Certified to be True, Correct, and Complete:

Kent Bloom, Presiding Officer

Don A. Timm, Secretary

2010 WSFS Business Meeting