[Siteselection] Anticipation Site Selection info

Glenn Glazer glenn.glazer at gmail.com
Thu Jul 23 07:08:49 PDT 2009


Hi, Colin.

I understand and sympathize with your goals.  When we won our Westercon 
this 4th of July weekend, my first job as the new Chair was to spend a 
number of hours in our suite doing data entry instead of going to 
parties.  It wasn't a lot of fun, but it comes with the territory.  One 
thing that helped a lot is that I have rock star talent for my 
registration guy and he can slurp all of the CSV data exported by Excel 
into our online PHP/mySQL database in minutes.

On the subject of data formats, Lea Farr (Registration) and Allison 
Hershey (my data/IT person) and I have settled on a format based on what 
the registration database supports.  The fields are:

Class
Number
Last Name
First Name
Badge Name
Address 1
Address 2
City
State
Postcode
Country

To which Site Selection will add two columns: mail-in and at-con to be 
used as check boxes.  Registration will provide Site Selection with the 
initial listing and then update deltas at regular intervals.  This 
should help you a great deal as it means that you will not need to merge 
any of our data together before merging it with yours.

On the subject of when this data will be available, voter information is 
not validated in batches.  This sort of thing is what lead to the 
infamous 14 hour site selection count.  Rather they are validated when 
they vote.  Despite this, the answer to your request must be no.  The 
Constitution says this:

    4.1.3: The current Worldcon Committee shall administer the voting, 
collect the advance membership fees, and turn over those funds to the 
winning Committee before the end of the current Worldcon.
    4.1.4: The site-selection voting totals shall be announced at the 
Business Meeting and published in the first or second Progress Report of 
the winning Committee, with the by-mail and at-convention votes 
distinguished.

Thus, there is no Constitutional binding on the Site Selection 
administrator to produce the results you requested.  Further, there are 
two important reasons why your request must be declined.

    1)  While part of the Site Selection Administrator's job is to 
ensure fairness among the bids, it is also their job to protect the 
voters and in particular, voter anonymity.  Assume, for example, that 
some Event occurred at the convention in which would have a significant 
impact on how people voted.  Knowing the day someone voted would allow 
you to determine which voters might have been swayed by this Event and 
which not, piercing the protection Administrators are supposed to 
provide.  In fact, I cannot see a legitimate use by a bid for this data 
at all and it will not be provided by Anticipation.  You do have the 
right to know how many people voted each day and aggregate, not 
individual, data will be given out.

    2)  Assume this was a contested bid.  Then, the Administrator would 
have to provide this information daily to all of the bids.  In addition 
to being burdensome, all but one of the bids would have no use for this 
information at the end and really has no right to it.  Distributing it 
in this manner could quite possibly violate data privacy laws in many 
places.  It also sets a very bad precedent for future Administrators and 
I do not wish to place a future Administrator in the position of having 
to fight off attempts to give out this data to all of the bids because 
"They did it at Anticipation."

Thus, all of the data will only be available to the winning bid after 
the count is completed.  It will be sorted alphabetically to anonymize 
voting order.

Additionally, as your bid has insisted on, you will need to provide an 
observer while I separate the mail-in ballots.  The time and date for 
this will be 2100 hours on August 4th in my room at the Delta.  Please 
be prompt as the NASFiC representative will be coming in after you.  As 
I do not know my room number yet, I give you my cell phone number 
(562-305-2920) which will work in Canada.   Please feel free to have 
your representative call me after 1900 to find out where my room is.

Best,

Glenn Glazer
Site Selection Administrator
Anticipation

Colin Harris wrote:
> Hi Glenn
>
> Hope all is going well with you. FYI I'm going to be working with
> Aaron Curtis on processing all of the Reno membership data as we move
> from bid to convention - subject of course to success in the vote. (As
> you may be aware, John Lorentz can't make it to Montreal in person
> this year).  This means:
>
> - keeping our bid support info up to date as we take supporters at the bid desk
> - integrating the voter data smoothly from site selection
> - being all clean and shiny in time for the opening of the con desk.
>
> I know you appreciate the challenges of this, given the data volumes
> involved and the limited time windows - but I know you also appreciate
> the importance of a con being ready with good, usable and accurate
> information when the con desk opens.
>
> I'd like to work with you so that the process is as easy as possible
> for yourself as Site Selection admin, as well as for Reno. To this
> end, I'm keen to understand when we'll receive data and in what format
> - if we can line up the mechanics before reaching Montreal it will
> reduce all our stress levels on the day!
>
> Here's my thoughts so far - I'd been keen to understand if these match
> yours. Also, FYI, I'll be taking the lead on this specific discussion
> over the next couple of weeks so feel free to just progress this with
> myself - I will of course be copying John et al in on the relevant
> points and decisions.
>
> - I believe John said you'd told him you may be able to hand the data
> over in Excel format rather than just as a pile of paper - is this
> correct, and if so, do you have the format worked out yet? I'm
> planning various bits of Excel manipulation to merge the data
> semi-automatically and it would be great to dry-run these.
>
> - I assume you'll validate the voter info day by day (IIRC we had a
> discussion about this some months ago). Would it be possible to
> receive the voter information from you each day as a result? This
> would avoid the need for us to merge ALL the voter data in the few
> hours from the end of the count to the opening of the desk the next
> morning ... (I'm expecting a very late night but would prefer to get
> *some* sleep :-) )
>
> - Will the final day's data (list of voter names, addresses etc) be
> processes and available for release to us in parallel with the count
> or only after the count is finished?
>
> - Do you think it would be possible for us to get a copy of the names
> and addresses of ALL Montreal members as at the start of the con, to
> x-check against our database? This might help pick up people who've
> moved since they supported Reno (they're more likely to have given you
> CoAs than us) and facilitate the later merging of the voter info.
>
> Beyond this, it would be very helpful if you could give me a quick
> summary of how you're expecting to run the site selection process
> overall - at least any points that would affect the provision of data
> ... and of course if there's anything I/we can do to make your work
> easier, please let me know.
>
> Best
>
> Colin Harris
>
>   

-- 
Westercon 64
The First 7-bit Westercon

July 1st to 4th, 2011
Pro GoH: Patricia McKillip
Artist GoH: Kaja & Phil Foglio
Fan GoH: Mike Willmoth
www.westercon64.org




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