Breaking Ties in the Pegasus Awards
You've heard this statement repeated many times since the inception of the Pegasus Awards:
OVFF and the Pegasus Committee reserves the right to break all ties in voting.
But, what does that mean? First off, it's important to understand where this comes from, and how it's been applied over the years.
Before the 2003 Pegasus Awards and the creation of the Pegasus Committee, a good year would see perhaps 30 Nominations. In a poor year, as few as 10-15.
When the Nominating pool is this small, you essentially have a 25 way tie for first place (or more!), and every song has 2 votes. Remember, everyone on the concom has the ability to vote on Nominations as well; but when the field is this big it essentially forces the concom to "cherry pick" the songs they know.
The result? A relatively predictable, Midwest-centric award. The OVFF concom is no more or less infallible than any other filker - they vote for who they know. Some years had ballots with more balance, some with less.
With the increased awareness of the Pegasus Awards, we currently see closer to 100 Nominations, along with a much wider field of Nominated songs. The field is now reduced from an average of 25 songs to closer to 7-10, with the first one or two songs pretty clearly out front.
This means that while there are still ties, there is a much smaller field to choose from, of much higher quality for OVFF and the Pegasus Committee to vote on.
The Pegasus is intended to be a global, not a regional, fan award.
If we are to honor this charter, there must be global representation on the final ballot.
Therefore, we use the following considerations in the Nominating vote to create the Nominating Slate:
- Is it eligible (has it already won?)
- Is it disqualified due to the 2 on, 1 off rule or the 5-years-off rule?
- Does it (at least roughly) fit the category? (generally this applies to the floating categories)
After that, a weighted set of filters is applied to the eligible list (most important to least important) to create voting suggestions to the OVFF concom at large:
- How many votes did it get?
- Does this give this person more than 2 Nominations?
- Does this make the third (or fourth, or fifth) song from that area in that category?
- Is there geographic diversity in the category?
- Is there wide geographic diversity on the entire ballot?
After this, the at large OVFF concom votes. At the end of the day, the first and final arbiter of the Final Ballot is the number of votes a song or filker gets.