Part 5 - So what's this about an election?
In previous instalments I talked
about GUFF, the Gone-Under/Get-up-and-Over Fan Fund, hinting that the delegate is chosen by their peers. Now, I feel it time to explain how this works.
To start with, candidates must be nominated to stand for the election by a total of five fans. Three of the nominators must be on the candidates own continent, and two from the destination. The nominators are important, since fans who don't know the candidates will look to see who nominated them.
Once a candidate has agreement from their nominators, they lodge a bond of £15 with the current administrator, and write a short platform about themselves to tell people why they out to vote for them. This appears on the ballot form.
After that, candidates are expected to publicly say what fine upstanding folk their rivals are, while secretly plotting their untimely demise. Of course all candidates hire personal bodyguards to ensure these plans never come to pass.
But back to the election, where fans now have ballot papers. In order to vote, fans must have been active in fandom for a reasonable amount of time. Active in fandom is considered to mean attending conventions or doing other fanish things. Voters may have to give the name of another person known to the administrators who can vouch for them. Although individual votes will not be made public or revealed to the candidates, voters must identify themselves to the administrator, so it's a sort of semi-secret ballot.
The ballot papers will list the names of all candidates who have been properly nominated, plus a couple of extras. The first is "hold over fund", who should be voted for if both candidates make your blood boil, and you don't want either to make the trip. The second is called "no preference", who should be voted for if you think both are lovely, and you don't mind which one goes, or if you just can't decide.
Rather than just ticking the box, you should number votes, with 1 for the person or entity you like best, and so on.
In the old days this was all done on paper, but thanks to the magic of the interweb, you can now do it all online
. Of course paper votes are still valid too.
To win the election, a candidate must achieve at least 50% of the total number of votes. If nobody achieves this from first preference votes, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated, and the second preference from their ballots will be counted and added to the other candidates first preference votes. This continue until a candidate has majority of the valid votes.
These elections have been an important feature of fan funds from the early days, and since votes must be accompanied by a donation, it gives the candidates a good incentive to get their friends to vote for them, boosting the fund. And a little friendly rivalry between candidates makes it interesting.
Once the election is over and the results announced, a candidate becomes the GUFF delegate until their trip is complete when they become the administrator and the cycle starts again.