Monday, May 09, 2005

(R) Ballot 101 for Judges

The ballot process turned out to be more horrific than the tabulation process. For a background on the tabulation process, please read Tabulation 101 for Judges.

The Procedure

Judges sit in a room and are given the final nomination list. There are 5 finalists in each award category and Judges are required to rank the 5 from the most favourable to least favourable (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Prior to this session, the Award Organiser sends videos of shows to Judges who did not manage to watch them live. They are required to watch the videos before the ballot session.

This is because the nominee list could include shows that judges did not watch live.

Judges who did not watch any performance live/on video are not eligible to vote for the category in which the show falls. Once these are ranked, a Consultancy Firm will collate the ballot. And the winners are then chosen.


1. What about the scores that were earlier tabulated? Of the 5 short-listed nominees, we already know which one has the highest score/lowest score.

In the nominees list, all shows start over with ‘0’.

Nominee List------Scores as Tabulated-----Ballot - No Scores
Show 1-------------------------28-----------------------------0
Show 2-------------------------25-----------------------------0
Show 3-------------------------22-----------------------------0
Show 4-------------------------18-----------------------------0
Show 5-------------------------15-----------------------------0

Judges are required to re-evaluate the shows again and rank them. This includes shows that they watch on video. Note that the shows watched on video are NOT scored.

2. What if the shows watched on video were scored? Would the final nominee list still be the same? How would a judge compare the value of the shows they’ve scored and the shows that they didn’t score but just rank?

(To the sound of the whirling ceiling fan…. “…the horror…the horror….”)

This is what it looks like:

Nominee List----------------Scores--Rank
Show 1----- Watched Live------28-------1
Show 2----- Watched Live------25-------4
Show 3—---Video---------------n/a------3
Show 4-- ---Watched Live------18-------2
Show 5—---Video---------------n/a------5

If the shows watched on videos were scored, would it make it to the final nominee list?

3. Watching the show on video is not the same as watching it live. Furthermore, some videos are not clear. The whole performance experience is not there. How can we score?

Using the same score sheets, judges can score the same way as with the performances that they watch live. (Refer to “Scoring” in Tabulation 101 for Judges)

However, in the treatment of scores during tabulation, we treat scores from live judging (X scores) and video judging (Y scores) as derived from two standards of scoring based on the objections raised in Question 3. This means Xn is not the same as Yn.

Then, we compute the standard scores (Z scores) between the X scores and Y scores.

Shows-----Watched Live---------------------------Shows----Watched on Video
Show 1------------X1-----------------------Z1-----------Show 6------------Y1
Show 2------------X2-----------------------Z2-----------Show 7------------Y2
Show 3------------X3-----------------------Z3-----------Show 8------------Y3
Show 4------------X4-----------------------Z4-----------Show 9------------Y4
Show 5------------X5-----------------------Z5-----------Show10------------Y5

After processing the scores with the Z-score formula, you may find that, for example, the value of X1 = Z1, Y2 = Z2, X2 = Z3, X3 = Z4 and Y4 = X5.

Nominee List after Considering Video Scoring

Show 1-----X1-----Z1
Show 7-----Y2-----Z2
Show 2-----X2-----Z3
Show 3-----X3-----Z4
Show 9-----Y4-----Z5

The nominees are no longer Shows 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, but Shows 1, 7, 2, 3, and 9.

From this revised list, judges can then proceed to ballot.

But then, the ballot process can also be made redundant and the winner can be determined simply based on the performance with the highest score since scores for both live and video judging are available; and it is accurate.

4. Judges who did not watch a particular performance live/on video are not eligible to vote for that performance in all categories in which it falls. Would this severely disadvantage the show?

The answers are No, No, and Yes.

Shows are ranked 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.

Remember the movie Highlander that popularised the phrase "There can only be one"? The purpose of this ballot process is to choose only ONE winner (unlike scoring) out of the five finalists; so keep this in mind.

If the show is bad (ranked 4 and 5), then there is no difference if the show is short of one or two votes (or more) giving them a bad ranking. The majority of the judges would have given the show a bad ranking anyway; and the show won’t emerge winner.

If the majority of judges did not rank the show 4 or 5, then it follows that the judges must have given the show an average rank of 2 or 3. If the show is average (ranked 2 and 3), then there is no difference if the show is short of one or two votes (or more) of average rank. The show still won’t emerge winner.


If the show is good, there is a high chance that it won’t win because the show would be consistently short of one or two votes (or more) in each award category it’s nominated for. This is especially important in marginal cases. The second best show would then emerge winner.

Therefore, if the production does not provide a video to the Awards Organiser, there is a high chance that the show will not win an award (though it will make it into the nominee list).

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