WSFS Constitution, Part 2
This is the Constitution of the World Science Fiction Society.
The full minutes of the 1999 WSFS Business Meeting, where this document was last updated,
are online at
An minor error in all posted copies of the WSFS constitution was
discovered by Pat McMurray, secretary at the last two business meetings.
Section 4.8 had paragraphs numbered 4.9.1, 4.9.2, etc., when they should
have been numbered 4.8.1, 4.8.2, etc. These have been corrected here,
with the consent of Pat McMurray.
Article IV - Future Worldcon Selection
Article V - Powers of the Business Meeting
- Section 4.1: Voting.
- 4.1.1: WSFS shall choose the location and Committee of the Worldcon to be
held three (3) years from the date of the current Worldcon.
- 4.1.2: Voting shall be by written ballot cast either by mail or at the
current Worldcon with tallying as described in Section 3.11.
- 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
- Section 4.2: Voter Eligibility.
- 4.2.1: Voting shall be limited to WSFS members who have purchased at least a
supporting membership in the Worldcon whose site is being selected.
- 4.2.2: The supporting membership rate shall be set by unanimous agreement of
the current Worldcon Committee and all bidding committees who have filed
before the ballot deadline. If agreement is not reached, the default fee shall
be the median (middle value) of the US dollar fees used in the previous three
(3) Worldcon site selections.
- Section 4.3: Non-Natural Persons.
- Corporations, associations, and other non-human or artificial entities may cast
ballots, but only for "No Preference". "Guest of" memberships may only cast
"No Preference" ballots. Memberships transferred to individual natural
persons may cast preferential ballots, provided that the transfer is accepted
by the administering convention.
- Section 4.4: Ballots.
- Site-selection ballots shall include name, signature, address, and
membership-number spaces to be filled in by the voter. Each site-selection
ballot shall list the options "None of the Above" and "No Preference" and
provide for write-in votes, after the bidders and with equal prominence.
The supporting membership rate shall be listed on all site-
- Section 4.5: Tallying.
- 4.5.1: The name and address information shall be separated from the ballots
and the ballots counted only at the Worldcon with two (2) witnesses from each
bidding committee allowed to observe. Each bidding committee may make a record
of the name and address of every voter.
- 4.5.2: A ballot voted with first or only choice for "No Preference" shall
be ignored for site selection. A ballot voted with lower than first choice for
"No Preference" shall be ignored if all higher choices on the ballot have been
eliminated in preferential tallying.
- 4.5.3: "None of the Above" shall be treated as a bid for tallying, and
shall be the equivalent of "No Award" with respect to Section 3.11.
- 4.5.4: If "None of the Above" wins, the duty of site selection shall
devolve on the Business Meeting of the current Worldcon. If the Business
Meeting is unable to decide by the end of the Worldcon, the Committee for
the following Worldcon shall make the selection without undue delay.
- 4.5.5: Where a site and Committee are chosen by a Business Meeting or
Worldcon Committee, they are not restricted by exclusion zone or other
- 4.5.6: All ballots shall be initially tallied by their first preferences,
even if cast for a bid that the administering Committee has ruled ineligible.
If no eligible bid achieves a majority on the first round of tallying, then on
the second round all ballots for ineligible bids shall be redistributed to
their first eligible choices, and tallying shall proceed according to normal
- Section 4.6: Bid Eligibility.
- 4.6.1: To be eligible for site selection, a bidding committee must file the
following documents with the Committee that will administer the voting:
- (1) an announcement of intent to bid;
- (2) adequate evidence of an agreement with its proposed site's facilities,
such as a conditional contract or a letter of agreement;
- (3) the rules under which the Worldcon Committee will operate, including a
specification of the term of office of their chief executive officer or
officers and the conditions and procedures for the selection and replacement
of such officer or officers.
- 4.6.2: The bidding committee must supply written copies of these documents
to any member of WSFS on request.
- 4.6.3: For a bid to be allowed on the printed ballot, the bidding committee
must file the documents specified above no later than 180 days prior to the
official opening of the administering convention.
- 4.6.4: To be eligible as a write-in, the bidding committee must file the
documents specified above by the close of the voting.
- 4.6.5: If no bids meet these qualifications, the selection shall proceed as
though "None of the Above" had won.
- Section 4.7: Site Eligibility.
- A site shall be ineligible if it is within five hundred (500) miles or eight
hundred (800) kilometres of the site at which selection occurs.
- [Secretary of 1999 Business Meeting: Portions of Section 4.7 regarding regional
rotation of Worldcon were removed by a constitutional amendment ratified at the
1999 WSFS Business Meeting, with a provision that Worldcon bids eligible under
the old rules would continue to be eligible during the first three races
conducted under the new rules. Barring a change in the lead time for site
selection, this means that the site selection elections in 2000, 2001, and 2002
will be conducted under both the new and old rules. I therefore suggest keeping
this note as part of the Constitution through the end of the 2002 Worldcon in
order to make it clear that both sets of rules apply through the election
conducted that year. The original text of Section 4. 7 was "Site Eligibility.
A site outside North America is eligible for selection in any year.
A site within North America is eligible for selection if it is within
the appropriate region, as defined below. The North American regions shall
rotate in the order Western, Central, Eastern region. A site shall be
ineligible if it is within sixty (60) miles of the site at which selection
- Section 4.8: NASFiC
- If the selected Worldcon site is not in North America, there shall be a NASFiC
in North America that year. Selection of the NASFiC shall be by the identical
procedure to the Worldcon selection except as provided below or elsewhere in
- 4.8.1: Voting shall be by written ballot administered by the following
year's Worldcon, if there is no NASFiC in that year, or by the following
year's NASFiC, if there is one, with ballots cast at the administering
convention or by mail, and with only members of the administering convention
allowed to vote.
- 4.8.2: NASFiC Committees shall make all reasonable efforts to avoid
conflicts with Worldcon dates.
- 4.8.3: The proposed NASFiC supporting membership rate can be set by
unanimous agreement of the administering Committee and all bidding committees
who have filed before the ballot deadline.
- 4.8.4: If "None of the Above" wins, or if no eligible bid files by the
deadline, then no NASFiC shall be held and any supporting membership payments
collected for the NASFiC site selection shall be refunded by the administering
convention without undue delay.
- Section 5.1: WSFS Business Meetings.
- 5.1.1: Business Meetings of WSFS shall be held at advertised times at each
- 5.1.2: The current Worldcon Committee shall provide the Presiding Officer
and Staff for each Meeting.
- 5.1.3: The Business Meeting may adopt Standing Rules for its
- 5.1.4: Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of
(in descending order of precedence) the WSFS Constitution; the Standing Rules;
such other rules as may be published in advance by the current Committee
(which rules may be suspended by the Business Meeting by the same procedure
as a Standing Rule); the customs and usages of WSFS (including the resolutions
and rulings of continuing effect); and the current edition of Robert's Rules
of Order, Newly Revised.
- 5.1.5: The quorum for the Business Meeting shall be twelve members of the
Society physically present.
- Section 5.2: Continuation of Committees.
- Except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, any committee or other position
created by a Business Meeting shall lapse at the end of the next following
Business Meeting that does not vote to continue it.
- Section 5.3: Constitutional Pass-along.
- Within two (2) months after the end of each
Worldcon, the Business Meeting staff shall send a copy of all changes to the
Constitution and Standing Rules, and all items awaiting ratification, to the
next Worldcon Committee.
Article VI - Constitution
The above copy of the World Science Fiction Society's Constitution is hereby
Certified to be True, Correct, and Complete:
- Section 6.1: Conduct.
- The conduct of the affairs of WSFS shall be determined by this Constitution
together with all ratified amendments hereto and such Standing Rules as the
Business Meeting shall adopt for its own governance.
- Section 6.2: Natural Persons.
- In all matters arising under this Constitution,
only natural persons may introduce business, nominate, or vote, except as
specifically provided otherwise in this Constitution. No person may cast more
than one vote on any issue or more than one ballot in any election. This
shall not be interpreted to prohibit delivery of ballots cast by other
- Section 6.3: Amendment.
- The WSFS Constitution may be amended by a motion
passed by a simple majority at any Business Meeting but only to the extent
that such motion is ratified by a simple majority at the Business Meeting of
the subsequent Worldcon.
- Section 6.4: Commencement.
- Any change to the Constitution of WSFS shall take effect at the end of the
Worldcon at which such change is ratified, except that no change imposing
additional costs or financial obligations upon Worldcon Committees shall
be binding upon any Committee already selected at the time when it takes
- Section 6.5: Standing Rules.
- Standing Rules for the Governance of the Business Meeting and related activities
may be adopted or amended by a majority vote at any Business Meeting.
Amendments to Standing Rules shall take effect at the close of the Worldcon
where they are adopted; this rule may be suspended by a two-
thirds (2/3) vote.
Jack R Herman, Chairman of Business Meeting
Pat McMurray, Secretary of Business Meeting
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