Worldcon is historically kinda bad at getting the vote out on site selection (aka “voting on where Worldcon will be in the future”). Last year, there were 6130 total members of LoneStarCon3. Of these, 1348 members voted on site selection, or not quite 22% of the membership. And that was a highly contested race!
I don’t think low voter turnout is the intended outcome, but I do think Worldcon voting isn’t the easiest system to understand. Worldcon is a big endeavor, and big things are unwieldy, and site selection voting hasn’t often made it to the top of the list of things to make sure the public is knowledgeable about. Plus, according to the Sasquan report I read last month, the previous five Worldcon races were uncontested. Maybe it’s pretty understandable that it wasn’t a huge focus in the past. I think I was on Worldcon staff for at least two years before I knew we could vote on Worldcon location.
But this is how we decide where Worldcon will be! Which has a huge impact on the con in the long term (more on that later)! And it’s the least expensive option for getting a membership to Worldcon! So I’m going to attempt to explain it.