My favorite part of this piece on the Hugos and How You Can Change Them is that it completely elides over the whole issue of money and how that plays into folks ability to vote. Cheryl does acknowledge that it costs a chunk of change ($50 at least) to become a voting member, but then goes on to say still, it’s less than how much it costs to join SFWA so you can vote on the Nebulas, and voting for Locus awards is free except your vote has less weight.
First, just because $50 is less than the annual membership for SFWA that allows you to vote does not mean it’s a better value. Nor does the comparison swipe aside the basic consideration of paying $50 to vote. Is voting in the Hugos worth one week of food for me? I can’t say that it is. Does that mean that I just don’t care about changing the Hugos? No, it does not.
This is a serious consideration and I don’t often see people talking about it. God damn, where is Will Shetterly when you need him?
I don’t think that Hugo voting should be opened up to non-members of WorldCon per say, but I would really enjoy it if people didn’t act like this consideration wasn’t a big damn deal, because it IS.
As to the rest of her points, I’m in agreement. If you have the ability to vote because you had the money to attend or have the money to be a non-attending member, do it!