The Rock Hall Fan Poll is a Mess (Again)

Not a normal vote curve
After last year’s epic fan poll debacle, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tried to fix things this year. They outsourced the fan poll to Votem, a “revolutionary mobile voting platform,” that makes bold promises on its website:
Multifactor authentication ensures votes are cast legitimately, while top-of-the-line encryption protects fan voter privacy and anonymity.

Featuring 100% accuracy and transparency throughout the entire fan vote process, Votem removes any potential for human error or controversy caused by miscounting or mishandling votes.

Well, after a relatively uneventful first six weeks of voting, today the Rock Hall made up for lost time by releasing over 575,000 new votes today that were “cached in the voting system.” They also arbitrarily decided to extend the voting deadline by 10 days to December 15th.

The Rock Hall updated the vote totals after an internal “audit,” likely prompted by a tweet from Journey which suggested the poll may have been “hacked” after their lead over E.L.O. shrank from 5,000 votes to 2,000 votes over the course of a week.

What kind of polling operation holds onto 40% of votes for a month and then releases them all at once with little explanation? Certainly not one that supposedly features “100% accuracy and transparency.” This is the same “transparent” poll that didn’t show vote totals for over a week after voting started. This is the same poll that promises “voter privacy and anonymity,” but then sneakily registers you for the Rock Hall newsletter when you vote with your email address.

This is the same polling company that is supposed to “remove any potential for controversy.” (Did the Rock Hall actually pay for this service?)

As Steve Miller said about the Rock Hall back in the spring, “I think it’s time for the people running this to turn it over to new people, because it doesn’t need to be this difficult.”

Votem did not respond to questions regarding their poll methodology.

Update: The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame offered up additional details about the vote increase, also insisting that the poll had not been “hacked.” The Rock Hall shared their own graph of results for the month of November, which shows the extra votes distributed over the course of the month.


Iconic Rock Talk Show thinks this whole thing could have been handled better.

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