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> Kelvingrove Loses Public Vote... Maybe!, Online vote stopped by 'irregularities'!
GG
post 11th Jun 2009, 10:56pm
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It seemed like a simple thing do: launch a public vote to help decide where the annual Art Fund Prize award of 100,000, the largest single arts prize in the UK, would go. However, with such a huge sum of cash at stake in this era of ever-tightening budgets, it looks like the public vote run by the Guardian Online could have been the victim of a conspiracy designed to affect the vote result.

Following complaints made about apparent voting irregularities possibly affecting the nature of the results of the online vote, the organisers of the vote have closed the poll and agreed to investigate all votes cast. In the meantime, the formal outcome of the vote in terms of who will go forward as the 'People's Choice' has been withheld as votes are analysed for alleged irregularities.

The four finalists were:
  • The Centre of New Enlightenment at
    Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
  • Orleans House Gallery, Twickenham
  • Wedgwood Museum, Stoke-on-Trent
  • Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, Wales
How the result looked initially, earlier today:
Attached Image

The response from the vote organisers to complaints:
QUOTE
Thank you for your email.

The Art Fund Prize and Guardian Online are aware of your concerns and are in the process of looking into possible technical interferences with the poll. The whole process will be explored fully, and carefully verified before the announcement of the People’s Choice is made.

We are aware that people who make their choice will not have visited every museum on the list. The purpose of the People’s Choice – and the Prize as a whole – is to engage people with museums and to generate excitement about the huge variety and excellent quality of museums and galleries we have in the UK. By working with Guardian Online to do this, we are reaching an even broader audience and helping raise awareness of museums and galleries.

The People’s Choice will not determine who wins the 100,000 Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries. The judges will take into account which contender the public would like to win, but ultimately it is their – the judges’ - decision which they make following visits to all four short-listed museums and an in-depth discussion.

If we discover any technical irregularities, we will ensure that they do not affect the true results of the poll.

Regards
Rosemary Ewles [Art Fund Prize]

GG.


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Catherine
post 12th Jun 2009, 12:09am
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Interesting GG........
What made you question this?
Who are the Judges for this?

So many questions........so little time laugh.gif laugh.gif


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Catherine
post 12th Jun 2009, 12:50am
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I think basically it bothers me when 'judges' involve the Public, yet at the end of the day can do what they want regardless of what the same Public ask for.

Are they wee people in uniforms per chance?
Jist a question laugh.gif laugh.gif


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jeani
post 12th Jun 2009, 02:37am
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i agree with you catherine, the people's choice should be just that, our choice, and the voting should be open and transparrent,
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tamhickey
post 12th Jun 2009, 04:10am
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Personally, I don't see the point in having a public vote if those votes are going to be discarded on the whim of a judging panel. What's the point?
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Agnes & Robert
post 12th Jun 2009, 05:49am
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Please keep it honest we are getting a lot of irregularities with the MPs right now we don't need anymore scandal.
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stratson
post 12th Jun 2009, 06:14am
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I was not even aware there was a public vote!
Like previous comments, don't think the public really have a say at all, another case of fobbing off with platitudes. sad.gif


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GG
post 12th Jun 2009, 07:14am
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Sorry, I should have added the following link to the original online vote page for further information:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/pol...ns-best-museums

Note the addition of the following announcement:
QUOTE
We regret that we have reason to believe that irregularities in the voting process have affected the results of this poll, so we have reluctantly closed it early. We are currently investigating the matter and will post an update on this site as soon as we can.

As for the nature of the irregularities, what I can say is that as I followed the results of the vote I became aware of rapid, large fluctuations in the voting patterns, which were inconsistent with this type of vote. In addition, there was evidence to suggest that people were being encouraged in large numbers to vote by 'interested parties', even though the voters had never actually attended any of the exhibitions or programmes.

GG.
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*SNP Voter*
post 12th Jun 2009, 03:24pm
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Come on Kelvingrove I knew you should have won!!!

To see who the judges are there is a lot of info about them at this web link, http://www.artfundprize.org.uk/2009/judging-panel.php

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Patter Merchant
post 16th Jun 2009, 05:12pm
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My understanding is that there will not now be a 'People's Choice' winner announced separately from the outright Art Fund Prize winner.

Can you confirm this GG?
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GG
post 16th Jun 2009, 10:33pm
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To an extent Patter Merchant, in that the People's Choice winner AND the actual Art Fund Prize winner will be announced on the same day, although there will still be an official People's Choice winner, for what it's worth.

The official line from the organisers is:
QUOTE
The People’s Choice poll is now closed and the results are being verified. We will announce the People’s Choice to coincide with the official winner announcement on 18 June 2009.

I have raised my concerns about the legitimacy of votes for two of the contenders directly with the organisers of the vote. I am not alone in raising concerns, as others have posted concerns directly onto the Guardian website, although some of those concerns have since been removed.

GG.


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GG
post 17th Jun 2009, 12:12pm
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Following further correspondence with the organisers of the Art Fund Prize, GG can exclusively reveal that evidence HAS been found that there was a clear attempt to tamper with the results of the 'Public Vote'. It is understood that a substantial number of 'votes' have now been deducted from the original result.

It is not yet clear whether the votes will be deducted from the Wedgwood Museum, or from the other main contender, The Centre of New Enlightenment at Kelvingrove. GG has passed on information to the organisers relating to concerns about votes for both these main contenders.

Commenting in an email to GG about the analysis of the public vote, Rosemary Ewles, the administrator of the Art Fund Prize for museums and galleries, today said:
QUOTE
The Guardian has been analysing all the votes and is clear that an attempt was made to tamper with them. They have identified the methods used and have taken steps to ensure that this will not be repeated in future.

The trustees of The Art Fund Prize and the team at The Guardian are confident that the final result is a true reflection of the genuine votes cast. The outcome of our investigation and the results have been passed to the judging panel. There is a clear People’s Choice and this will be revealed along with the overall winner tomorrow at the Art Fund Award Ceremony.

Further information about the vote can be found at the BBC:

Vote early, vote often
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/pa...vote_often.html

Art Fund Prize vote investigated
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/a...ure/8098056.stm

GG.


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GG
post 18th Jun 2009, 11:00pm
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In the end the Kelvingrove TCoNE lost out by a long way to the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston, Staffordshire. The Guardian has not been very open about the nature of the 'irregularities' it uncovered, but given that the newspaper quotes a figure of 27,000 voters in the revised result, it appears to have removed another 27,000 votes from the original result. As the Kelvingrove vote did not go above 22,500 votes, then it looks like the Kelvingrove was not the only contestant to have large numbers of 'votes' deducted.

Several posters on the Guardian website had complained that someone claiming to have worked on the Wedgwood project had posted numerous requests for [sic] "favors" on popular web forums, apparently resulting in a significant number of early votes for Wedgwood. Some of these requests have very recently been removed, but not before they presumably did what they were intended:

  • www.thesasclan.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?t=10182
  • www.limitededitioncomputers.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1540
  • www.gtawh.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=24466
  • forums.ebuyer.com/showthread.php?t=44887
  • forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18007128

See here for result information:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2009/jun...-art-fund-prize

GG.


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