When we announced that we had illicitly purchased a Hall of Fame vote from a veteran member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, we made clear that our intention was to turn the ballot over to the public. Starting tomorrow, we'll make good on that promise, but we wanted first to lay out how the process will work.
In line with suggestions from readers and electoral experts we consulted, we've settled on the simplest, most intuitive system. From tomorrow until 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 29, members of the public will be able to vote yes or no on every one of the 36 candidates on the ballot. They will be able to vote for or against as many or as few candidates as they like.
Every candidate who secures a majority will land a spot on our ballot, unless there are more candidates who clear 50 percent than there are spots on the ballot—inexplicably, the Hall of Fame ballot only allows the voter to choose 10 players—in which case we'll vote for the candidates with the highest percentages, with total yes votes as a tiebreaker.
Over the next several weeks, we'll be running a series of posts examining the merits and, in some cases, deficiencies of each of the candidates, so as to do our part to inform the electorate and celebrate the great game of baseball, which is after all what the Hall of Fame season is supposed to be about.
Polling results and the identity and motivations of our mystery voter will be revealed in January, right after the Hall of Fame announces the official results of the BBWAA election. At that point, the Hall will have to either allow a ballot that had been sold for money to stand or retroactively change election results it's already announced. Either way, we will, as intended, have made a mockery and farce of the process. (Obviously the best outcome would be for someone on our ballot to be elected by one vote, thus presenting the Hall with an unpleasant but entertaining choice, but it will be fun either way.)
Spread the word—the more voters, the better!—and if you have any questions or concerns, please let us know in the comments below.