Tonight at 18:00 CET, the online voting for Junior Eurovision 2017 starts. It’s the most serious experiment with online voting in the Eurovision world thus far. According to EBU’s Chief Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand, it’s an experiment that could lead towards the adult contest as well.
“For the time being, we’re happy with the current voting process at adult Eurovision,” Sand states. “But technology develops, so for the future, who knows, online voting could be a good solution. That’s why it is good to test it out here at Junior.”
So how does it work?
If you want to cast your vote in Junior Eurovision 2017, you can do so through this website. The voting starts at 18:00 CET. The EBU also released an introductory video about the voting process which you can watch HERE.
You can vote for at least 3 countries, and maximum 5, including your own country. All votes from all countries will be added into one big pile, then calculated into percentages, and then recalculated towards 928 points (exactly 50% of the total vote). This means that if more Polish people vote than for example Australians, Poles will have a bigger influence on the outcome of the contest.
Voting is free, and everyone can vote one time and one time only. How the EBU exactly plans to execute this plan and control that people do not vote more than once, is not made public yet. However, Jon Ola Sand told ESCDaily that he thinks the system is secure enough: “We don’t think so, because you have to vote for at least three countries. We think it’s a fair system – as fair as it gets.”
Ewan Spence from ESCInsight wrote a rather critical article about this feature. According to his calculations based on last year’s viewing figures, Poland could indeed take a 44.000 vote lead over Italy simply by people voting for their own country. Spence is also afraid that the early voting slot will shift the attention away from the actual live performances on Sunday night.
This shift away from the live-tv broadcast, is however an intentional consequence by EBU. Sand: “We also broadcast the show online, and we want to engage online viewers already before the contest. Voting is a way to do that.”
It feels like a very very unwise idea. Especially if you cannot check if people watched ALL entries and just vote for their own country through a VPN connection, or simply by being encorraged through diaspora fora and big differences in populations. And with the investigations on interferring in politial elections by other countries…. I think Ola is rather quite naive about a 100% good system. Especially when he says “You have to vote for at least 3 countries”. 1. So watching 3 out of 26 is enough?? And if I want to fraud, I vote for two random other countries or those who are very low in the polls after all.