Does quality count or is this just a popularity contest?

We had a great question submitted by e-mail:

"It appears that the process to determine the regional finalists is a simply a 'majority vote.' Is this correct? I'm somewhat unclear on how large a factor the quality of the project accounts for in this process. It appears using a majority vote format almost negates the importance of submitting a quality product. Am I misinterpreting the process?"

The sender has agreed to allow us to share the question and our answer.

We expect there to be many entrants in each region. We debated internally about whether we should narrow the regions to a top three before going to a public vote. After much discussion, we decided that the person receiving the most votes would become the regional finalist. Here's our rationale:

  1. We want everyone to have a fair chance at becoming a regional finalist
  2. We want everyone in the credit union industry to be in on the selection process, not just a select few executives
  3. Since a judging panel will be involved in selecting the ultimate winner, we want to keep the initial narrowing to a simple online vote
  4. We feel strongly that the best candidates with the best project or idea will rise to the top
  5. Voting is limited to one vote per legitimate e-mail address
  6. We have systems in place to monitor any vote automation or vote tampering

On top of that, each ballot will allow voters to select one entrant in each region. Having a large group of friends and family will only get you so far, credit union professionals are going to vote for what they want to hear about for the next few months leading up to the finalists' presentations at CUES' CEO/Executive Team Network™ in Dallas in November. So, we feel that it is very import to submit a quality video pitch.

The CUES Team