Now for something I expect every thoughtful CSM voter struggles with to some degree - tactical voting. When do you vote with your heart and when do you vote with your head. I'll walk through my list to wrestle with my demons of pragmatism as I compose my vote before I head over to sort through the many faces posted on the CSM site.
I recommended a list of candidates, without explicitly giving them ballot ranks. That's our base to work from. Then we can consider what other people/groups have put forth as their recommendations (see cool chart from Danikov). In general the wisdom seems to be that your vote will be all used up in your top 6-8 slots. So for instance...
Sugar Kyle: I'm far from alone in thinking she's a great choice for CSM X. She even appears on some official bloc lists (though not super high). So should I vote her first to match the work she's done and will do, or move someone I'm more worried about towards to top?
Ashterothi: as a new candidate he has the media presence of two podcasts and the lore surge behind him. But he doesn't show up on nearly as many blog lists and is absent from the bloc lists. I've heard he's concerned about staying off the cut-list from the bottom. So he needs to move up to the top.
corbexx: Surely the wormholers will pull together to make sure he's in, right? But there is dispute out there on how big the WH population really is, and the analysis of CSM 9 voting showed how fragmented the WH vote was, so he's not as much of a lock as you might think for the undisputed best candidate for an entire class of gameplay. On the other hand, I'm not really a WH guy.
Mike Azariah: Speaking of being the top candidate for an entire security class and yet not secure... so will highsec players actually turn out this year, after a series of decreasing voting rates? Will his media presence help carry him? He's in the "top tier" of Danikov's analysis of blog recommendations.
Jayne / Bam: So how much weight does the RVB ballot and Mangala's recommendation really carry? Is RVB truly a bunch of alts who will instead vote with their mains, or is it (combined) the fourth largest alliance in Eve?
June Ting: It sounds like I am in the minority in thinking she sounded great. At least she's on the Declarations of War list. If HERO had gotten their ballot together I assume she'd be near the top, but it sounds like they did the disorganized thing instead. I looked around the Brave Newbies subreddit and didn't see anything about CSM at all, only their local Council of Newbie Management election. So that then speaks to Cagali Cagali as a candidate too - if he can't get organized enough to put a ballot out for his alliance, can he be organized enough to be an effective CSM?
So I think my top six votes if I ignore tactical voting is something like this:
Sugar, Steve, Ashterothi, June, Mike, corbexx (or maybe Gorski as a wildcard)
If I vote more tactically it's more like this:
Ashterothi, June, Gorski, Mike, Psianh, Steve ... but can I really not put Sugar in the top?
Now I have been known to overthink things (*ahem*) but I expect this is the kind of thing that just leads people to say "screw it" and vote the ballot that their alliance leader or favorite blogger suggests.
Off to the ballot box...
Update: if you dither too much on the voting page you'll get a bit of a surprise - apparently it logged me out for inactivity? Fortunately it appears to have saved your ballot in cache, so when you log back in you won't lose where you were.