There are only 10 days left in the June photography contest, and there is now, and has been for about a week, a tie for first place.

What do users think we should do if the tie persists to the end of June?

Is there any practical way to acknowledge a tie, and give equal credit to both?

Update: We escaped having to decide what to do about a tie for the second time. And the winner is (drum roll):

@Dynat, with a photograph of a juvenile reindeer in Northern Sweden

There were spectacular pictures, and congratulations to everyone who entered for capturing the essence of The Great Outdoors.

We still haven't decided what to do if there is a tie in future, but for now at least, that is Charlie Brumbaugh's problem

  • 2
    Currently it is 4 way tie for first place and both answers below show a zero balance. I subtly suggest that you (as the OP for the month) have the option to vote however you want. There should not be a tie you can not break. Voting is secret so no one but you will ever know if you broke the tie or not. Jun 25 '19 at 15:34
  • Note to all: It's now June 26, 2019, and there is no longer a tie. The top picture has one more vote than when this was written. This question still applies, in case a tie happens, but unless more votes are added to existing answers, or any that may be posted in the next few days, there will not be a tie this month. I just want to clarify that. Jun 27 '19 at 2:38
  • @Sue If the tie persists, I will explain what I will do, and why. The only reward the winner gets is the warm glow, which is often the best part. I am sure Nobel Prize winners appreciate the $$$ (now taxable), but I think from reading about them, that they appreciate being elevated to immortality even more.
    – ab2
    Jun 28 '19 at 1:00

In the event of a tie, the post with the latest time stamp wins.

Picking the first posted gives an advantage to the regulars who know the contest is coming and have an idea what the theme will be because the saw the suggestions on the previous months' contents.

The earlier ones have more time to get votes, if it took one answer 10 days to get the same amount of votes as one that had 30 days to vote one, then the odds are that the latest one would have gotten more votes had it been posted at the same time.


In the event of a tie, the person who posted the monthly photo contest (organizer) decides which post is marked as accepted and serves as the potential site Theme photo of the month.

In theory the contest ends at the end of the month UTC in reality it ends when the organizer checks, we all have lives and this is a manual process. Ultimately the organizer will be held accountable by the community. They need to make the choice that the feel is most appropriate.

Optimally the organizer should list ties in place at the time the "winner" was chosen. Keeping in mind there are no losers, but only one image can be the featured image of the month

  • Mods can see which day votes were cast so in case of a different voting pattern in the morning from the last evening, organizer can see (if mod) or ask a mod to check when the deciding vote was cast. (I have not needed it yet, most people vote well before midnight on the last day.)
    – Willeke Mod
    Jul 6 '19 at 14:55
  • @Willeke how can mods see what day votes were cast? I have never heard of this before. Jul 12 '19 at 12:28
  • Just believe they can. Mods should keep some secrets.
    – Willeke Mod
    Jul 12 '19 at 13:25
  • @Willeke There is not that much that mods can see that others can't, see related What can Moderators and Trusted Users see that others can't? As TGO is in beta, Trusted user rights come at 4,000 Rep Jul 12 '19 at 13:29

In the event of a tie, the post with the earliest time stamp wins. The other(s) is/are acknowledged as second, third, etc based on time of posting.

  • 2
    It should be the last one posted, the earlier ones have more time to get votes. Also if it was the last then its harder to game because the longer you wait, the fewer voters will potentially see your answer whereas otherwise people could just post as soon as the new contest is up Jun 22 '19 at 0:12
  • 1
    @CharlieBrumbaugh also depends on the sorting you have selected. If you sort by active then the newer one shows up first. If you sort by oldest or votes the older one is likely to show up first.
    – JJJ
    Jun 22 '19 at 18:20
  • 1
    This was what I suggested in May, when we neared the end of the month (though in the event, the result was not tied). I favour the earliest time of posting, because that encourages a more desirable behaviour (it gives us readers more time to appreciate people's photographs). Jun 24 '19 at 10:04
  • 3
    @TobySpeight on the other hand, the photos will be available for a long time. Imagine if the last answer is superb, better than any other. In that case, do you want that superb answer to win or should the user have posted it earlier? Remember, the winner will be on top for a very long time.
    – JJJ
    Jun 24 '19 at 11:08
  • @CharlieBrumbaugh you should post that as an answer not a comment. Jun 24 '19 at 12:28

Any user can go in on the last day of the month and cast a vote then, with an eye on breaking a tie.
I have done so before and I am likely to do so again.

To do so effectively you should not vote earlier on, or at least check that you have not yet voted on both/all photos that are tied.

By the time I came to cast that vote in June, there was one photo leading by one vote, when I left it was leading by two votes. (If I had not liked that photo and had wanted an other to win, I would not have voted, not going to tie the contest on purpose.)

If the person running the competition wants to be able to select one photo (out of a tied group) to win, (s)he can do so by holding his votes till the last day and only then casting them. Or by just selecting the winner by accepting the best liked one, regardless of the tied situation.

But I feel that the ties are best broken by the users of the site who vote for what they like.

  • 4
    The problem with this is that if everyone does this, no entry will get a vote until 11:59 of the last day! Oh Boy! We can now discuss Kant's Categorical Imperative, to wit: "Act according to the maxim that you would wish all other rational people to follow, as if it were a universal law." Not my downvote.
    – ab2
    Jul 1 '19 at 22:29
  • Most people will not want to hold their votes and it is also not needed not to have voted at all. As long as you have not yet voted for one of the tied entries you can break the tie.
    – Willeke Mod
    Jul 5 '19 at 17:26
  • I think a combination of your answer and the answer of @James Jenkins would work. That is the organizer for the month delays voting until the end, and so is available to break any tie that occurs.
    – ab2
    Jul 6 '19 at 1:14

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