DC Theatre Scene announced this morning that it was rescinding its 2010 Fringe Awards after a canvas of the votes revealed widespread voting irregularities. DCTS will be giving no Fringe Awards in 2010.
DCTS launched an investigation after receiving complaints about cheating both privately and on the site. According to investigators, both winning shows and runners-up were the recipient of mass voting from single individuals. One show received 572 votes from one individual. One winning show received two hundred ninety-five votes from a single voter and ninety-five from another, while another received 150 votes from one person. Investigators reported that that practically every contending show benefited from similar practices to one degree or another.
There is no evidence that anyone associated with the Fringe shows was responsible for the voter fraud. DCTS has been unable to identify the defrauders.
“Obviously, a poll so badly contaminated is of no value whatsoever,” DCTS Editor Lorraine Treanor said in announcing that the awards would be rescinded.
“Those who defrauded the awards polls misunderstand what the DCTS awards are for,” Treanor said. “They celebrate the public’s recognition of artistic excellence. The sad thing is that the shows who won the DCTS awards because of fraudulent support were all excellent, and might have won on their own merits if the voting had been fair.”
“We’ve been using the same software for our polls for four years. This is the first year a problem has been found. We will find another vendor who can offer a higher level of security.”