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Hall of Fame voting: BBWAA releases 136 ballots

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has taken a lot of heat for the flaws in the voting process -- namely, the secret ballot.

Jim McIsaac

The Baseball Writers Association of America has publicly released 136 of its voters' ballots on their website -- if you can get it to load.

If you can't get it to load, or you don't want to wait for all of the public ballots to be submitted into the BBWAA system, you can see all of the results that have been released thanks to social media.

At the moment, @leokitty (AKA dubious yankees cat) has compiled the results, and the sources, for 211 BBWAA voters.

Voters were asked to submit their ballots "by mail or fax by December 31, 2013."

Then, in order to have those results made public, writers are asked to input their choices into the BBWAA database. It's a small inconvenience for them, but the real issue might be the overarching disorder in the framework of the organization itself.

Several suggestions have been made for improving the process. For example, many voters claimed to have left Craig Biggio off of their ballot because of the BBWAA's 10-vote limit. As a result, Biggio missed the cut by two votes. Then, of course, there's the blood-boiling debate about PEDs and whether or not simple speculation is a good enough reason to keep a worthy player from being inducted.

Even though it's not a new policy, the partial transparency of the voting process can be commended. Knowing a fraction of the details is better than being completely left in the dark. The BBWAA isn't legally bound to disclose anything. In other words, they could make the entire process secretive if they felt like it. People would probably stop caring about them altogether if they did, but they have no actual obligation to be release information.

Many voters have been open about their role in the process (211 of 571 total ballots have been released), often pairing the disclosure of their ballots with a detailed explanation at how they arrived at their little checkmarks (some of which can be found in leokitty's spreadsheet linked above). However, the current structure of the process allows a majority of voters to cast their ballots secretively. BBWAA members like Yahoo's Jeff Passan and ESPN's Jerry Crasnick have advocated full transparency in the process.

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