Information Theory Society Ballots

I recently received my IEEE Information Theory Society Board of Governor ballot. It says there that

On the ballot card, names are listed in randomized order, no preference is intended.

Leaving the grammatical issues aside, what does this mean? This is the information theory crowd, so they should have told us how they were doing the randomizing! I mean, we’re supposed to get excited by that stuff, right? A more freewheeling (and incorrect) take on it is that they sent a different randomized ballot order to every one of the “over 6000” members of the society. Since there are 15 nominees for the board, there are a total of 15! = 1,307,674,368,000 different orderings, which would make the ballots-alphabet highly undersampled. Given that Alon Orlitsky is one of the candidates, perhaps that would be more appropriate…

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