The shiny new upgrades we will get
I have concerns about how these upgrades will be applied. I am concerned that Niantic will dump them into our account and they will be applied automatically all at the same time. I want to explain to Niantic employees why that is not a good idea.
I have a lot of submissions "stuck in voting." I believe they are stuck for 2 reasons: 1) they are iffy submissions so there has not been agreement on reject/approve from local reviewers and 2) there are not enough local reviewers seeing them to allow them to finish the voting process.
What I've seen in my experience is that when you upgrade a nomination, it has to be a clear-cut 5 star submission in order to be approved. An upgraded nomination goes out to a larger audience of reviewers, spread across a larger area. Those people are less invested in your local area and if they have any doubt, they will give a voting pattern that leads to rejection in order to earn an agreement since agreements will help them personally.
Local reviewers might take a little more time to think about the nomination and realize the local value of the thing being submitted. They might vote 3 stars instead of 2 stars.
For these reasons, there are some submissions that I will not upgrade no matter how long they have been in the system. I don't mind if the final answer is for them to be rejected. But I don't need that rejection to come back in a hurry, which is why I would apply an upgrade to a nomination. I think carefully about which submissions to upgrade and only chose those that I know can't be shot down by even the most picky non-local reviewers.
So if I've done all this work to get 10 upgrades but then don't have the ability to apply them thoughtfully, my work has really been for nothing. I don't want to waste upgrades on things that don't have a high likelihood of being approved by a wider reviewing audience. I want to only upgrade things that are 4 or 5 star candidates.
It might be too late for Niantic to program a holding pattern for upgrades or allow us to have a true waiting list rather than just 1 "upgrade next" designee. But I would STRONGLY urge you to consider making this available for the next challenge. Because if my hardly earned 10 upgrades are wasted, I probably won't participate in another location challenge like this.
I have a slightly different take but am in agreement with your post. I have two submissions that have never gone into voting since I submitted them 1 year ago. My guess is someone else could have submitted the same thing and theirs is stuck in the 1*/5* loop and until theirs goes through the loop mine won't enter voting. So what happens if that person is also doing the challenge and both of our submissions are upgraded? Do we get overlapping pokestops?
I feel like the system/framework is set up so you wouldn't get overlapping portals/pokestops even if two nearly-identical submissions were in voting at the same time. Most likely result is that one would get through first and then the other would be a duplicate.
If somehow they both successfully made it through voting before the "duplicate" rulings outweighed the 5*'s, then one would still be approved first and then the second would be within 20m of that already-approved portal and just would never appear.
As for the subject of the post, I agree that it would be nice to control which nominations are upgraded if you have several "banked".
This is exactly how it will work. In fact, I just did this to someone's submission recently.
I found a neighborhood with 4 candidates that were spaced out well enough that PGO could get 2 stops and 2 gyms. I nominated all 4 things and was just waiting to push them through. I didn't realize that anyone else was doing submissions in the area. While reviewing for this challenge, I saw that someone else had submitted the exact same tennis courts but had not placed the pin on the courts, nor with any thought to how they could submit the other nearby things. So I took a chance that their nomination was not upgraded and I upgraded my own submission for those same tennis courts. (I did approve their nomination in case it beat mine to approval.)
Thankfully, my upgraded nomination was approved and made it into the game before theirs. So now even if theirs is approved, it won't make it into the game. Since then, I have also upgraded and gotten approved the 2nd thing over there (2nd stop). Now I will upgrade items 3 and 4 to get the 2 gyms.
Hopefully, they will forgive me when they end up with 4 POI/2 gyms instead of the single stop they would have been limited to.
Edit: This was all done with the pins being accurately located on the 4 things: playground, tennis court, trellis and footbridge. I made wise choices about where to place the pins but not deceptive choices.
@margatron-PGO Those nominations that are stuck in queue for over a year - is there a reason why you don't want to upgrade them like I've outline above?
Have they been upgraded and still not moved into voting? Because if that's the case, there's something wrong with the nomination or the cell.
If not, then I don't know how to get them moved into voting. It sounds like you're in a really crowded cell. I have nominations like that in a public park. There's a park near me that has 6 sets of tennis courts - fenced around them in pairs of courts. I believe logically these should be 3 POI since there is a fence separating the 3 different playing "fields." But I hesitate to upgrade them because I'm not convinced the larger reviewing audience understands that. So instead, I am waiting for them to go through the natural cycle of local voting without an upgrade. But since it is an area where a lot of people have nominated things, they have been sitting in queue for months (though only since January which is not long enough to get up in arms, I realize).
There are many reasons why I don't upgrade them:
1) I don't play near them - I live several miles away and I just happened to drive by and see neither were in the game so I added them. Both have nothing near them, but one is a rules and regulations sign by a baseball stadium and there are gyms and pokestops already in that gym cell. The other one has nothing around it anywhere.
2) They are not at public parks. I have had many things that are not at public parks denied, so I tend to only upgrade things in parks unless it is something I either really want in my area (which are denied more than I would like) or I am upgrading something I submitted for someone else
3) One is a VFW post and many people have no clue they are valid so I think if I upgrade a VFW post it will get denied
4) I am concentrating on a nearby city park that has 4.5 mile path around a lake and there are at least 40 pokemon cells that have something submittable in them that have not been submitted. I have used over 30 of my submissions so far and unless I am doing #2 I upgrade things there. It will take me several years to get everything through with the few upgrades and submissions I get, but so far I have created 2 new gyms and am about to create a third. I started doing this in September of last year and so far only 6 have been approved and all were upgrades.
Hope that helps
In some cases, a candidate may be left alone to determine how long he or she has been in limbo.