First, thank you for registering your opinions—you never fail to amaze and amuse us with your observations.
Second, to those who think they can beat the system with some good, old-fashioned ballot-stuffing: Knock it the hell off! We can see you and know who you are and we have/will stop you.
Third, it appears that there are some common questions/problems that have come up among voters. As we monitor voting, we've noticed some trends, so in order to possibly head them off, here are our answers/solutions/responses to some.
• If you don't eat meat, then don't answer the question of the best place to buy meat. We understand that you are proud of your vegetarian status, and we're very happy for you but some people like bacon.
• "Get real" is not an answer. It kind of makes you look like a jerk.
• "See above" doesn't really work either since answers are separated by question, not by ballot.
• Live theater and a concert venue are not the same thing. Live theater is when actors perform on stage. Just because a place has "theater" in the name does not make it eligible in this category.
• Names commonly misspelled: Shakespeare, Trey McIntyre and Bardenay
• "That one place on the corner" may be well meaning but not entirely helpful. Yes, we know a lot about this place, but we need a little more description than that.
• Remember, only locally-owned and -operated businesses are eligible in this contest. That means no franchises and no, Macy's, Dillard's, Barnes and Noble, Toys R Us and the Olive Garden are not considered local, no matter how much we may enjoy them.
• Finally, in response to the question some voters have asked—"Is this serious?"—the answer is yes.
Thank you again to all those who have voted, and to those who haven't, you have until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 28, to have your voice heard.