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Don't be like Kathy. Vote for the Best of Savannah!
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I'm happy to announce that online voting is now open for our annual "Best of Savannah" Readers Poll.

Ours is the original and still best such competition in town, despite the fact that many other local publications have begun their own similar competitions, in which many of the "winners" seem - well, a little too obvious.

Proof positive of our journalistic integrity is the fact that yours truly pretty much NEVER wins the "Best Local Newspaper Columnist" category (hint, hint). It's testimony to our honesty that the only possible way for me to win that category is if enough of you write my name into that category (nudge, nudge).

Yes, we do encourage lobbying for votes, since that's part of the fun. But there's a difference between lobbying and outright ballot-stuffing. We have ways of spotting ballot-stuffing, and those ballots are thrown out.

That's one reason we have a strict rule that for your online ballot to count, you must fill out at least 25 categories.

Otherwise, we'd get thousands of one-line responses for some business or another, thus undermining the main reason for the contest: To see what/who/where our readers think are truly the "Best of Savannah," not which businesses are best at gaming the system.

Sadly, not everyone gets this. Just as sadly, the internet is full of idiots. (I'm not in the habit of calling our readers idiots, but if the shoe fits...)

Case in point is this delightful email I just received from "Kathy" (she told us her last name but I won't publish it here for reasons which will soon become obvious), blasting us with both barrels for having the 25-category rule.

Friends, witness in full glory how not to have fun with our Best of Savannah competition:

I am a (name of local inn here) fan and I live in Seattle, WA. I wanted to support this beautiful Inn but I have no idea how to vote for twenty-five institutions or local celebrities. I guess it's sooo true how clickey and nasty - I have been raised hearing, the people that run Savannah really are. In Seattle we battle Xenophobia and passive agressiveness in our social relationships, it's a real cultural hoot to see. I am was raised in Georgia though - so go f@c% yourself! I am not passive aggressive, I am a busy mom and grandmom and I don't have time to fill out 25 guesses! Makes me think again about that trip to Savannah, next time I'm home. Good job - NOT!

Kathy, trust me when I say that no one would call you passive-aggressive. And I'm glad to see that Seattle still attracts really progressive, open-minded types such as yourself!

Clearly the dismal Pacific Northwest weather has compromised Kathy's anger management skills, though I do give her thoroughness points for writing the full f-word out in the original.

In any case, I'm fairly sure that Kathy represents a small minority opinion, here as well as in Seattle (let's hope).
I remain confident that it's not too much to ask that our readers - who after all are among the most informed and active people in town - will be able to fill out at least 25 categories, and hopefully many more, as they consistently have done for us year after year.

As is our habit, we have tweaked the categories this year to reflect the changing city and world around us. As you peruse the categories while voting, you'll no doubt notice a few new categories - the total number has actually gone up this year - as well as a few we have re-worded and/or altered to more accurately reflect reality.

Online voting stays open through the end of this month. We will publish the full results - no matter who won - in the issue hitting stands May 18.