Editorial: Help us recognize and reward the Best

For nearly 20 years now we have been asking our readers to vote for and help us recognize which businesses, professionals and service providers should be considered The Best of Jefferson County. Every fall for the last two decades, throughout the month of October, we have run a ballot in our paper and asked you, our readers, to nominate the businesses you feel rise above their competitors, providing the best service and quality in a range of categories. And every year we spent hours counting, tallying and verifying the paper ballots that were submitted. 
A lot has changed in 20 years and we decided it was time to shake things up, add a digital component and all new incentives for both the businesses who get chosen as well as select readers who take the time to fill out the ballots. 
So here’s what’s changing:
• Check out our ballot (on page 3B this week and online) for an expanded list of categories and chances to win.
• As of this year there will be two rounds of voting. Beginning Friday, Sept. 29, and running through Tuesday, Oct. 10, you can turn in the paper ballot or visit www.thenewsandfarmer.com. As before, fill out as many nominating paper ballots as you’d like, while online nominations will be limited to one vote per day per user.
• Our second round of voting will be multiple choice, with the finalists, or top nominees from each category advancing. Note: there will be a minimum of two nominees per category and a maximum of three going into the final weeks. This round of voting starts on Oct. 25 and runs through Nov. 5 and will also be available to our readers both in print and online. Same voting limitations apply and all paper ballots must be received by Nov. 5.
• To encourage community participation we will be holding a sweepstakes with each round of voting and the names of individuals who vote in a minimum of 25 categories will go into a random drawing for $200 in Chamber Bucks to be spent at any business in the county. 
• And our business winners who are voted THE BEST...well this year, they get more than just bragging rights and a plaque. this year they will also receive BEST OF THE BEST REWARDS which will include special deals on advertising that they can use all year long. 
• Results will appear in our Thanksgiving edition and online that week. 
So see the ballot in this week’s print edition or visit the mobile version online and help us recognize the businesses in our community on which we depend and which we see going the extra mile to serve their customers.