The final round of voting for Harrisburg Magazine’s 2018 Simply the Best Competition! Over 1,500 businesses made it to the ballot in over 250 categories. We thought we’d take a few moments and answer some of the questions you have been asking us.

Can a business offer incentives to people who voted for them? 

Yes, we are aware that businesses have been offering “incentives” for people who vote for them. After much discussion, we decided that this would be allowed for several reasons. First, voters can change their vote at anytime during the competition and we are not providing any businesses with the names of the people who voted for them. So voters can still vote for the company they think is the best no matter what incentives are provided to them to do otherwise. Second, since nothing prevents other businesses from doing the same, we don’t consider it unfair.

Finally, we know that our readers are passionate about this competition. And as such, we don’t think that you’d be able to be swayed to change your vote if you didn’t feel the business deserved it.

When is the voting?

Voting begins on April 15 and continues until June 15.

When are the winners announced?

The winners will be officially announced in the August edition of Harrisburg Magazine. However, winners will be contacted sometime in late June or early July to let them know they have won. Any business that can’t be reached or doesn’t respond will be eliminated. (No purchase is required, but we do need to confirm that the owner accepts the honor.) For this reason, we are asking any nominated business to fill out this form.

How many times can someone vote?

Voting can only be done one time per category per valid email.

Any restrictions on voting?

Voters must use their own email address when registering to vote. Email addresses must be valid. The system we are using has a complex system to help eliminate potential voter fraud. Any votes that trigger the system are reviewed. Ballots that cannot be verified or show signs that they may be fraudulent are eliminated.

What about paper ballots?

After much discussion and evaluation, we decided to eliminate paper ballots for this round. We received a handful of paper ballots during the nomination period and found after counting them, they didn’t affect the results. We also found that the paper ballot would be difficult to create as there are over 250 categories and close to 2,000 names. Finally, we feel that most people have access to some a computer or mobile device and email to vote.

Are companies required to advertise in the magazine to win?

No. There is no purchase necessary to win. We will say that companies that promote their nomination in the competition and encourage people to vote for them have an advantage. And we do feel that companies who advertise with Harrisburg Magazine have a better chance at winning (as well as increasing their sales). However, the votes are counted by a computer system that doesn’t take in account if the company advertised or not.

How many categories do we have to vote in for our votes to be counted?

We do not have a minimum requirement this year. However, we hope that you vote in as many categories as you feel comfortable. The only requirement is that you register with a valid email address and the information provided is accurate.

Any restrictions on who can win?

Any business or individual who does not provide good representation of Benchmark Media, Harrisburg Magazine or the competition may be determined to be ineligible and eliminated from the competition at any time.

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