Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

Man, people just love to hate on Best Of. Voting in this year’s Best of Northern Nevada readers’ poll began on May 3. The primary round ends on June 7. The final round runs June 28 to July 26. You can vote now at bestofnorthernnevada.com.

And of course we here in the RN&R are already fielding complaints. (I’m not whining. It comes with the territory, and we’re pretty thick-skinned over here. I just want to clarify a few things for folks with questions and concerns.) People complain that there are too many categories, but then complain about the categories that were cut from last year—most of which were cut simply because they didn’t attract many votes.

Folks are still complaining about some of last year’s results. Yes, we know that certain businesses gamed the system in recent years, running customer promotions and forcing workers to vote to run up their tallies. But to be clear: Advertising has no sway on the contest outcomes or any editorial content. We editors don’t even know what businesses buy ads unless we see them in the paper after it hits the stands.

That said, there’s nothing unethical about advertising to rally votes. We’re a free paper that depends on ad revenue support. It irritates me to no end when folks scold local businesses for advertising with us to drum up votes. Of course, it irritates me even more when people spend their ad dollars on Facebook. Cuz, yeah, Facebook needs more money.

All of that said, some of the more outlandish results last year were what prompted us to make changes this year, including adding the primary round.

People complain it’s a “popularity contest”—well, yeah. That’s exactly what voting is—welcome to democracy. The readers poll is the rabble roused. You just want carefully curated selections written by knowledgeable superdelegates? Read the editors’ picks.

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