September 2, 2005
Every year, except the years in which we forget, The Aspen Times asks readers to decide a handful of the town’s best people, places and things. We publish ballots in the paper, set a deadline and then wait for the filled-out ballots to come back in.Inevitably, the majority of the ballots return on the very last day, and innocent staff members are selected and punished with the task of sorting through all the answers. There’s also the task of deciding which ballots are even valid – some respondents fill in just one or two blanks in an effort to promote their business or their friends; others turn in multiple ballots in a clear effort to win a free dinner or stuff the ballot box.We had to throw out several dozen ballots this year, but still ended up with more than 100 countable ballots. It’s hardly scientific, but it is fun and it should make for interesting reading.We’ll put everyone’s name who filled out a valid ballot and throw them into a basket early next week. We’ll choose two winners of $100 gift certificates and announce them in The Aspen Times daily.Good luck to everyone, and thanks for helping us choose Aspen’s Best. Read on.