It’s on! Time for the annual Best Of Readers’ Poll

French philosopher and writer Voltaire once penned, "The best is the enemy of the good."

Let’s keep this in mind as we open the polls for our annual Best Of Readers’ Poll.

Yes, it’s that time again: time to reflect on the people and places we love the most in the 570. An annual fall tradition at Electric City and Diamond City, we are always pleased with the number of readers who fire up their laptops and phones and cast their online votes in support of the businesses and people that make our area special.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Best Of poll, we tally up votes from readers in Lackawanna County for the Electric City awards, and our Diamond City readers cast votes for their favorite businesses and people in Luzerne County.

You may cast your votes now through midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 23. We’ll announce the winners in two special editions: Electric City on Dec. 8, and Diamond City on Dec. 15. Not only do the winners get awards to display on their walls and bragging rights for a full year, they’ll be invited to a fabulous party to celebrate their victories with our readers (over age 21). Be sure to watch future editions for the announcement of the Best Of party date.

In the meantime, we want to share some important information on what you’ll find when you hop online to vote. This year’s categories include many you’ll be familiar with from the past, such as the ever-popular Eats & Drinks, Nightlife and Love & Romance, as well as some new ones including Health & Recreation. You’ll also discover some timely, thought-provoking and amusing new questions in the Survey Says portion of the poll. Our questions cover a wide spectrum of topics, from your thoughts on the best and worst hipster trends of 2011, to whether or not you fall into the "99 percent" of the population.

Another area we’ve beefed up (pun intended) is the Eats & Drinks section. For example, in years past, we asked you to vote for your favorite pizza, a staple in most of our diets in the 570, including ec and dc staffers. When we discussed this year’s poll, it was brought to our attention that simply asking about pizza is too broad a question because we are fortunate enough to live in a region rich with many kinds of pizza pies. So, this year, we’re asking you to vote for your favorite square pizza and your favorite round pizza. Problem solved.

We also made an effort to add categories that reflect the regional foods for which northeastern Pennsylvania is famous. This means you can tell us where you find the best local pierogies and potato pancakes. Hungry yet?

Remember, the key to making this poll successful is keeping your answers local, unless otherwise specified. When we ask for your favorite festival, please don’t be a smarty pants and vote for Burning Man in the Black Rock Desert near Reno, Nev. A vote like that won’t even be factored in to the results, so save your charming wit for a time when it can be properly appreciated.

And, not to sound like a nasty, old school marm, if you are concocting sneaky ways to beat the system and rig the results, don’t. Our technical gurus (aka the self-proclaimed nerds in the web department whom we love) have been working around the clock to foil any such plans. New technology is in place to ensure there is no electronic ballot stuffing, making our web team the Batman and Robin to your Penguin and Joker; the Superman to your Lex Luthor; the Spiderman to your Hobgoblin… well, you get it.

Just vote honestly, have fun, and do it by Nov. 23. Enjoy!

electric city: the570.com/bestofec

diamond city: the570.com/bestofdc

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