The polls are now open.
The 2018 Best of North Idaho balloting began at 12:01 a.m. today and will close at midnight Saturday, Feb. 17.
Winners will be notified the last week of February, and the general public will be told loud and clear March 30 in a special edition of North Idaho Business Journal, the competition’s sponsor.
“We had tremendous public participation during three full weeks of the nomination process,” said Kari Packer, sales manager for The Press and North Idaho Business Journal. “We then took a week to review every nomination to ensure those businesses are providing the services they were nominated for. We’re confident that the ballot voters see today is an accurate reflection of what consumers had in mind.”
Packer said that in the past, robot voting or other fraudulent attempts to stack the ballot couldn’t always be detected or eradicated. The Best of North Idaho competition this year employs new technology and a new process to weed out ballot-stacking attempts.
According to Packer, voters going to cdapress.com/bestof
will see up to five nominations in each of 169 different categories. Because the software accurately tracks email addresses — clearing cache or history won’t wipe the slate clean — voters can vote for just one nominee in each category.
“One email address,” Packer said, “one vote.”
She noted that voters can leave the site at any time during the voting period and come back and vote some more, but not on any categories they’ve already voted on.
Noting that Kootenai County is one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S., this year’s Best of North Idaho contest will carry more weight than usual, Packer said.
“This is a way for winning businesses to speak to their loyal customers and newcomers alike, people who are all looking for the best of the best,” she said.
To vote, go to: cdapress.com/bestof