After the year we just went through, the last thing most of you probably want to hear me say is: It’s time to vote.

This time, it will be fun, as the Ahwatukee Foothills News rolls out its annual Best of Ahwatukee selection.

Yes, I know, social media and the internet in general have made lists and voting for best of this and that almost tiresome for many of us.

But what sets this poll apart are two things: 

• You and you alone decide.

• Everyone and every business you select serves you and your neighbors directly, in your back yard, down the block, or near an HOA a few miles away.

As in the past, you will have great freedom in this election. It’s not like an Arizona primary, where candidates are selected only by the people in their own party.

We have basically two types of votes: some categories, like best physician, are strictly write-ins. We decided Ahwatukee is so blessed with a strong and talented medical community that we weren’t going to attempt to pare it down: the list would end up looking like those judicial retention ballots that voters occasionally have to get through.

The rest offer some prospective candidates we include to just get you thinking. If you know of others you’d prefer to win, just write them in.

In the long run, going to ahwatukee.com and spending a few minutes making your selections between now and Jan. 31 helps you as much as give some of your favorite businesses bragging rights for a year.

Even the winners that you didn’t vote for will draw some additional business from people who want to go where everyone else is a satisfied customer. And that keeps those businesses strong.

Let’s face it, given all the competition that small businesses confront daily between the internet and national chains, they need every boost they can get.

There are a couple of rules I want to set out before you go to ahwatukee.com:

• Submissions will only be accepted through the contest on ahwatukee.com. You can’t call me or someone else on the staff you know and you can’t leave voice mails with a list of your choices.

• AFN reserves the right to qualify all entries for eligibility.

• Limit one vote, per category, per IP address, per day. AFN reserves the right at its sole discretion to disqualify any individual/organization it finds to be acting in violation of the official rules.

• Tampering with the voting process will disqualify those votes.

• You may not assign your right to vote to anyone else.

• Businesses, organizations and individuals are not permitted to fill out, incentivize or submit ballots on behalf of their employees, customers or anyone else with or without their consent. Those votes will be disqualified.

Winners will be determined by the total number of votes received online during the voting period. First place, two runner ups and honorable mentions will be awarded March 8, 2017. In the event of a tie, both businesses will receive awards.

If you have questions, email bestof@ahwatukee.com

And if you have some time right now, head over and vote.

And remember, as we say on the website: We hope this will be a great year for voting, participation and an accurate outcome from the people of Ahwatukee. The Ahwatukee Foothills News appreciates readers’ input and our goal to make this the best “Best Of” yet.

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