Who decides who's the best in Taos? The readers of The Taos News do, of course. Find out who won with our Best of Taos special section on newsstands June 14.

Deciding such a thing is a purely subjective task, so it's best left to as many people as possible in a purely democratic vote. For the past 14 years The Taos News has relied on reader participation to find out who is "the best."

This year, we opted to do away with the paper ballots, which used to appear a few months in advance of publication, for an online-only variation. It was a good move as it simplified the process, having a list of businesses for each category and allowing space for write-in ballots.

And the online version made sure someone couldn't fill out the ballot more than once from the same computer.

It was also fun for our online staff to put the survey together; they got to see some of the more zany and humorous write-in votes, such as the person who wrote that the Best Cheap Thrill should be "taking a left out of the Smith's parking lot."

Once the ballots are counted, the winners are notified and those banners you see around town are given to the winners. The results don't always jibe with any one person's opinion, that's for certain, but it's the fairest system we can imagine.

And if you don't like the results, you can always make sure to get the word out for voting next year. We want as many people to vote as possible so we get the truest representation of the opinions of our readers.

We'll have the ballots online some time in March or April 2013. Until then, congratulations to this year's winners, you are all the Best of Taos.

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