Every year, for the Best of Taos awards and special section we rely on the opinions of the voting public, mainly readers of The Taos News.

As they say, there’s no accounting for taste — unless, that is, you are counting actual ballots that reflect the tastes and preferences of an entire community. Which is exactly how this list of Best of Taos winners was created.

It’s simple, really: We set up the ballot online and the readers fill it out. The process (while only recently online) has operated in this democratic manner for 15 years now. We try to make sure every business is represented on the ballot, but it’s an imperfect task in an area where places come and go with some frequency. We also leave space for written votes, in case we did leave someone out.

And because of our attention to detail, the poll itself can seem a bit overwhelming. It takes some effort, and we greatly appreciate everyone who participated.

After the voting is complete, we notify the winners and deliver the banners you see around town. And of course, no one will agree with the list entirely, taste is purely subjective. Though it does seem that by gathering feedback from the entire community, the cream usually rises to the top.

And if you feel strongly about a perceived injustice, you can always start lobbying for your favorite business in advance of the 2014 Best of Taos

polling. Our goal is to have 100 percent participation in Taos County so we can provide the truest representation of the opinions of the community.

The ballots will appear online sometime in March or April 2014. But now is a time to celebrate the Best of Taos winners in 2013. Congratulations!

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