Welcome to the 2018 edition of Best of New Orleans (around the office, we just call it #BONO2018, and you are welcome to do the same, particularly on social media where some of you undoubtedly will complain about the results).
As usual, Gambit readers have plenty of opinions — and we've tried to anticipate some of the questions you might have as well.
Q. How many people cast ballots this year?
A. We had more than 17,000 ballots with a total of 148,209 votes among them.
Q. Why don't you do editors' picks?
A. We have in previous years, but it's nice to have one issue where the readers have their say without our opinions inserted.
Q. Are the results really real? Or do you tweak them? Does advertising have any influence on what gets awarded?
A. The results are really real; in many cases, they're not what we might have chosen at all. And, no, our advertising department holds no sway over the winners. (They do know who placed in the Top 3, however.)
Q. Have you ever thought of running an initial round of voting and then a second round of runoffs?
A. Yes. Many other alt-weeklies run their Best Of contests that way. We may try it at some point.
Q. Do people try to cheat? How do you prevent it?
A. Yes, they do. And we have our ways.
Q. Why don't you have a category for ________ ?
A. We switch up categories every year, putting in new ones and dropping some old ones. If you want to make the case for a specific category for next year's ballot, drop an email to Managing Editor Kandace Power Graves at email@example.com.
Q. How do you know Russian hackers haven't tampered with the election results?
A. Такое невозможно.
And now, without further ado: Welcome to the Best of New Orleans 2018.