CONWAY— If you guessed bartenders or wait staff as the category with the most nominations in the Best of Mount Washington Valley Readers Choice Awards, you’d be wrong. 

How about hairdressers? Yep, hairdressers.

In the fourth annual Best of MWV contest, sponsored by The Conway Daily Sun, a whopping 82 hairdressers were nominated for the top prize.

(For the record, bartenders and waitstaff came close to the hairdressers, with nominations numbering in the 70s.)

However, now that the contest is entering its final round, there are 82 hairdresser nominations no more.

The ballot has been trimmed to a handful of finalists. Some categories have six or seven, some have as many as 11 and 12. 

Why do some have more than others?

“It depends on two factors,” said Sun publisher Mark Guerringue.  “The first is the number of nominees and the second are the vote totals.”

He explained that with the vast difference in the number of categories it only seems fair proportionally to include more finalists in bigger categories.

“Hairdressers may have 82 but a category like accountants may only have 10 or so we’re trying to keep a balance between the number of nominations and the number of finalists,” said Guerringue. 

Probably more important, however, is the vote count. Guerringue explained that in almost all categories there are pretty defined groupings and the top group sorts itself out.  “There’s usually a group at the top so there is a natural cutoff,” he said,” but also if someone gets 60 votes and the next person gets 59, we don’t want to exclude that nominee from the finals over one vote.”

There are eight major categories on the ballot: Food & Drink, Professional Services, Culture & Community, Recreation, Health & Beauty, Best Restaurants, Businesses & Retailers and Adult Beverages & Bars. 

Within those categories are more than 130 subcategories. 

All voting ends Sunday, July 21. 

After the ballots are counted, the winners will be announced at the Winners Party to be held at Tuckerman Brewery on July 30. 

Voters must register on the website, and are identified by their email addresses. They can vote once a day, so encouraging friends, family and customers to vote more than once is an important strategy of getting the vote out. 

All votes count toward the final tally, beginning at the nomination phase through the final round. 

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