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Official rules: Harford Magazine's Best of Harford readers' poll


The Harford Magazine Best of Harford Contest (the “Contest”) is sponsored by Harford Magazine (“Sponsor”), 300 E. Cromwell St., Baltimore, MD 21230. Contest entry period begins on Nov. 1, 2018, at 6:00 a.m. ET and ends November 12, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET (the “Entry Period”). Contest voting period begins on November 18, 2018, at 6:00 a.m. ET and ends on December 14, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. ET (the “Voting Period”). Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for this Contest. The Contest is divided into 65 categories (each, a “Category”) and Candidates will be placed in the Categories. The Contest is subject to these Official Rules, and by entering or voting, all entrants and voters agree to abide and be bound by the terms and conditions herein and the decisions of the Sponsor.

To Enter:

This Contest is open to businesses operating in any of the 65 Categories that have a physical location in Harford County (or, in the case of individuals, provide services within Harford County) at the time of entry.

To enter your business, visit (the “Contest Page”) to fully and accurately complete and submit the entry form during the Entry Period. You may enter for as many Categories in which you qualify. All entry fields designated as “required” must be completed. Entries with incomplete or inaccurate entry information will be disqualified. All entries are subject to Sponsor’s determination of eligibility and entrants determined to be ineligible will not be added to the Ballot. If Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, that a Candidate is eligible for the Contest but inappropriate for the specified Category, Sponsor reserves the right to enter the Candidate in a different Category.

All Winners and Honorable Mention recipients from the Harford Magazine Best of Harford 2017 Contest will be entered automatically in the category(ies) in which they won.


You must be at least 18 years old at the time of ballot (“Ballot”) submission and a legal resident of the United States to vote. All voters must be located in the United States at the time they cast their vote. Limit one Ballot per person and per device. All subsequent Ballots from any person or device, if detected by Sponsor, will be void, and Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify that voter and all votes submitted by that voter.

To vote, during the Voting Period visit, and fill out and submit a Ballot. Vote in as many Categories as you wish. You are not required to vote in all Categories. For each Category you may either: (1) select your favorite Candidate from the options provided; or (2) submit a write-in Candidate.

All write-in Candidates must meet the Candidate eligibility requirements specified above and must be appropriate for the Category submitted. Sponsor reserves the right to exclude votes for write-in Candidates that are deemed not appropriate for the Category for which the votes were cast. If a voter writes in the name of a Candidate already listed in a Category, that write-in vote is added to the Candidate’s overall total. Because of spelling errors and variations on names, Sponsor will attempt to standardize the write-in votes to match the vote to the correct Candidate, and such decisions are in the sole discretion of Sponsor. Vote totals will not be published.

You may, but are not required to, submit a comment (“Comment”) in connection with your Ballot. The Comment must not contain material that: (a) violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement; (b) disparages Sponsor or any other person or party affiliated with the promotion and administration of this Contest; (c) was not created by you; (d) is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, tortious, or defamatory; (e) promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or (f) is unlawful. Uploading a Comment constitutes voter’s grant to Sponsor of a royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, publish, create derivative works from, and display the Comment in whole or in part, on a worldwide basis, and to incorporate it into other works in any form of media or technology now known or later developed, including for promotional or marketing purposes.

Voters who fail to provide any required information may be disqualified without further notification by Sponsor. Sponsor is not responsible for Ballots or votes that are lost, misdirected, garbled, distorted, truncated, incomplete, illegible, incorrect or late for any reason, and all such Ballots and/or votes are void if detected by Sponsor. If a dispute arises regarding compliance with these Official Rules, Sponsor may consider, in its sole discretion, data reasonably available to Sponsor through information technology systems in Sponsor’s control, but Sponsor will not be obligated to consider any data or other information collected from any other source. Information received from voters becomes the property of Sponsor and will not be returned or acknowledged. The information that you provide in connection with the Contest will be used by Sponsor in accordance with its Privacy Policy, which is found at and which may be updated from time to time.

Winner Selection and Notification:

Winners will be determined by popular vote. A candidate may be honored in more than one Category, but votes will not be combined across Categories. The leading vote recipient in each Category will be declared the winner (“Winner”) in that Category, and the next three (3) leading vote recipients in each Category will be declared honorable mention recipients (“Honorable Mentions”). If there is a tie at the Winner level, each will be declared a Winner, and the number of Honorable Mentions will be reduced such that the total number of awards (Winners + Honorable Mentions) is four (4). If there is a tie at the Honorable Mention level, each will be declared an Honorable Mention, even if that results in more than four (4) total awards.

Sponsor will attempt to contact Winners and Honorable Mentions using the information provided in the Entry Form or, for write-ins and automatic entries (as described above), public contact information listed for each Candidate. If the potential Winner or Honorable Mention is determined to be ineligible, Sponsor, Sponsor in its discretion may disqualify that Candidate and select an alternate Winner/Honorable Mention applying the criteria set forth above as soon as reasonably practicable after such disqualification.


The Winner in each Category will receive the right to use the “Best of Harford 2018” Logo in the winner’s promotional material, subject to conditions to be provided by the Sponsor, as well as a “Best of Harford 2018” window cling. The approximate retail value of the award is less than $5.

All Winners and Honorable Mentions will be listed in the Spring 2019 edition of Harford Magazine. Public recognition has no retail value, and if, for any reason, a Winner is not listed in the magazine, no alternate prize will be awarded.

It is the intention of Sponsor to honor one (1) Winner and three (3) Honorable Mentions in each Category, provided a sufficient number of eligible Candidates receive votes.

General Terms:

Entries, Ballots and/or votes generated by a script, macro, or other automated means will be disqualified. Proxy voting is not allowed. No one may purchase or otherwise provide incentives for votes. Any use of robotic, repetitive, automatic, programmed, script, macro, or any other automated means or similar entry methods or agents, vote exchange websites, vote “farming” or other method to vote or unfairly increase votes, as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion, is prohibited. If Sponsor concludes, in its sole discretion, that any Candidate or Voter has engaged in, participated in or encouraged any Prohibited Activity otherwise violated these Official Rules, whether directly or indirectly, Sponsor may disqualify that Candidate or voter from further participation.

Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any voter or Candidate from further participation in the Contest if Sponsor concludes, in its sole discretion, that such voter or Candidate: (a) has attempted to tamper with the voting process or other operation of the Contest; (b) has violated or attempted to circumvent or violate these Official Rules; or (c) has acted toward Sponsor or any other Candidate or voter in an unfair, inequitable, deliberately annoying, threatening, disrupting or harassing manner. Any failure by Sponsor to enforce any of these Official Rules will not constitute a waiver of such Official Rules.

Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, suspend, terminate or postpone this Contest or any part hereof, if Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion, that the security, administration, fairness, integrity and/or operation of the Contest has been corrupted or impaired by any error, non-authorized intervention, network failure, information storage failure, telecommunications failure, malfunction, or any cause beyond Sponsor’s control. If Sponsor cancels or terminates the Contest or any part hereof, Sponsor will post notice of same on the Contest webpage. In the event of such termination, Sponsor shall have the right, but not the obligation, to select Winners in each Category by applying the criteria set forth above to eligible, non-suspect votes received as of the termination date.

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