Official rules: Howard Magazine’s Best Restaurants Readers’ Choice Poll 2020


The Howard Magazine Best Restaurants Readers’ Choice Poll (the “Contest”) is sponsored by The Baltimore Sun (“Sponsor”), 300 E. Cromwell St., Baltimore, MD 21230. Contest nomination period begins on June 15, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. ET and ends June 24, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. ET (the “Nomination Period”). Contest voting period begins on July 2, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. ET and ends on July 17, 2020 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 46 categories (each, a “Category”) and Candidates will be placed in the Categories. The Contest is subject to these Official Rules, and by nominating or voting, all nominators and voters agree to abide and be bound by the terms and conditions herein and the decisions of the Sponsor.


To Nominate:

This Contest is open to businesses operating in any of the 46 Categories that have a physical location in Howard County (or, in the case of individuals, provide services within Howard County) at the time of entry.


You must be at least 18 years old at the time of nomination submission and a legal resident of the United States to nominate candidates. To nominate candidates, visit (the “Contest Page”) to fully and accurately complete and submit the entry form during the Nomination Period. You may nominate for as many Categories as you wish; you are not required to nominate in all categories. All entry fields designated as “required” must be completed. Nominations with incomplete or inaccurate entry information will be disqualified. All nominations are subject to Sponsor’s determination of eligibility and nominations 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.


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 day. All subsequent Ballots from any person, 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 select your favorite Candidate from the options provided. Vote totals will not be published.

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 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.



All Winners will be listed in the Septemberissue of Howard Magazine published on September 3, 2020. Winners will also be listed online at Public recognition has no retail value, and if, for any reason, a Winner is not listed in the special section or online, 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.