Mock the Vote

Voting’s a funny business. This year’s I-S Readers Choice awards attracted more votes than ever before, yet many categories saw only narrow victories for the ultimate winners. In one case, results were tied right up until the final hour. (No recounts, sorry!)Close calls like this are fun, but as Muammar Gaddafi can testify, total domination rules. With that in mind, we offer this year’s runners-up some tips on how to whitewash next year’s awards. Want to crush the local F&B scene? Fancy humiliating the city’s other boutique stores by garnering 99% of the vote? Here’s how:1. Make sure your name appears first in the voting list. If you’re the Zzz Café, consider rebranding. Aardvark Antique Artshub and Adoption Agency has a nice ring to it.2. Lock up the opposition. Invite them round to your fine dining establishment, but don’t let them leave. They’ll secretly be scheming to steal your ideas, but they won’t be laughing when you throw away the key and force them to eat degustation scraps for the six months preceding the awards.3. Target every single category to give yourself a real shot. Think people are impressed with your fashion-arts-café space? Think again. You need to add discounted tech products and perhaps some fishing tackle into the mix. Employ an edgy film director as your doorman.4. Game the system, but be smart about it. If we see 1,500 votes for your venue coming from the same IP address, we’ll get suspicious. So submit those votes for your competitor instead.5. Convince us to redraw the electoral boundaries at the last minute. Come up with a new description of your place, and we might just add it as a new category. Dining tables outside? You’re an alfrestaurant. Selling iPod accessories and hosting NGO talks? You could be a charITy store.6. Get the folks behind you. Take your gourmet coffee to the heartlands. Debate pleated fabrics with senior citizens on live TV. Go out and kiss some babies (just make sure the New Paper paparazzi aren’t filming you when you do).7. Get us drunk and slip us a different results list on the night of the awards. You’re all winners, really, so who cares?