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There is a lot that goes into Best of the Pines. Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions:

1. What is the Best of the Pines?

The Best of the Pines is a celebration of the best Moore County has to offer when it comes to businesses and organizations that make Moore County a better place to live.

2. How does The Pilot determine Best of the Pines winners?

Our readers nominated their favorites in dozens of categories through our online ballot. Nominations were accepted from June 7-25, 2021 as the FIRST part of the competition. The 8 businesses that got the most nominations in each category advanced to the SECOND part of the competition – the Final Voting Phase! Voting runs July 12-30, 2021. The top vote-getters are the year’s Best of the Pines winners.

3. Why are there two rounds?

The nomination round gives more businesses an opportunity to take advantage of the audience that Best of the Pines brings.

4. How does the voting round work?

Voting is multiple choice. There are no write-ins accepted for the Final Voting Phase in July. 

5. When does voting begin and end?

Final voting starts July 12 and ends July 30, 2021.

6. How many times can I  vote for a business?

One vote per category.

7. Do businesses have to pay to get on the ballot?

No way! It is 100% free to participate. We do have options to give your business more exposure, but purchasing advertising does not guarantee anything for the contest. If you are interested in getting your business logo on the ballot, click here to request our media kit.

8. What happened to that one category from last year?

You sent us hundreds of notes during and after last year’s Best of the Pines, and we used that feedback to create this year’s ballot. Some categories have been expanded, others have been tweaked for clarity, and a couple were put on the shelf. These changes refresh the ballot so it’s not the exact same, year after year. We did our best to consider the impact of these changes, but we’d like to hear from you if you have comments or suggestions for the 2022 ballot. Please email those messages to

9. Do advertisers automatically win?

No. Best of the Pines results are based on our reader voting. Some winners may be advertisers or later choose to be one, but being an advertiser does not guarantee a win.

10. How can I promote my business to get votes?

See our Best of the Pines voting toolkit with graphics and marketing tips. 

11. Where is the “submit” button? How do I know my nominations counted?

There is no final “submit” button. Once you click the “VOTE” button and enter your email address, your choice is recorded. No further action is needed.

12. I’m having trouble registering. What do I do?

When you start voting in the first category of your choice, you will be asked to fill out the registration form. When you complete this step, you will be registered and you can continue casting your votes on the ballot.

If you have trouble with that process, we would suggest trying a different browser or device.

13. I don’t have time to fill out the whole ballot right now. Can I come back later and do more?

Sure! As long as you’ve already registered in that round and it’s before the deadline, you can pick up where you left off. When you return to the ballot on the same device, you should be automatically logged in and able to see your previous selections. If you aren’t logged in and you know that you’ve already registered in that round, click the “Already voted in this round…” link for further instructions.

14. Can I continue the process on another device?

Yes. When you return to the ballot on a different device, click the “Already voted in this round…” link for further instructions.

15. Why do I have to make an account?

Our ballot software requires that users create an account to track your selections. This helps us guard against fraudulent voting and allows you to revisit your ballot before deadline to make changes and additional nominations. Don’t worry, there is no password needed.

16. How do I find out who the winners are?

Winners will be announced in a special magazine in The Pilot newspaper on Sunday, September 19. Subscribe now to get the Best of the Pines magazine – and The Pilot newspaper – delivered right to your door.