Believe it or not, there is an ethic to how newspaper favorites' polls are put together. It's considered poor form, in some quarters, to include categories that serve little purpose other than appeal to certain advertisers.
A favorites' poll, the thinking goes, should focus on categories that newcomers to a community would find helpful and longtime residents would find interesting.
Apparently, the Wisconsin State Journal didn't get the memo.
The paper's "official ballot" for its Star of Madison awards (open for voting through June 28) includes such categories as:
Dental Facility, Chiropratic [sic] Facility, Skin Care/Aesthetics Facility, Lasik Facility, Hearing Aid Provider, Assited [sic] Living Facility, Surgical Group, Local Cell Phone Retailer, Mattress Retailer, Marble and Granite Retailer, Gas Station/Conveniece [sic] Center, Staffing Agency, and Financial Planning/Investment Rep.
As if to underscore the poll's intended audience, the "Official Ballot" is clearly labeled, "Capital Newspapers Advertising Supplement."
One more peculiarity. The State Journal's sole print journalism category is "WI State Journal Reporter." Other such polls tend to be more inclusive.
For instance, Isthmus' "Madison's Favorites" poll (balloting open till Monday) includes the category "Local Print Reporter."
In other words, you can vote for one of the State Journal's writers in Isthmus' poll, but not an Isthmus writer in the State Journal's.
So, sure, it may be a bit petty to pick on a competitor's poll because of laughably gratuitous categories and egregious misspellings. But it's not as petty as that...