HuffPo "Chicago's Best Neighborhoods for Parents" contest a farce, ballots stuffed

Well what do you know, something in Chicago was rigged. Earlier this month the Huffington Post asked readers to nominate their neighborhoods for the unofficial title of Chicago's Best Neighborhoods for Parents. As the entries poured in, so did the criticism.

"The question itself is Anti-Chicago. We don't compete against each other this way. The city is comprised of really distinctive neighborhoods that respect cultures and traditions. [...] Who needs this kind of conflict?"  said one commenter.

And thus going forward in this series, the comments became moderated. If only the voting had been as meticulously managed.

The contest was set up sweet-16 style, with two neighborhoods surviving for the final round for the win: Beverly vs. Edgewater. The numbers were tied around 900 votes each until around 1:00 CST today when Edgewater gained, well, an edge.

Maybe it's silly to get excited over something like an internet poll, but I was pretty jazzed that my neighborhood was not only being talked about on HuffPo, but was genuinely in the running for recognition for the awesome place it is to live. Hello, we have Hamburger Mary's that simultaneously celebrates transgender while graciously accommodating the tot set as expemplified by the staggering number of available high chairs. Sure, we have The Call, but we also have killer sales on baby shoes, play groups, coveted schools, parks, moderately-priced organic foods and a neighborhood Yahoo-turned-Facebook group to support one another and borrow each others' cookie cutters. (Shout out to Amanda, I need to get those back to you.)

We Edgewater neighbors got excited! We called upon our people. We emailed our families. We posted on our message boards. We called to arms to get votes for this great neighborhood and it seemed to be working! EDGEWATER FOR THE WIN! It was certain. I mentally mixed my cupcake batter and prepared for an all-block party to commence this afternoon.

And then over 1,000 votes came in for Beverly in a two-hour time frame.

Some discussion was going on behind the scenes in Edgewater. It appears we all discovered at the same time if one disables cookies, a person can vote as many times as they like. Oh. That makes more sense. Me, I'm not a ballot stuffer and once we realized it came down to a handful of the same ballot-stuffers trying to out-stuff each other, this camp gave up.

Ballot-stuffing makes total sense considering every other bracket in the contest garnered a mere few hundred votes. Why would a final victory be achieved with massive votes pouring in in the last hours? You can't take the Chicago out of Chicago, Huff.

It's cool. Edgewater knows in its heart we're the bombbiggity. Pierce elementary has rocking scores, rents are decent, the gardens are pretty and you can zip to downtown in 12 minutes on a clear day at midmorning.

Our parks are shady, but our people are not. Godspeed, racketeers.



Filed under: Chicago Injustice

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