Write-in nominees are subject to a vetting process to assess eligibility. As a result, a write-in nominee may not appear on the ballot for several days, depending on site traffic and the number of daily nominations. The following factors are considered during the eligibility assessment:

  • Nominee’s location – The nominee must do business within the 209 area code.
  • Business status – Nominee must not be listed as Permanently Closed on Google or known to be Out of Business by 209 Multimedia.
  • Category consistency – Nominee must provide the product or service indicated on the category in which they have been nominated. Nominations outside of an eligible category will not be considered.
  • Spelling – In most cases, the name of the business on the ballot will be determined by its listing on Google My Business, the company’s website or social media.

If evidence corroborating the nominee’s eligibility cannot be found via web search, the nomination will be invalidated. Any concerns regarding the nomination or vetting process can be directed to

Below are some more in-depth explanations of the nominating and vetting process:

Nominee’s Location

Make sure your nominations are appropriate to the area covered by the ballot. A nominee must have a physical address in the ballot’s region. You can’t nominate a Stockton business in the Turlock ballot, for example.

Here are the eligible cities for each of our ballots:

Turlock Journal/Ceres Courier Readers’ Choice (December)

  • Turlock
  • Ceres
  • Hughson
  • Denair
  • Delhi

Bulletin Readers’ Choice (February)

  • Manteca
  • Ripon
  • Lathrop

Oakdale Leader/Escalon Times/Riverbank News
Readers’ Choice (March)

  • Oakdale
  • Escalon
  • Riverbank
  • Knights Ferry
  • Valley Home

West Side Readers’ Choice (October)

  • Newman
  • Gustine
  • Patterson
  • Santa Nella

Best of 209 (May)

  • Any city within the 209 area code is welcome!



Business Status

Most of our vetting will be done via a simple Google search. Any business marked as Permanently Closed will be rejected or removed.  In some cases, our staff may be aware of a closure or location change that may not be reflected on Google. In these cases, the entrant will be removed from our list. Businesses labeled “Temporarily Closed” will still be eligible until we are informed of a permanent closure.

Category Consistency

Categories are divided into Groups. For example, an Automotive group may contain categories like Auto Sales, Auto Repair, Detailing, or Smog Services. When nominating and entrant, make sure you’re nominating in the correct Category, or your nomination may be rejected.


When nominating, please take care to spell the name of your nominee correctly. This will speed up the vetting process. In some cases, a business owner may want their name listed differently than their Google My Business listing; the business owner’s preference will be honored in instances where they contact us directly.