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Minnesota Monthly’s


Contest Rules and Methodology

Effective: July 16, 2018

Rules for City/Town Submission

  • One entry per city/town will be accepted.
  • Entry applications will be accepted from cities and towns of any size. No town is too small or too large to enter. (The city or town filing the entry application, acting through its authorized representative, is referred to in these rules from time to time as the “Applicant”.)
  • The town must be located within the state of Minnesota.
  • The entry application must be completed and submitted by an official town representative. An official town representative is defined as an individual in a leadership capacity employed by the town’s Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce, or Government offices of Mayor or other elected official. By submitting the entry application, the person doing so represents that he or she has actual authority on behalf of the submitting entity to do so.
  • Entries must be submitted online at by 5:00 p.m. CST August 31, 2018.
  • Each answer to each individual question in the entry application must not exceed the stated maximum character count for that answer.
  • By submitting materials to Greenspring Media (publisher of Minnesota Monthly) the Applicant represents that the Applicant possesses all rights to use such material(s) and is in turn assigning those usage rights to Greenspring Media for use across all media, including but not limited to, print, online, video, audio, advertising, and in person in conjunction with the Best MN Town program
  • By participating, the Applicant agrees to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Best MN Town, our judges, Minnesota Monthly and Greenspring Media. The decisions of Best MN Town and Minnesota Monthly regarding all aspects of the administration of the application and selection process and prize package, and shall be final and binding in all respects. Best MN Town and Minnesota Monthly will not be responsible for typographical, printing or other inadvertent errors in these Official Rules or in other materials relating to this program.

Best MN Town Methodology

  • On the basis of the content and quality of the entry applications received, the editors and publisher of Minnesota Monthly will narrow the field of Applicants to the top 10 towns.
  • The Best MN Town evaluation panel will review and score the top 10 towns. Each entry application will be scored according to the scoring procedures below.
  • The Best MN Town evaluation panel will enter their individual scores into an electronic form housed within the Best MN Town website. Scores will be auto-tabulated as defined in the scoring procedures below.
  • Simultaneously, the top 10 towns will compete in a popular vote hosted on The popular vote will contribute 25 percent toward the total score of each town.
  • The five towns with their highest total combined score (popular vote plus evaluation panel score) will be selected as finalists.
  • The winning town will be selected from the top five finalists at the sole discretion of Minnesota Monthly’s editorial team.

Scoring Procedures

Total Points Available

Each top 10 town’s entry application will be evaluated based upon the award of a possible 400 points: (A) 300 points awarded by three evaluation panelists; and (B) 100 points based upon the outcome of a popular vote. The points awarded by the three panelists are combined with points awarded by popular vote, with the highest combined points determining the top 5 towns.

Evaluation Panel scoring: 75% of applicant’s total score

Towns are eligible to receive a total of 100 possible points per panelist. There are a total of three panelists for a total possible score of 300 points per Applicant from the evaluation panel.

  • Questions 1 and 2 in the Living Minnesota section of the entry application will be scored using a 15-point system with 15 points being the highest possible score awarded to each response. Total attainable points: 30. Each Panelist may award zero to 15 points for each question.
  • Questions 3-8 in the Town Traits section of the entry application will be scored using a 5-point system with 5 points being the highest possible score awarded to each response. Total attainable points: 30. Each Panelist may award zero to 5 points for each question.
  • Questions 9-12 in the Town Engagement section of the entry application will be scored using a 10-point system with 10 points being the highest possible score awarded to each response. Total attainable points: 40.   Each Panelist may award zero to 10 points for each question.
Popular Vote scoring: 25% of applicant’s total score

The consumer vote will be calculated as a percentage of total votes per town capita as measured in 2010 U.S. Census data or other verifiable 3rd party number if town was not measured in the 2010 U.S. Census. This will be converted to a point value as follows:

80% or greater participation = 100 points

50 – 79.9% participation = 75 points

20% – 49.9% participation = 50 points

19.9% or less participation = 25 points

For example, if a town with a 2010 census population of 25,000 receives 5,000 votes, that is a percentage of 20%, entitling that town to an award of 50 points toward the total.

In the event of a tie, in which multiple towns competing for the fifth finalist position have the equivalent point total, the town with the higher popular vote point total will become the fifth finalist.

Rules for the Popular Vote

  • Only votes submitted via will be counted.
  • Voters may vote up to 10 times per day per email address.
  • Voters need not be a resident of the town that they are voting for; however, voters must be a resident of the United States.
  • Voting will conclude at midnight October 12, 2018.
  • Use of script, macro or any other automated system to vote is prohibited and all such votes will be void.
  • Cities/Towns/Businesses are prohibited from obtaining votes by any fraudulent or inappropriate means, including, but not limited to, offering prizes or other inducements to members of the public, vote farming, or engaging in any other activity that artificially inflates the town’s votes.
  • Votes cast or received in violation of these Official Rules will be disregarded and disqualified.
  • By participating, voters agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Best MN Town and Minnesota Monthly. By voting, participants will opt-in to receive e-mails from the program or those directed by Minnesota Monthly. You can opt-out of the receipt of such e-mails by following the directions in any email received from Minnesota Monthly.

Use of Trademarks. Greenspring Media owns all the rights, title, and interest in its name and logos, including but not limited to Best MN Town,, Best Minnesota Town and Minnesota Monthly. None of the Best MN Town or Minnesota Monthly logos may be used, reproduced or published in form or for any purpose without the prior written permission of Greenspring Media.

Other. Best MN Town reserves the right to disqualify persons or towns found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of this program as solely determined by Best MN Town or Minnesota Monthly. In the event the website is compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of that corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation, Greenspring Media reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the program. Best MN Town will not be responsible for failure to receive town submissions, votes or other electronic communications due to transmission failures or technical failures of any kind, including, without limitation, malfunctioning of any network, hardware or software, whether originating with sender of In the event of a dispute, all votes will be deemed to have been submitted by the owner of the email account used to submit. Any questions regarding the number of votes submitted by the owner of an email account shall be resolved by Best MN Town in its sole discretion. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these rules shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any such provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable, these rules shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or unenforceable provision was not contained herein.  Submission of an entry application by an Applicant does not create a contract or other form of enforceable legal rights of any kind or nature.

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