Burger battle: Reader voting changes

Posted 1:18pm on Tuesday, Jul. 30, 2013

Dear Burger Fans,

We pause a moment from the fun and frivolity of the DFW.com Battle of the Burgers to address a somewhat disappointing development. In the latest round of our Readers' Bracket, we have detected some voting irregularities in one of the races, compelling us to reset vote totals.

This is troubling for several reasons. We wanted to make it easy for burger fans to vote for their favorites in this contest, so we waived stricter security measures such as elaborate registration requirements that often cause users to get fed up and give up on voting. By doing that, we were counting on people to play fair, and the overwhelming majority of you have.

Also, there is no monetary prize at stake here, just bragging rights in what is meant to be a friendly competition. So cheating won't really get the winners much, except a hollow victory. Or an embarrassing disqualification.

It would be unfair to simply blame the voting irregularities on the restaurants that benefited from it. We believe that most of our competitors have built support by making great burgers and developing strong followings. And they have competed in the true spirit of the burger battle.

The computerized ballot stuffing could be coming from anywhere -- mischief makers, fans or employees of the restaurants, or people who don't like the restaurants and are trying to get them disqualified. We wish we knew for sure.

But we won't let the contest be hijacked by this. So here's what we've decided to do. In the Jakes vs. Chop House matchup in Round 3, we have reset the votes to 1,000 for Chop House and 500 for Jakes. That is approximately where the vote totals were when we noticed the unnatural jumps. We apologize to all those who cast legitimate votes after this point, but this seemed like the fairest solution in a difficult situation. We didn't want to disqualify either competitor, but we wanted to level the playing field and give this matchup one more chance to come to a fair conclusion. We are confident the voting problems were contained to this third round matchup.

We will be monitoring all the remaining matchups very closely, and if the computerized ballot stuffing starts again, we'll be forced to disqualify competitors or shut down the contest entirely, and nobody wins.

So, please, continue to vote for your favorites, and rally support by sending out Facebook messages and tweets to fans. We are appealing to everyone who has joined us on this burger journey to keep it on the high road and help us crown a true people's champion.

Sincerely, Rick Press, DFW.com editor and Burger Boss.

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