Best of Lufkin

Historically high voter turnout. Polarized opinions. Unwavering loyalty. Partisan camps.

We’re not talking about the 2020 presidential election — Trump vs. Biden had nothing on the annual race between Ray’s Drive In, Zesty Burger and Mom’s Diner for best hamburger. Or will this be the year a dark horse candidate takes the crown?

The 2021 Best of Lufkin contest looks to see an explosion of votes with the addition of online voting this year, starting at 6 a.m. today and ending at 5 p.m. May 28. Paper ballots, on the other hand, are due by noon Friday.

“Best of Lufkin spotlights small businesses across our area,” Lufkin Daily News Publisher Jackie Zimmerman said. “Through these nominations and subsequent awards, readers are helping businesses reach new audiences.

While the contest will continue to allow voting via paper ballots, which printed in our May 2 Weekend Edition, the online ballots give readers the opportunity to not only vote for their favorite local businesses but to find out more about them and link directly to their website.

“As our first year to go online with the ballots, we hope readers will take the time to check out the information each business has provided in their online profile and click through to their websites,” Zimmerman said. “Also, please check out our website. We post new, local stories seven days a week.”

Online voting is free and readers are allowed to vote once per day per email.

The online ballots will be tabulated electronically while the paper ballots will be counted by an outside firm. Both tallies will be combined by the outside firm and results provided to The Lufkin Daily News.

“We want to thank all of our readers for supporting this project through their votes and by spending your hard earned dollars locally,” Zimmerman said. “Shop local. It benefits us all.”

Stacy Faison’s email address is

stacy.faison@lufkindailynews.com.