It's time to cast your ballots.

While political hopefuls are preparing to face off against incumbents in May elections, another group of candidates are working to be named the best in Erath.

From serving up the tastiest enchiladas and best ribeye steaks to offering the speediest repairs and stellar customer service, these candidates are facing off in the 2012 Erath County Readers' Choice Awards.

The annual contest, conducted by the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, invites print and online readers to weigh in on which businesses and individuals they think are the best in 130 categories.

But this year it's easier than ever to submit votes. The poll is currently available at the E-T web site,, where a few key strokes will allow readers to submit votes online through Wednesday, April 18.

Simply click on the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards box at the top right corner of the Empire-Tribune home page and you will be taken to the official ballot. If you are not able to complete your ballot in one sitting, simply click the "exit this survey" button at the top right corner and your answers will be saved until you can return to the website to complete the form. Only one ballot per IP address is allowed.

Readers who prefer to submit a paper ballot will have three opportunities to clip one from the print edition of the E-T. The ballot will be inside Thursday, next Tuesday and next Thursday's editions. Only original ballots published in the E-T will be accepted. Residents can vote only one time and submissions must include a name, address and telephone number. Paper ballots can be returned to the E-T office from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday by the contest deadline.

Winners will be announced in a special edition publication on Sunday, April 29.