I'm not really sure where to put contest questions and I'm not confident enough to put it in the contest section. Anyway, I was thinking about entering the next flash fiction contest and decided to see how the voting works. "Please read these entries and vote for the one you think is the most deserving of the bunch. Please do not vote for you own. Voting ends on the 1st of May at 6pm EST. Remember that this contest will be public and you cannot see the vote tally until after you have voted. Please make sure to vote and encourage others to as well." Basically, this is what I'm confused about. I get you can't for your own, which is kind of weird, and requested to vote for another story, which when coupled with the previous weirdness is beyond weird. What I don't get is if you must vote for another story or if that is just a request and you can choose to vote for no one and forfeit the right to see how the votes are stacking up. If its like looking at a credit score where it goes down as soon as you look I would rather not look. If I voted for another story it would reduce my chances of winning. Therefore, if I really had to vote the best option would be to vote for the story that is least likely to get votes and claim it was the most deserving since there's no way keep people from doing that. I feel like everyone would do that though so maybe voting for the best story would be the smartest... Yeah, I don't know. I feel like these rules really create mind games that wouldn't be present if you could just vote for yourself or if you didn't have to vote. If you are allowed not to vote then no one votes and the winner is decided by people who didn't enter. that seems the most fair. While it sort of says you have to vote for something (Well, it just says "please", commands don't usually begin with please, "please" can usually just be met with "no".), I just can't really believe that would be the rule system because it doesn't make any sense. I get it's not a serious contest and you don't win anything important, but its still a contest and I must treat it like a competition and ensure I have the best chances of winning possible. That's what anyone should do. That's how contests work. If you don't really want to win, why enter? So before entering, I want to see if I would be forced to play mind games during the voting round or if I could opt out of voting. That will determine if I enter the next contest because the mind games part of it would suck. I don't really want to be giving out a vote because it's the best thing for my chances. Its not an issue where I think I'm the best and will be in contention for any contest. I just believe in the philosophy of "always try your best". Voting for someone else's story actively goes against that if your goal is to win the contest because it would've been an objectively better attempt not to vote for that story.