For the first time since The Associated Press began ranking top news stories of the year, the voting is open to the public. All you need to do to cast your ballot is join the Facebook group "ApTopStories2009." Here’s a link:
You’ll be able to join the group and read comments from fans. There were just more than 100 fans when I joined earlier today, and I am hoping the numbers swell to tens of thousands, and beyond.
Working for AP member newspapers for more than 30 years, I have cast my share of ballots in the annual poll of top stories. I cast mine for 2009 just last week, although I always find it early, as one-twelfth of the year hasn’t yet happened. I have been known to leave a slot open and scribble on the ballot: "Yet to come." It came into play back in 2004, when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit Dec. 26.
The ballots cast at the 1,500 member newspapers will be tallied and reported; the Facebook polling will be reported separately.
Cast your Facebook ballot here:
by Dec. 17. Results will be posted Dec. 20.
For the record, my top vote went to the continuing story of the U.S. economy.