Deadline to vote in ‘nicest place to live America’ contest

The deadline to cast a vote for South Whidbey as the “nicest place to live in America” has been extended.

The deadline was moved to Friday, July 14. People can cast their votes at

The contest, which nominates 10 finalists, is held by Reader’s Digest magazine. South Whidbey was selected as a finalist from hundreds of contest entrants.

Contest rules define the “nicest” place as one “where the people believe in kindness, civility, and each other, neighbors help each other out, and strangers are welcomed as friends.”

According to the magazine’s description of South Whidbey, the area was selected because it’s a community that engages in passionate debate, but doesn’t hold a grudge.

“The nation could use a lesson from this opinionated island community, where combatants leave even the most fiery political disputes still friends,” according to the magazine’s description of South Whidbey on its online voting page.

South Whidbey was nominated by Freeland resident Susan Knickerbocker, a freelance author of The Record’s Hometown Hero series.

As of July 5, South Whidbey has raked in three percent of the votes and sits in 10th place. The three front runners: Gallatin, Tenn.; Pflugerville High School, Texas; and Rock Hall, Md. have some distance from the rest of the pack. They’ve tallied up 28 percent, 20 percent and 18 percent, respectively.