While I think that it is nice that the contestants participate in the voting, it is kind of hard on them, is it not? After all, they put all their effort into their own image, so barring those that did not make it to the end, those that did at least subconsciously will vote for their own images.
And if it is an open voting so everybody sees your choices, could it not generate hard feelings?
I sure am glad I do not have to decide the rules!
I know that the best image will win, and I am sure, ashras99, you will find the way that everybody can participate and be happy doing so.
It will only make the community stronger
Cheers for all the autum contestants!