About 5,000 votes were cast online Saturday through Tuesday in the Cooper River Bridge's Run "People's Choice" selection for the 2015 design.
But the top vote getter, with about 800 votes, wasn't selected by a group of Bridge Run sponsors and other invited guests at a judging Wednesday evening at Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant. More than 60 designs, including some by children, were submitted for the contest.
While the People's Choice gets an automatic bid for the top 5 designs considered by the judges, Bridge Run officials have reserved the right not to make it the chosen design, in part because not all designs are suitable for T-shirts, posters and billboards. Also, reserving the right helps prevent the possibility that an artist ran a voting campaign to have his or her design selected, much like many local "Best Of" contests.
The year's People's Choice - a retro-ish, black-and-white design - was dismissed by many for being monochromatic and "too busy."
Those who did like the design noted that it could be placed on a colorful T-shirt, instead of the standard white one, but that didn't sway the majority that seemed focused on the two designs receiving the most votes among the five finalists.
The winning design, which will remain a secret until an unveiling on Aug. 20, even generated a little controversy among a crowd of about 60 people. Some wanted to remove an element of the design, while others said that one particular element was why they liked it in the first place.
The People Choice voting is in its second year, but last year's People Choice also was not selected for the 2014 design. Regardless, the voting does provide the public with an opportunity to see submissions and to create a buzz for the event eight months before it happens.
The 38th annual Cooper River Bridge Run will be March 28, 2015.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.