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The polls are open for the Minnesota Department of Transportation's "Name a Snowplow" contest.

Voting began at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and in two hours MnDOT received nearly 4,400 responses, said spokeswoman Anne Meyer.

"We hope people have fun with it," she said.

MnDOT received more than 11,000 suggestions as it put out a call last month for the public to help name eight snowplows — one for each district in the state. Staff and leadership, Meyer said, winnowed that list down to 50, which are now on the ballot. Voting will run through Jan. 26 at

Among the finalists are "Betty Whiteout," "CTRL, Salt, Delete," "Mr. Plow" and "Catch My Drift." The agency considered a variety of factors when selecting the finalists, including creativity, uniqueness, frequency of submissions, Minnesota-specific ideas, and names that would be easily identifiable and understandable to broad audiences, Meyer said.

Politically inspired names or suggestions containing profanity or inappropriate language were excluded — "and we got some," Meyer said.

A majority of this year's finalists are new suggestions, but a handful are names that were runners-up in 2021.

MnDOT will announce the eight winning names in early February and where the newly named plows will be located.

MnDOT last year launched its inaugural naming contest after the transportation website, Roadshow, posted an article explaining how Scotland names its entire snowplow fleet and posts maps showing their locations. The country calls the vehicles "gritters," the article said, which led to witty handles such as "Gritney Spears" and "Gritty Gritty Bang Bang."

Last year Plowy McPlowFace got the most votes — 65,292. Other winners included Ope, Just Gonna Plow Right Past Ya (29,457); Duck Duck Orange Truck (25,824); Plow Bunyan (22,016); Snowbi Wan Kenobi (21,568); F. Salt Fitzgerald (20,699); Darth Blader (20,344); and in a nod to Prince, the Truck Formerly Known As Plow (17,549).

Other states, such as Michigan, have followed Minnesota's lead and also are running similar contests.