You are right, of course, but I was asking specifically about low votes due to personal concepts about what constitutes a river. Hopefully the thinking is pretty much the same worldwide, so there is not that problem. At least river is not as ambiguous as alpenglow, corn, weed, etc. Actually alpenglow may not be a good example. The more I read about it the more defined it becomes, but that is a whole other issue. At least I learned something from that challenge.
I am just surprised to see so many good photos that seem to meet all the requirements get large numbers of low votes in the various challenges, apparently because the photos did not conform to the voters ideas as to the requirements, but then the requirements are not always exactly crystal clear.
You mentioned previously entered photos. Is that one of the reasons for low votes even if allowed? Regarding HDR I know I personally think HDR and other over processed photos have their place, but that is not in a general photography challenge. I just don't think photography and processing challenges should be mixed and am not sure how to vote when they are. Of course some would say HDR is photography and who am I to say it is not.
It is somewhat amazing to me to see how the better photos are like cream and usually rise to the top. I just hope the alpenglow and river challenges fare better than the Ansel Adams challenge.