Guys, the thing is, almost all photo 'contests' are like this. And I don't think it can be changed. It's the same way with art contests and just about every other matter where the judging is subjective. The best thing to do is just try to improve your own photography, do the best for the people you shoot for, and move on. If you can enter (or even win) a contest, more the power to you, but don't count on much to come of it.
ALA has a nice little thing (not really a contest) where you can send in your photos taken during the con (in past years) or its associated gatherings held throughout the year; and the ones they like get posted on the walls during the con. That's really the only thing I've paid much attention to -- there's so many spots it's really not very hard to have a few photos selected. Other than things like this, I don't really pay much attention to 'contests' because 1) they're not fun, and 2) they don't have anything to do with improving one's own skill. I mean, most of the other contests that cons hold do have utility for one (or both) of these reasons.