Monday, July 21, 2008

A contest from HeadCount -- Help to Register Voters

(can't figure out why I can't get rid of the underline -- sorry!)
HeadCount, the nonpartisan voter registration organization, and Jam Cruise, the nationally-renown concert festival at sea, have teamed up to give music fans a unique way to encourage voter registration – and sail for free on a four-day Caribbean cruise.

“Push the Button” is an innovative contest in which anyone can place a “Register to Vote Button” – a widget that links to an on-line voter registration page – onto any website and help register voters. Each contestant receives their own button which tracks click-thrus and therefore keeps a running score of which buttons are generating the most voter registration traffic. Contestants are encouraged to not only put the “Button” on their own web page or social networking profile, but also “Push the Button” onto other web sites by encouraging bloggers, webmasters, and anyone who controls a website to display the button as well.

“Displaying a Register to Vote Button is a simple, cost-free way to make it easy for people to register to vote,” said Andy Bernstein, HeadCount’s Executive Director. “We know that most bloggers and people who run websites will be happy to put up the button if asked. So we created this contest to give thousands of people a reason to ask - to ‘push’ the button.”

Entry information can be found at People must first sign an on-line “Pledge to Vote” to be eligible for the contest, which also entitles them to receive free music downloads and discounts. When they enter the contest, they receive their own, individual Register to Vote Button, which can easily be copied onto any web page. That button tracks every click-thru and credits each to the contestant. The prize, a trip for two on Jam Cruise 7 plus airfare, will be awarded to the person whose button generates the most click thrus and is also proven to have generated a sizeable number of voter registrations (simply clicking on a Register to Vote button repeatedly will not help someone win the prize).

The Prize

Jam Cruise 7 ( is a place where musical fantasies come to life. The
luxurious MSC Orchestra will sail for four days and five nights in the Caribbean with over 20 performances by popular artists such as Les Claypool and Medeski, Martin and Wood. It leaves Ft. Lauderdale on January 4th and visits Belize City, Belize and Costa Maya, Mexico. The prize winner will receive a free windowed cabin for two, plus airfare. “We have supported HeadCount since its inception, often offering cabins as incentives for the volunteers who do the best job of registering voters,” said Mark Brown of Cloud 9 Adventures, promoters of Jam Cruise. “When HeadCount came to us with this truly innovative idea we were very excited because it gives everyone a chance to get involved and a chance to win.”

The prize is not awarded at random. This contest rewards those who help register the most new voters by getting websites to agree to display the Register to Vote Button.

Contestants can target blogs, music sites, corporate sites, social networking sites – any website that will display a Register to Vote Button. The button can already be found on popular websites like or Now, it will appear on hundreds more.

“The central tenet of HeadCount is that everyone’s voice matters, and everyone can make a difference,” said Marc Brownstein, co-chair of HeadCount. “This contest really embodies that. Anyone with a computer and some tenacity can ‘push the button’ and help register voters. And a huge reward awaits them.”

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