James Hong and his Hot or Not partner, Jim Young1, launched their Vote or Not sweepstakes over the Labor Day weekend. Hong says the idea is "to raise awareness of the need to register to vote."
Vote or Not will award two $100,000 prizes: one drawn at random and one for anyone who gets the winner to sign up for the contest. To avoid violating federal and state election laws that make it illegal to pay people to vote, the contest is open to all U.S. citizens 18 or older regardless of whether they're on the voter rolls themselves.
Hong said the idea grew out of a discussion of what the pair could do to make a difference in the political process.
"The original idea was, 'Do you think if we offered a million dollars to someone, would they be likely to sign up to vote for it?'" Hong said Tuesday. After talking the idea over with friends, they refined the concept and downsized the purse. "One hundred thousand actually seemed more believable to people. That was something about sweepstakes psychology we didn't know before," he said.
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