To make viewers aware of their option to vote by absentee ballot, WKMG-TV in Orlando, Fla., teamed with the League of Women Voters for a "Stay at Home and Be Counted" campaign. In the month leading up to Florida’s presidential primary, the station broadcast public service announcements (PSAs) hundreds of times showing the ease of voting by mail. The four station-produced announcements featured WKMG’s top anchors voting on their schedule and in the privacy of their own homes. Viewers were directed to the League’s Web site for details on ordering absentee ballots within the seven counties covered in the station’s viewing area. In production and airtime, WKMG donated $75,000 worth of services to the campaign. Absentee ballot requests were up 300 percent when compared to the 2004 primary elections, and the League credits the campaign with the results; similar efforts are being recommended across the country. To continue this voter momentum into the general election, WKMG has partnered with the League for a "Central Florida Video Challenge." High school students, film and college students, and the community at large have been asked to create 30-second PSAs about how their votes count. For each of the three categories, the top videos will be posted on the station’s Web sites so viewers can vote for their favorites. The winning spots will be played for a two-week rotation to inspire those in the Sunshine State to get out and vote.
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