Friday, August 06, 2010

NBC4 Offers Pay-to-Play for Candidates

Many mainstream media sources offer free voter guides containing basic information and policy statements of candidates. NBC4 is taking things a step further by offering to work with candidates to create an “interactive sample ballot” and other services. But there’s a catch: you have to pay to play!

Yesterday, NBC4 sent the following email to local area candidates.

From: eVoter Guide []
Subject: Post Your Profile in the NBC 4 Washington Online Voter Guide
To: “Candidate”
Date: Thursday, August 5, 2010, 10:06 AM

Post Your Profile Now in the eVoter / NBC Washington Online Voter Guide has partnered with NBC 4 Washington to provide voters in Maryland with comprehensive online voter information. Voters can find their interactive sample ballot by visiting NBC Washington’s web site and entering their address in an eVoter ballot / polling place search box.

NBC 4 Washington will begin promoting service on their evening newscasts. And as Election Day approaches, on-air promotion will become more frequent and prominent. Tens of thousands of motivated Maryland voters will be visiting eVoter to find election information and to view an interactive sample ballot where they can view candidate profiles and organization endorsements.

You can leverage this partnership and reach these motivated voters with your message for literally pennies per voter by positing your profile on eVoter. It only takes a few minutes. Click here to sign up:; Or call our customer service toll-free at (866) 976 0555 if you have any questions.

Interactive Sample Ballots...
eVoter's interactive sample ballots help voters make decisions quickly and easily:

Sample ballots are customized to the voter’s address, showing every race from the top of the ballot to the bottom, including propositions, bonds, etc.
eVoter shows voters their polling place on a map
Voters can make selections on their interactive sample ballot and then print them - providing a ready voting aid
Organizations and media partners with eVoter profiles can also show their endorsements right on the sample ballot - invaluable to voters and candidates alike

Detailed Candidate Profiles...
And for those candidates with profiles, the benefits are tremendous. Voters can link directly from their sample ballots to detailed candidate profiles including:

Candidate photos
Personal statements
Links to media articles
Links to official candidate websites

Active Candidate Support...
From an candidate profile, voters can take the next step and actively support candidates by:

Make contributions (via eVoter’s contribution processing or by linking directly to a candidate’s processor)
Contact candidates with questions
Offer support to candidates (from requesting lawn signs to stuffing envelopes)

And Many More Features... goes beyond offering just sample ballots, providing motivated voters with everything they need to prepare on election day:

State election calendars
Voter registration applications
Absentee ballot applications
Polling place information
Toll-Free eVoter support

Post Your Profile Now in the eVoter / NBC Washington Online Voter Guide

NBC4 is the #1 television station in Washington, D.C. The station is owned and operated by NBC Universal (a division of GE), and is a long-standing leader in every aspect of broadcasting and community service. NBC4 sponsors more than 30 local events each year, and produces the annual NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo, the largest free consumer health event in the country. The station is also known for its Safe & Secure Community Shreds, and the annual Camp 4 Kids campaign. The NEWS4 team produces 40 hours of news each week, and is Washington’s most watched news.

“We were pleased to be able to provide our website users an advance look at their ballot and the location of their polling places. Many of our viewers took advantage of eVoter in the days leading up to the election.”

NBC Chicago

“You can type in any address at eVoter Minnesota to generate a sample ballot listing all the races and candidates in your area. It also gives you a map showing your polling place... eVoter's interface is slick and very easy to use...”

Minnesota Today - Minn. Public Radio

“Voters here must put extra effort into making their choices, particularly on down-ticket races... You can read extensive information on all races and view a sample ballot for your precinct by visiting”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - STL Today

“With eVoter, Sun-Times Media had the only newspaper websites in Illinois that gave their readers complete ballot information, down to the smallest office and local referenda, and complete polling place information throughout the state.”

Chicago Sun Times

“Our goal is to provide comprehensive and useful election information for voters in our area.. eVoter provides that coverage by listing all the candidates, propositions and polling places in an easy to access format across the San Diego area and the rest of the state.”

NBC San Diego

Contact us:


Political Technologies LLC
Attn: (please put department)
2028 Harrison St
Suite 108
Hollywood, FL 33020

Call us TOLL FREE: (866) 976-0555

Copyright (C) 2010 Political Technologies All rights reserved. “eVoter”, the “eVoter logo”, and “Interactive Politics” are trademarks of Political Technologies LLC. All other trademarks and marks are the properties of their respective owners. Candidate profiles and content are paid advertisements by the candidate’s campaign committee. Political Technologies LLC. is not responsible for candidate content.
When candidates log in to evoter’s website, they see this fee schedule to access its services.

So if you want to be in the Post’s or the Gazette’s voter guides, just send in your info and you’re done. But if you want to be in NBC4’s voter guide and reach “tens of thousands of motivated Maryland voters” who will make instantaneous contributions and grab yard signs, you have to PAY.

Now newspapers have offered free voter guides for years. That’s a public service with the beneficial side effect of perhaps buttressing circulation. And newspapers and other publications can sell ads to candidates just as they sell them to anyone else. That’s fine and good. But NBC4 is essentially offering outsourced campaign services.

Is that really a line of business that’s appropriate for an objective news organization?