OTR Down By 1,300+ Votes; Voting Ends Today at 5pm

It’s all up to you. OTR can still win this challenge but only if you make sure your contacts vote.

In a stunning turn of events, the Friends of Dreamland Theatre from Little Rock, Arkansas have taken a substantial lead into first place with just hours left in the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s This Place Matters Community Challenge.

Without being accusatory, I am personally suspicious of any vote totals which rise at a clip of several dozen per minute in the wee hours of the morning. Fortunately, the terms of the contest requires registration.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has addressed the issue this way:

This means that if someone was able to vote with the address fakeemail@thisemailisfake.com, it will be flagged as “bad” in our system and discounted. If someone voted with two separate (but valid) email addresses (i.e. your personal and work emails), it will count as two separate votes.

Though, one doesn’t have to cast their own vote as evidenced by The Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) which is currently in 3rd place. The PSNC will actually vote in place of its supporters in order to facilitate “turnout”. See below from PSNC’s website:

And yet, I’ve been told (and Google has confirmed) that there are ways to turn one gmail address into an infinite number by appending a  “a plus (“+”) sign and any combination of words or numbers after your email address. For example, if your name was hikingfan@gmail.com, you could send mail to hikingfan+friends@gmail.com or hikingfan+mailinglists@gmail.com“. I’m not convinced this wouldn’t be flagged in NTHP’s system. Even valid, yet temporary email accounts such as those @mailinator.com might not be flagged in NTHP’s system.

All this has created very little confidence in me that this competition is designed correctly, yet the NTHP says:

This is something we do in many voting competitions; in terms of user experience, it’s easier for us to let everyone vote and take the bad ones out than it is to make voting so complicated that people have to confirm email addresses, etc.

So with 8 hours left in the competition, Over-the-Rhine is away from first place by over a 1,300 votes. This deficit could be erased if an even more extraordinary effort than has already been seen on behalf of OTR happens today before 5pm.

For what it’s worth, I wake up every day around 4am. Yesterday, I checked the vote totals at 5:03am, 6/29 (I know because I posted them online for others to see) and this is what they looked like:

  1. Over-the-Rhine – 14114 votes – 2251 likes
  2. Dreamland Ballroom – 13781 votes – 126 likes
  3. The Preservation Society of Newport County – 13585 votes – 487 likes
Compare that to right now (5:03am, 6/30):
  1. Dreamland Ballroom – 19338 votes – 126 likes
  2. Over-the-Rhine – 17971 votes – 2563 likes
  3. The Preservation Society of Newport County – 17275 votes – 712 likes
The Dreamland Ballroom’s middle of the night rise is suspicious to say the least unless they have a larger email list than The Breakers (Newport) or have done a better job at getting the word out than the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. OTR and Newport have had online stories appear on Cincinnati.com and Boston.com as well as local webmags like Soapbox Media (Cincinnati) and Go Local Prov (Providence) and The Newport Daily News ran this piece in support of The Breakers (PSNC) yesterday. I know support for OTR is all over facebook, twitter, and many local blogs (check here, here, here, etc) and even a TV news morning show. I can find no similar coverage of the Dreamland Ballroom’s campaign except one local TV broadcast story from June 4 and a couple posts on its facebook page.

So OTR’s outcome, as always, is up to you. Getting your friends and co-workers and family to vote with every email address they have is of vital importance. Winning isn’t everything and I’ll reflect on the many positive aspects of the competition later, but until then let’s try to win this thing for OTR and all the buildings that should have been preserved here but weren’t.

Systematic demolition

142 E. McMicken Ave today

I usually schedule posts to publish themselves at 9:00am but today every hour counts so it will post at 6:00am. Please share this post and most importantly tell everyone you know to vote for the love of Over-the-Rhine and Cincinnati.

Updates:

  1. 6:39AM – Dreamland Ballroom has 19800 votes
  2. 7:11AM – Dreamland Ballroom has 19900 votes
  3. 7:43AM – Dreamland Ballroom has 20005 votes
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  1. […] Main Street, OTR as photographed by well-known New Urbanist Steve Mouzon Yesterday, after I wrote the blog post that chronicled OTR’s rapid fall from 1st place, I posted this video on the facebook profile from which I manage a few facebook pages. Thanks for […]



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